Orthodoxy: Summary, 4 Key Lessons and Book Review

AuthorG. K. Chesterton
Rating★★★★★ (5 stars)
Purchase LinkBuy Here

Orthodoxy is the name of the most famous book by GK Chesterton, famous English writer known for defending the Catholic faith.

Indeed: Orthodoxy is a must-read book for anyone who wants to get to know Christianity and for those who want to deepen their studies. Read other philosophy book summaries here.

What is the synopsis of Orthodoxy?

I’ll try to show the main arguments of the book so you start to know a little more about it.

The book brings the author’s own search for answers to life’s questions. When feeling dissatisfied with the answers given by contemporary thought, he saw in orthodox thought the true answer to his questions.

So, it’s a very interesting philosophy book. You can buy the book Orthodoxy here!

Who is the author of Orthodoxy?

Chesterton is a famous Christian writer, but who was he? Why did it become so well known?

The author of Orthodoxy is Chesterton, a famous English writer who lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Through his humorous style, he describes changes in society at the time and advocates a return to the Christian worldview.

He influenced many writers such as CS Lewis himself, author of many Christian books. Read a summary on The Everlasting Man, by the same author, here.

What is the summary of Orthodoxy?

Initially, Chesterton describes his search for the truth. He went through several thoughts, and when he saw the worldview he had created, he noticed that it was the same as Christianity.

To summarize Orthodoxy, suffice it to say that the author shows that he searched for different philosophies and thoughts, but that he ended up returning to good old Christianity. Through a series of arguments, he shows that many contemporary concepts are wrong and that the Christian religion is right.

For example: we deny the existence of original sin, as we do not believe that someone is born a sinner is correct. But by denying the existence of sin what one is doing is accepting the existence of sanity.

The author shows how all modern philosophies, such as materialism, existentialism and others, prove to be full of errors about what a human being is, as certain wrong conceptions of love and charity, as shown in the book The Four Loves (CS Lewis).

It shows how many of these philosophers end up isolating very restricted points of information and misinterpreting them. Christianity, on the other hand, allows for a complete view of the truth.

Thus, modern ideologies, coming from materialism, existentialism, Marxism and other schools, end up explaining reality in a very simplistic way, being completely false.

Finally, even rationalism was imagined from other important points such as imagination and creativity, becoming just a logical device. Read a summary about Heretics, another book by the author, here.

What are the main lessons of Orthodoxy?

The main lessons of Orthodoxy are:

1. The Christian worldview must not be forgotten

Early on, Chesterton talks about how he returned to Christianity. According to him, in his search for a philosophy that answered questions correctly, he found Christ.

That is: despite being out of fashion, we must go back to the origins and understand the importance of a Christian worldview, as it can answer many questions.

2. Modern ideologies are reductionist

Chesterton harshly criticizes Marxist, existentialist, materialist and other thinkers, showing how their worldviews are reductionist and do not describe reality.

They isolate one part of the problem and explain everything perfectly. The problem is that the world is made up of many variables.

3. Reason Is Alienating When Isolated

Chesterton also criticizes rationalism, which isolates reason and imagination, generating intellectual madness, as shown in the book Cartas de um Diabo ao seu Aprendiz.

Reason must be integrated with the other mental faculties to be healthy and to be used to its fullest capacity. Read a summary abou the book “What’s Wrong with the World” here!!

4. Common sense is very important

Have you noticed how modern ideologies and philosophical thoughts preach things that seem very strange to us, but that we are forced to accept?

Yeah: often, common sense gives us the idea of ​​what is right or wrong (as shown in the book Pure and Simple Christianity (CS Lewis)), so we need to hear it more often.

What is the review of Orthodoxy?

Many wonder if this book is any good. After all, he seems to be difficult and theological. Is it not difficult to read?

The book is 100% current in showing the importance of having a traditional view of old problems, instead of looking for new solutions that bring little resolution. It will certainly be one of the most memorable readings of your life.

In fact: despite the initial difficulty that some feel when reading Chesterton, it is quickly possible to adapt to his writing style and marvel at his words. You can buy the book Orthodoxy here!

The author was a visionary in understanding that we must rescue a traditional view and understand that perhaps what we learn in childhood is not so silly.

Therefore, the review of the book is positive. It is certainly a must-read for any Christian – and for people of all faiths.

What are the Negative Points of Orthodoxy?

The book is very current, even though it was written some time ago. However, he has a small problem.

Generally speaking, Chesterton’s writing is a bit more difficult than the average writer. He makes many analogies and jokes that can seem difficult to understand for someone who started reading his writings right away.

However, it pays to get used to your writing. That way, over time, you’ll notice that he’s a wonderful writer and that he says things in a refreshingly humorous way.

I had difficulties understanding his writing, but I got used to it and today he is one of my favorite writers.

What are the Positive Points of Orthodoxy?

It is natural for us to ask ourselves questions about life, its meaning and why we are here. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find answers.

The Orthodoxy book can offer many answers to life that had been forgotten. Things like family, religion, and doing good, though old-fashioned, are the way to solve many problems. The book allows us to see these subjects from a very different point of view than we are used to.

Therefore, it is the type of reading that ends up standing out, because nowadays many people dismiss religion as something silly. However, it can offer us many answers.

Therefore, it is mandatory reading, regardless of your religion. Atheist, Christian, Muslim… Everyone benefits from this reading.

Hint: another more philosophical book that many will like is The Abolition of Man by CS Lewis. If you liked Orthodoxy, this is a great pick.

Is Orthodoxy worth reading?

Okay, but is the book worth reading? There are many Christian authors, and perhaps some of them are better…

The book Orthodoxy is worth reading. He brings current problems and, with a very different view of the current one, shows us that our view of faith and tradition are very different from what they really are. It is a book that slaps the reader in the face, but at the same time entertains.

In addition, Chesterton is one of the most current Christian authors, precisely because he talks to our world today. Mandatory reading for everyone. You can buy the book Orthodoxy here!

Vítor Costa

PhD in Polymer Science and Technology. Loves to read and study about sciences, psychology, philosophy and other subjects.

Readers also like