I have read that this book was a major influence in returning C. S. Lewis from atheism to Christianity. Both Lewis and Chesterton have intellects far superior to my own and this book is no walk in the park to read. I read each page twice before going on to the next. The journey may have been slightly arduous, but it was worth it. It is not big words, needless complexity, or British style and spelling that slowed my comprehension, but big ideas, big concepts that are often difficult to get our heads around and come to a rational justification for our belief systems.
Chesterton addresses this problem with statements such as this. “Christianity does appeal to a solid truth outside itself; to something which is in that sense external as well as that things are really things—in this Christianity is at one with common sense; but all religious history shows that this common sense perishes except where there is Christianity to preserve it.”
I was also drawn to his words about writing fiction and non-fiction. He says that until historians can explain not only what happened, but what it felt like, there will be more reality in novels than history books. And this, “The life of man is a story; an adventure story; and in our vision the same is true of the story of God.”
To nonbelievers, Chesterton has this to say about Christianity, “. . . it would seem that sooner or later even its enemies would learn from their incessant and interminable disappointments not to look for anything so simple as its death. They may continue to war with it, but it will be as they war with nature; as they war with the landscape; as they war with the skies.” He quotes Christ’s words from Matthew: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
Chesterton continues, “They will watch for it to stumble; they will watch for it to err; but no longer will they watch for it to end.”