Actually, it was yesterday. Sorry for being late.
G.K. Chesterton was born in Kensington, London on May 29, 1874. At the age of nine, he could hardly read, and his parents took him to a brain specialist to see if he was mentally handicapped. From that slow start, he came to serve as editor of a weekly newspaper and wrote around 80 books, several hundred poems, some 200 short stories, 4000 essays, and several plays. This in itself might be surprising to some, seeing how he dropped out of art school and completely bypassed college. His most famous Christian work was his own autobiography titled, Orthodoxy. He says, “I did try to found a heresy of my own; and when I had put the last touches to it, I discovered that it was orthodoxy.”
However, Chesterton did not grow up in a Christian home. As a young man he experimented with the occult and Ouija boards, but some time later he described himself as an orthodox Christian. At the age of 48 he was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church. He concluded that Christianity alone held the answers for life, and thus spent the rest of his own defending the faith from liberals and conservatives alike. He was a witty author who became well known for his humor. During World War I a woman noticed his 6 foot 4, 300 pound frame and asked him why he was not “out at the Front”; to which he replied, “If you go round to the side, you will see that I am.” He once remarked that, “Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it.” This kind of whit earned him the respect of some, and the disdain of others.
Chesterton died on June 14, 1936 and his service was held at the Westminster Cathedral in London. His writings would go on to have a lasting effect. According to Philip Yancey, “C.S. Lewis looked to Chesterton as his spiritual father.” He is important for his influence and defense of the Christian faith during the tumultuous beginnings of the twentieth century, when modernism, communism, fascism, and Darwinism were all signs of the times. He saw the brokenness of humanity and professed Christ as the chief remedy. When The Times invited several eminent authors to write essays on the theme “What’s Wrong with the World?” Chesterton’s contribution took the form of a letter:
Dear Sirs, I am. Sincerely yours, G. K. Chesterton