Orthodoxy by Chesterton–A Beautiful New Edition

Chesterton needs no recommendation from me. He’s never lacked an audience since his writings appeared decades ago. On the other hand, perhaps I could share something with those like me who had never gotten around to taking a dip into the unique world of Chesterton. Like it did for me, this new annotated edition presents you the perfect opportunity.

First, there’s Chesterton. I found him as fresh as any author today. You might call him idiosyncratic as he is refreshingly distinctive and even peculiar as any I’ve read. He sees things you don’t and when he pulls them out and lays them before you all you can think is why hadn’t you always known it. He has one of the best senses of humor I’ve ever encountered. Not in the sense of a comedian, but one in a successful effort at clarity who causes you to laugh out loud. He couldn’t be boring if he tried, but it appears he never tries.

Second, there’s his “Orthodoxy”. He approaches orthodoxy or apologetics in a whole new vein. Rather than following the template of most all apologetic works, he more shares the lofty journey that took place in his own mind. He takes the most common criticisms of our faith and turns them on their heads. He confronts the heavyweights of Bible critics and leaves them looking juvenile. Not that he is condescending, just that he sees the implications of what they believe so much more clearly than they do. He writes in a easy to follow style, except occasionally he saw more than I could take in. He’s an awesome writer and it was clear those few lapses were completely on my side. I had about two chapters that were a little too good for me, but what a joy to try. More often, I loved comprehending his beautiful thoughts.

Finally, there’s this new annotated edition by Trevin Wax. Wax met you briefly at the beginning and end of each chapter to foster success by you. The only dated material in this timeless work was his use of names, places, and movements. Wax succinctly filled that gap so you can keep rolling with Chesterton. Wax’s approach allowed Chesterton to be Chesterton and let you interact with him. I thought it the perfect approach, plus a nice introduction, and it’s exactly what I would want. For icing on the cake, the publisher delivers this title in a lovely hardback edition.

I hope we get more works just like this one!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

How Do We Reason? by Forrest Baird

Here’s a fine, accessible resource to help us in getting a handle on reasoning logically. Since we live in an age where shouting louder has replaced clear reasoning as a way to propel arguments, this is especially needed today. It’s fair also to observe that Christians don’t always hold logic in as a high regard as should be as we live in the created world of our reasonable God. To be sure, a lot of good theology is based on the fact that we have a reasonable God Who is never illogical. What He does might be counterintuitive to us, but the more you delve into His ways they never violate clear principles of logic. In this book, don’t miss the preface that fully develops what I said above.

The first chapter introducing logic is worth the price of the book. Since formally, logic is about making arguments, that chapter so carefully lays out what kinds of arguments there are as it also establishes what is legitimate. That chapter alone would make you reason better.

Chapter 3 is one of the most important in the book and would revolutionize logical discussion were it grasped. Particularly, notice the discussion of fallacies of ambiguity and relevance. This section might help you not embarrass yourself!

The book moves from sentences to syllogisms to symbols. Since this book could be used as a textbook (fortunately without textbook pricing!), it is true that the complexity grows. If you want a basic understanding and be able to be reasonable in your logic you will need roughly the first half of the book. If you want to really master the subject, the whole book will be a godsend to you.

Though I said it could be a textbook, this book is still perfectly designed for the individual reader. The exercises throughout the book will easily help you see if you are catching on or need to re-read. Some of the examples will raise a smile, but will still help you get it.

This book is written by a Christian. Though he writes mostly about the subject itself, that Christian background makes you feel in trusty hands. I’ve long wanted a book like this and am glad to have this one!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.