I used to have all of Kipling’s The God’s of the Copybook Headings memorized. And I taught a class on Chesterton’s Orthodoxy. I’d no idea that Chesterton and Kipling were ever in the same room. What a remarkable moment.
Personalities like Chesterton, C.S. Lewis and Kipling are gone now in the Christian world. Or at least they are unknown. Christian thinking is dominated by Americans who choose simplicity over reason. We like thinkers who pick an enemy and attack them. Lost is the humor, a winsome nature and even a robust intellectualism. The same figures who demant “thought” are hardly thinking at all, and instead attack those who do because they won’t submit to their linear, black-and-white view of life.
So for me this morning’s sermon, that of Cherston introducing Kipling, is a bit sad. How fun would it have been to be there.
It’s not all lost, though. We’ve made some improvements. I mean our leaders actually get to the point. We worship the point, in fact. We worship the sum of numbers rather than enjoy calculating them. Anyway, that to say Chesterton gets delightfully long winded. It’s like a sophisticated “best man’s toast” at a wedding. He introduces somebody by talking endlessly about himself. Love it.