The Everlasting Man - good gift for Protestant?


#1

Hi!

Are there any converts out there who may want to respond to my
inquiry?

I was just wondering if any have read “The Everlasting Man” by G.K. Chesterton…and, if it would be a good gift for a Protestant Minister (Evangelical). I bought (and wrapped) a gift for my brother-in-law (who I’m always trying to reach in small ways).
I am under the impression that G. K. Chesterton is considered to be a non-abrasive,
Protestant-acceptable author, and, particularly, that this book would be more ‘christian’ than Catholic, yet still provide some Catholic thought which may help someone broaden their perspective.

Any thoughts out there? Will this make a good Christmas gift? (haven’t read it myself…so I’m looking for some who may have)

Rae


#2

[quote=Rae]Hi!

Are there any converts out there who may want to respond to my
inquiry?

I was just wondering if any have read “The Everlasting Man” by G.K. Chesterton…and, if it would be a good gift for a Protestant Minister (Evangelical). I bought (and wrapped) a gift for my brother-in-law (who I’m always trying to reach in small ways).
I am under the impression that G. K. Chesterton is considered to be a non-abrasive,
Protestant-acceptable author, and, particularly, that this book would be more ‘christian’ than Catholic, yet still provide some Catholic thought which may help someone broaden their perspective.

Any thoughts out there? Will this make a good Christmas gift? (haven’t read it myself…so I’m looking for some who may have)

Rae
[/quote]

The book would make an excellent Christmas present. The copy I have was published in 1993 by Ignatius Press. It was originally published in 1925. Chesterton converted to Catholicism about the same time he wrote this book. He has written many books. I’ve read *Dumb Ox, St. Francis of Assisi, Orthodoxy, and The Everlasting *Man. They are all works of art.


#3

Hi,

That is an excellent book. I read it and it blew my mind. You should also read it, it’s really something. Although I’m not a convert, I’m cradle Catholic, I believe it would make an excellent book.

Blessings,
J.C.


#4

[quote=Rae]Hi!

Are there any converts out there who may want to respond to my
inquiry?

I was just wondering if any have read “The Everlasting Man” by G.K. Chesterton…and, if it would be a good gift for a Protestant Minister (Evangelical). I bought (and wrapped) a gift for my brother-in-law (who I’m always trying to reach in small ways).
I am under the impression that G. K. Chesterton is considered to be a non-abrasive,
Protestant-acceptable author, and, particularly, that this book would be more ‘christian’ than Catholic, yet still provide some Catholic thought which may help someone broaden their perspective.

Any thoughts out there? Will this make a good Christmas gift? (haven’t read it myself…so I’m looking for some who may have)

Rae
[/quote]

Yes, I would consider Chesterton’s book a very good gift. As C.S. Lewis wrote concerning his reading “The Everlasting Man” while still an atheist:

Then I read Chesterton’s “Everlasting Man” and for the first time saw the whole Christian outline of history set out in a form that seemed to me to make sense . . . I already thought Chesterton the most sensible man alive “apart from his Christianity.” Now, I veritably believe, I thought that Christianity itself was very sensible "apart from its Christianity (Surprised by Joy)

And as Chesterton wrote in the “Prefatory Note” to “The Everlasting Man”:

This book needs a preliminary note that its scope be not misunderstood. The view suggested is historical rather than theological, and does not deal directly with a religious change which has been the chief event of my own life; and about which I am already writing a more purely controversial volume. It is impossible, I hope, for any Catholic to write any book on any subject, above all this subject, without showing that he is a Catholic; but this study is not specially concerned with the differences between a Catholic and a Protestant. Much of it is devoted to many sorts of Pagans rather than any sort of Christians; and its thesis is that those who say that Christ stands side by side with similar myths, and his religion side by side with similar religions, are only repeating a very stale formula contradicted by a very striking fact….


#5

everlasting man is fantastic, and not ‘abrasive’ to protestants (as far as i can remember). it IS, however, not necessarily an ‘easy read.’ that would be my only concern - if your friend is not a heavy reader (some protestant minsters aren’t - i went to school with dozens of protestant ministers, and alot of them were not bibliophiles) he might find it a little too thick.

i think ‘everlasting man’ is probably one of chesterton’s more approachable works. he tends to use fewer contemporary phrases (though still alot) that leave us 21st century non-brits scratching our heads in bewilderment sometimes.

to sum up - as long as he reads, he should enjoy it.


#6

I sure pray he will. I have my doubts. He’s of the mindset that using one’s intellect --‘mind’ or ‘reason’-- to know God is a bad thing. But hopefully he will recognize the goodwill in which it is given and give it a chance.

Thanks for your responses. I borrowed a copy of my brother’s book, so that I can read it for myself. I’m on page 30, and must say that it’s definitely (doesn’t take long to make that discovery) a ‘hard read’. Chesterton is definitely a deep thinker, and can really turn a phrase! I’m having some difficulty following all of the little nuances and ways he says things (vocabulary, etc.)–however, I can understand the overall message so far. I think it will be worth the ‘effort’. Since it gets such high marks among Catholics and non-Catholics alike, I’d like to read it as well.

Say a prayer that he (my brother-in-law) will un-harden his heart and open the book up (even in curiosity) and begin to read. I would love to give him a gift that may enable God to show him the path to Catholicism and the fullness of faith.

I just hope that he knows that I’m not trying to be forceful and offend him in any way. He’s not exactly a fan of Catholicism.
I truly mean the gift to be just that…a gift.


#7

Everlasting Man is not Chesterton’s finest work. It often deals with evolution and sacred history and Chesterton often fails to make a clear distinction without coming across anti-scientific (I believe it was written in response to HG Wells’ Outline of History).

That said, it is has some of Chesterton’s most beautiful passages about Christmas and the family.


#8

Hi.

Just from reading the 30 pages that I’ve read thus far, I am sure
it was an answer to H.G. Well’s outline of history, as Chesterton says as much.

I do not think that Chesterton is trying to provide any personal 'theory of evolution of his own, nor completely refudiating any of the science communities theories–I think (I could be wrong) that he is trying to provide a ‘view’ of history from a fresh perspective. Neither is he being the middle man, and not taking sides. He’s definitely a man with definite opinions. I think he’s trying to awaken, in us, a new way to perceive God (and his creation, man) without all of the ‘worldly’ influences, information, science, that (not being perfect) can altar one’s perception.
After years of Christianity, people think they know more than they know (and this can lead to boredom or contempt) about God. Atleast that’s what I’m getting from it so far…and, like I said, it’s a hard read (and I’ve only read 30 pages). This is coming from someone with a high school education too…so, perhaps, others may correct me. So far, I’m intrigued, even when I have to go back and re-read some passages to let them sink in.

I’m looking forward to reading some of the passages about Christmas and the family.

I’m not a literary critic, but, so far (as I said), I’m interested.


#9

Not abrasive? Read page 66 and 93 and see the good old N word there.I know some folks will say,“well, it had a different meaning back then”, I don’t think so.I would say that was alittle racist on his part don’t ya think? The N WORD is the N word no matter how far back you go.Seems like some of the great religious writers could’nt contain themselves when it came to good old bigotry.


#10

i think she meant abrasive to protestants. i know tons of protestants who use the ‘n’ word pretty liberally.


#11

What I meant was Chesterton himself writing like this and trying to convince people of the truth of the Catholic faith.Just image a Black person who is thinking of converting to the Catholic faith and was told to read this wonderful book written by a good Catholic and then comes across those pages and sees that word.Very inviting?


#12

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