G.K. Chesterton Quotes


Gilbert Keith Chesterton (May 29, 1874June 14, 1936) was an influential writer of the early 20th century. His prolific and diverse output included journalism, poetry, biography, Christian apologetics, fantasy, and detective fiction.

Chesterton has been called the “prince of paradox.” He wrote in an off-hand, whimsical prose studded with startling formulations. For example: “Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it.” He is one of the few Christian thinkers who are equally admired and quoted by both liberal and conservative Christians, and indeed by many non-Christians. Chesterton’s own theological and political views were far too nuanced to fit comfortably under the “liberal” or “conservative” banner

If the world grows too worldly, it can be rebuked by the Church, but if the Church grows too worldly, it cannot be adequately rebuked for worldliness by the world.

-G.K. Chesterton

One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak

-G. K. Chesterton

The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost

-G. K. Chesterton

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.

-G.K. Chesterton

People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum, and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodox. It was sanity: and to be sane is more dramatic than to be mad…it is easy to be a madman: it is easy to be a heretic. It is always easy to let the age have its head; the difficult thing is to keep one’s own. It is always easy to be a modernist; as it is easy to be a snob…It is always simple to fall; there are an infinity of angels at which one falls, only one at which one stands. To have fallen into any one of fads from Gnosticism to Christian Science would indeed have been obvious and tame. But to have avoided them all has been one whirling adventure; and in my vision the heavenly chariot flies thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate, the wild truth reeling but erect.

-G.K. Chesterton

“A man knocking on the door of the brothel is knocking for God.”

-G.K. Chesterton 

“Jesus promised his disciples three things: they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy, and in constant trouble.”

~G.K. Chesterton

Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that he has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.

-G.K. Chesterton

“divine discontent” “We have come to the wrong star…That is what makes life at once so splendid and so strange. The true happiness is that we don’t fit. We come from somewhere else. We have lost our way.”

-G.K. Chesterton (from Orthodoxy)


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