From a recent Catholic News Agency piece about Dale Ahlquist's new book, The Complete Thinker: The Marvelous Mind of G.K. Chesterton:
The author of a new book on G.K. Chesterton says the 20th-century author and Catholic convert is a model for joyful evangelization who can help unify the fractured modern worldview.
“Chesterton is the model evangelist,” American Chesterton Society President Dale Ahlquist told CNA Oct. 18. He had a way to connect with “virtually any kind of audience.”
“That’s one of the great weaknesses of our world: you have some people who care only about truth and doctrine, others who care only about charity and pity, and they don’t let the two combine with each other. Chesterton always combines the two.”
Ahlquist’s new book, “The Complete Thinker: The Marvelous Mind of G.K. Chesterton,” was released this October (Ignatius Press, $17.95).
Chesterton lived from 1874 to 1936. Under the influence of his wife Frances, he became a devout Anglican Christian. He converted to Catholicism in 1922.
He wrote literary essays, novels, poetry, plays, philosophical works and Christian apologetics. His short stories include the Father Brown mystery series. He enjoys a reputation as a witty writer with a love of finding truth in apparent paradox. He influenced the thinking of many converts and writers.
“He wrote about everything,” Ahlquist said. “He has this amazing, wide reach.”
Ahlquist said his new book is intended to help get the reader “inside of Chesterton’s head.” He aims to help people “think in a consistent way” across disciplines and modes of life.
“The modern world, Chesterton points out, has become one wild divorce court where everything has been separated from everything else,” he explained.
“We have separated the arts from the sciences and the humanities from the sciences. We have separated religion from politics and religion from economics. We expect all these things to operate in their own watertight compartments, and yet we don’t see how anything fits together anymore.”