Considered by many to be Chesterton’s greatest masterpiece of all his writings, this is his whole view of world history as informed by the Incarnation. Beginning with the origin of man and the various religious attitudes throughout history, Chesterton shows how the fulfillment of all of man’s desires takes place in the person of Christ and in Christ’s Church.
Chesterton propounds the thesis 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.” And with all the brilliance and devastating irony, so characteristic of his best writing, Chesterton gleefully and tempestuously tears to shreds that “very stale formula” and triumphantly proclaims in vivid language the glory and unanswerable logic of that very striking fact. Here is the genius of Chesterton at its delightful best.
One of Chesterton’s greatest and most important books, The Everlasting Man is written as a sort of rebuttal to H.G. Wells’ Outline of History, this is Chesterton’s view of history, presented in two parts: “On The Creature Called Man,” and “On The Man Called Christ,” arguing that the central character in history is Christ, and that no explanation other than the Christian one makes as much sense. When the book was first published, The Times Literary Supplement wrote: “Mr. Chesterton has a quite unusual power of seeing the obvious, and it is quite true that many learned men seem to have lost that power. There are many modern theories whose origins we can understand only on the hypothesis that their authors have spent their whole live in one room.”