Dreher, like Chesterton, is a “canary in the coal mine.” He sees things coming before the rest of us.
Chesterton too saw this coming. His 1910 collection of essays, What’s Wrong with the World, gave us a map to navigate the growing secularism even before the collapse of Christian Europe in 1914. T.S. Eliot said of him, that “he was importantly and consistently on the side of the angels.” His sense of humor and wit were as legendary as his impressive girth. At 6’4” and 286 lbs, Chesterton had plenty of occasions to remark on the ironies of human existence. He once remarked to a thin friend “to look at you, anyone would think a famine had struck England,” to which his friend retorted, ‘To look at you, anyone would think you had caused it.” Chesterton wrote over 80 books, several hundred poems, 200 short stories, 4000 essays, and several plays. You may know the “Father Brown” detective stories, deeply Catholic and deliciously entertaining. His political “uncommon sense” included passages such as: “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.” Chesterton's The Everlasting Man contributed to C. S. Lewis's conversion to Christianity, calling it “the best popular apologetic I know.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen, himself the author of 70 books, said wrote that “the greatest influence in my writing was G. K. Chesterton, who never used a useless word, who saw the value of a paradox, and avoided what was trite.” My favorite Chesterton story is when The London Times sent out the following question to famous authors: “What’s wrong with the world today?” Chesterton wrote back simply: “Dear Sir, I am. Yours, G.K. Chesterton.”
Dr. John Charles Chelberg will play the part of G.K. Chesterton this Saturday at 7pm in our gym. He will dress the part, and declaim some of G.K’s most winning passages. Some tickets are still available at the office or on our website.