Russell and Duenes

G.K. Chesterton and the Resurrection

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‘God raised Jesus from the dead!’  This was the fundamental and unalterable testimony of those who had physically seen Jesus dead and then alive again.  The historical fact of Jesus resurrection is the ground and basis of all true love, hope, and joy; for if Jesus is still in the grave then all of humanity will remain in the grave too.  But he is not in the grave, and this makes all the difference.  Now those who put their hope in Jesus may find their way into a fullness of joy: partially in this world; fully in the next.  May praise to God and joy in Jesus be the main thing in your Easter.  He is risen indeed!  Chesterton concludes,

Man is more himself, man is more manlike, when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial.  Melancholy should be an innocent interlude, a tender and fugitive frame of mind; praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul.  Pessimism is at best an emotional half-holiday; joy is the uproarious labour by which all things live…The sceptic may truly be said to be topsy-turvy; for his feet are dancing upwards in idle ecstasies, while his brain is in the abyss.  To the modern man the heavens are actually below the earth.  The explanation is simple; he is standing on his head; which is a very weak pedestal to stand on.  But when he has found his feet again he knows it.  Christianity satisfies suddenly and perfectly man’s ancestral instinct for being the right way up; satisfies it supremely in this; that by its creed joy becomes something gigantic and sadness something special and small…Joy, which was the small publicity of the pagan, is the gigantic secret of the Christian. 

     The tremendous figure which fills the Gospels [namely, Jesus] towers in this respect, as in every other, above all the thinkers who ever thought themselves tall.  His pathos was natural, almost casual.  The Stoics, ancient and modern, were proud of concealing their tears.  He never concealed His tears; He showed them plainly on His open face at any daily sight, such as the far sight of His native city.  Yet He concealed something.  Solemn Super-men and imperial diplomatists are proud of restraining their anger.  He never restrained His anger.  He flung furniture down the front steps of the Temple, and asked men how they expected to escape the damnation of Hell.  Yet He restained something.  I say it with reverence; there was in that shattering personality a thread that must be called shyness.  There was something that He hid from all men when He went up a mountain to pray.  There was something that He covered constantly by abrupt silence or impetuous isolation.  There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth. (“Orthdodoxy,” the last chapter)



Written by Michael Duenes

April 23, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Posted in Duenes, Theology

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