Evangelical intellectuals and gk chesterson

Recently I have listened to radio programs were James Dobson and a second program were Dennis Rainey quoted gk chesterson I found it very interesting and wonder if they really know who he is

Lots of nonCatholics know–and love–G. K. Chesterton. I am a big fan of his Father Brown stories, and so is my nonChristian family.

I had read Chesterton long before I knew he was a catholic. He is mostly known as a gifted writer. His apologetic side is widely unkown in comparisson.

A very witty man was he!



Yep. I first heard about him in Campus Life magazine, a Christian magazine for teenagers. There was no condemnation of his Catholicism, BTW. Merely admiration for his theological insight.

In the middle of my third book of his. ‘Orthodoxy’ was my first and it was fascinating.
As far as evangelicals quoting him, I suppose they can’t deny his common sense.:shrug:

Sure, they know.

I read Orthodoxy as an evangelical and liked it. GK wrote it when he was still Protestant,

In 1908, when he was still officially Anglo-Catholic, in the Church of England. It was at the same time that he had decided to join the RCC. A journey which took him until 1922 to make, for a couple of reasons. But he had made his decision 14 years prior.


I’ve often heard Chesterton’s conversion (if one can really call it that) compared to that of C.S. Lewis’. The comparison has felt a bit forced to me, since Lewis began as an Atheist and meandered slowly toward Deism before finally settling into ‘Mere Christianity.’ I haven’t read enough G.K. to know if there is any substantial similarity between the two, other than the fact both were brilliant, popular Christian apologists from the U.K.

You’re the closest thing around to an expert on the topic - any thoughts?

I have probably used GKC as more of an excuse, in that regard, than I have any right to :o


You’re assuming that Dobson is anti-Catholic. I actually don’t think he is. Like a lot of conservative evangelicals, he may have issues with Catholicism doctrinally but recognizes that he has a lot of common ground with them on social and moral issues. In one of the episodes of FotF’s radio drama series “Adventures in Odyssey,” the character Eugene goes on a retreat in a monastery and this is presented very positively. In another episode, a medieval knight comes back to the 20th century and is presented as a virtuous Christian character.


This reminded me of Paul McCusker’s story. He is executive producer of F on the Family drama’s. Recent convert to RC.

Paul McCusker has spent the last 25 years working for Focus on the Family. A former Baptist-turned-Anglican-turned Catholic, McCusker has served as executive producer for the organization’s award-winning audio dramas, such as “The Chronicles of Narnia,” and the recent Audie Award-nominated “The Screwtape Letters,” as well as the children’s radio program “Adventures in Odyssey.” McCusker serves as a creative director for global product development and innovation.
He spoke with the Register’s senior writer, Tim Drake, about his life and work from his office in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Read more: ncregister.com/daily-news/storyteller_says_the_greatest_story_led_him_to_the_church/#ixzz34O4yg6yj

He was on the Journey Home a few months ago:


Roughly 50 years of collecting and studying the guy might account for that, I guess.

Lewis began as a nominal Anglican (Church of Ireland), dropped away rather decisively in his teens, wandered back gradually, first to deism, than to Christianity. He moved from mere Anglicanism, somewhat toward Anglo-Catholicism, over his Christian life.

Chesterton began in a nominally Church of England family, actually vaguely Unitarian. He passed through a few phases, vaguely interested in the occult and art, a period of deep depression, a reaction to the fin de siecle decadence, and was brought into serious membership in the CoE, primarily by the influence of his fiance, a strong Anglo-Catholic.

Both basically thought their way into Christian orthodoxy, Lewis influenced by George MacDonald, Tolkien and, at one particular point, Hugo Dyson, and by Chesterton himself, beginning with a book of essays Lewis read while in hospital during WWI. The similarities between the two, in addition to their becoming exponents of the orthodox, each in his way, lies in the point that each was an example of the sort of thing Joseph Pearce wrote of in LITERARY CONVERTS: literary and intellectual figures who became Christian precisely because of their literary experience and bent. And not merely Christian, but often RC. Or Anglican, for that matter. The similarities in their journeys, as well as the general similarities in their eventual resting places, drew me to collecting them (and Belloc, Knox, Sayers, Williams, Tolkien, Lunn) starting 50 years ago. Still do.


I usually put it that if my man hasn’t gotten me across the river, in 50 years, it is unlikely anything of the mundane will.

Might you, like he, be anima Romana Catholica naturalis, you think?


Maybe I’m being naive, but if someone quotes Chesterton, I’d guess that he/she knows who Chesterton is. In fact, I tend to assume that well-educated people know who Chesterton is even if they haven’t quoted hm.

And your “other man” never converted.

If by “other”, you mean Lewis, quite so.

Nor did Dorothy L. Sayers, or Charles Williams.

Knox and Lunn did.

I like 'em all.


Yes, I meant Lewis. I’m embarrassed to say I don’t know who the others are, with the exception of Dorothy L. Sayers. Knox was a clergyman, yes?

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