The Box Never Existed

One of the things that G. K. Chesterton did (or rather, he decided) during his incredibly purpose-driven life is to de-compartmentalize things that the world continues to try keep separate.

In other words, he saw connections between things, ideas, and issues as opportunity. He was, in many ways, a polymath and generalist who spent most of his life learning as much as he could in as many different subjects as possible.

“Connecting things” was something he loved to do and he saw an opportunity for Christianity, in particular, to speak to everything that the world has to offer.

Government? He never really found a definitive spot in either the “right” or the “left” as we understand them today. Rather, he advocated for Christianity to speak to the power and influence of the government in people’s lives and sought to remind folks to stay ever-vigilant against the imperialistic tendencies that naturally begin to boil over in any government institution.

Family? He was very clear that “the home is larger inside than out” and that the family institution was not, contrary to popular opinion at the time, an obstacle or impediment to progress. The family could (should) be one of the most powerful forces for good, timeless.

Economics? Chesterton was known to promote an economic theory of distributism, which asserts that most of the world’s productive assets should be widely owned instead of concentrated and that Christianity had a distinct pathway, based on its core principles (it’s rooted in Catholic social teaching), to promote this type of inclusive (and somewhat radical) worldview.

Art? In Chesterton’s time, the creative and artistic world had rejected the modern audience, scorning them in the process. Chesterton instead wrote a biography on Charles Dickens that led to, essentially, a cultural reassessment of the author’s legacy and changed a once-ridiculed brand into a celebrated one. Dickens, as we all know, is now regarded as one of the great English literature authors of all time.

You see, to Chesterton, the world was so much bigger and richer than what any book or organization, theological or not, could put into a box.

The box, for him, never existed.

We should dream bigger. Believe bigger. Hope for an even bigger, better, and more integrated life, for all of us.

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