"The word heresy not only means no longer being wrong; it practically means being clear-headed and courageous. The word orthodoxy not only no longer means being right; it practically means being wrong." G. K. Chesterton, Heretics. The "modern" world of G. K. Chesterton's day was one that often celebrated the independence and courage of heretics, while decrying the rigidity of conservative orthodoxy. In this classic collection of twenty essays, Chesterton uses wit and paradox to take on the popular philosophers of his day, including Henrik Ibsen, George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, Rudyard Kipling, Oscar Wilde, and Friedrich Nietzsche. In taking on the "heretics"; modern thinkers who considered their views to be superior to "antiquated" conservative thought; Chesterton called out their tendency to focus on evils, such as segregation and slavery, without pointing men and women toward any idea of what is good. Chesterton criticized those who rebelled against traditional Christian beliefs; those who proudly defied the Word of God. With biting prose and incomparable wit, Chesterton exposes the heretics as not only wrong but also dangerous. Written more than a century ago, Heretics remains a remarkably relevant work for today's modern culture.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was an English writer, philosopher, satirist, and social critic. During his lifetime, the prolific Chesterton wrote eighty books, several hundred poems, some two hundred short stories, four thousand essays, and several plays. He was also known as a strong debater and Christian apologist. He often took on what he considered to be the flawed philosophy of modernism found in the writings of his good friends Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw. It was Shaw who once referred to Chesterton in Time magazine as "a man of colossal genius." Chesterton's writings consistently displayed wit and a sense of humor. His ingenious use of paradox in his commentaries on the leading political, economic, philosophical, and theological beliefs of his day makes his writings as relevant today as they were a century ago.