Need the Perfect CHRISTMAS PRESENT?

Need the perfect Christmas present for your book-loving friends and relatives?  Look no further. Have I got some answers for you!  All are books that I can recommend highly with the greatest confidence, having, er, written them myself.

BethlehemStar2

We lead off with my newest tome, literally hot off the press: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016).  What is the theology that lies behind the Narnia Books, the Space Trilogy, and the popular apologetics?  What are its strengths and weaknesses as a guide to biblical truth?  Where can we follow Lewis and where do we need to withhold our judgment or even dissent?  Why is he in the final analysis the great theologian of wholeness?  These are the questions this book will answer from the entire body of Lewis’s work.  Order from the publisher or from Amazon.

Book-CSLTheology-Cover

 

The other perfect gift for a fan of C. S. Lewis or J. R. R. Tolkien:  Mere Humanity: G. K. chesterton, C. S. Lewis, and J. R. R. Tolkien on the Human Condition (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2006).  What a piece of work is a man (or woman)?  I set forth the strong biblical answer to that question given by these three Christian writers in their expository works, and then show how they incarnated in in their fiction.  In Lewis’s Space Trilogy you have hrossa, seroni, pfiffltriggi, and the Green Lady of Perelandra–rational and spiritual but non-human species that serve as foils to set off, by both their similarities and their differences to us, the essential characteristics of true human nature.  (Tor and Tinidril on Perelandra are humanoid, but not human, not being descended from Adam and Eve.)  In the Narnia books, Talking Beasts perform the same function.  In Tolkien’s Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, elves, dwarves, and wizards play that role.  In the book as a whole you get both a strong defense of the biblical view of humanity that has traction against various modernist and post-modernist reductionisms, and also interesting explications of the popular fiction from that standpoint.  $14.99.  Order from the publisher or on Amazon.

C. S. Lewis
C. S. Lewis

Perfect gift for a lover of literature in general, especially high-school kids studying literature in home school or their parents, or those thinking of majoring in English in college and needing a biblical place to stand against the sterile winds of secularist literary theory in our day:  Inklings of Reality: Essays toward a Christian Philosophy of Letters, 2nd ed. (Lynchburg: Lantern Hollow Press, 2012).  Christians are a “people of the Book.”  What does this say about them and the place reading should have in their lives?  What should Christians read?  How?  Why?  Explore such questions as you watch some of the finest Christian minds wrestle with them through history.  Lewis and Tolkien and the other Inklings are not the primary focus of this book, but they play a major role in it–the pun in the title was made with benevolence aforethought.  $15.00.  Order from https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/.

Inklings of Reality Donald Williams cover

Perfect gift for a lover of poetry:  Stars through the Clouds: The Collected Poetry of Donald T. Williams (Lynchburg: Lantern Hollow Press, 2011).   Jim Prothero says, “Williams has returned poetry  to the writing of poetry.  Here you will find new life breathed into the great forms that graced English verse for centuries.  Owen Barfield insisted that poetry must cause the reader to undergo ‘a felt change of consciousness.’  That’s a tall order, but Don Williams achieves it.  Someone said reading C. S. Lewis ’caused one to grow in sanity.’  I find very few other authors of whom that may be said: tolkien, L’Engle, Frost–not many more.  But it can be said of the poetry of Donald Williams.”   $15.00.  Order from https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/.

Stars Through the Clouds

Perfect gift for a person interested in theology, philosophy, and apologetics:  Reflections from Plato’s Cave: Essays in Evangelical Philosophy (Lynchburg: Lantern Hollow Press, 2012).  From the introduction:  “Francis Schaeffer was right: In the Post-Christian world, lay men and women can no longer afford to remain ignorant of critical issues and questions that used to be the domain only of philosophy majors.  The biblical world view can no longer be taken for granted, even by Christians.  If we do not think in terms of world view, that is, think philosophically, we will be able neither to discern the biblical world view, nor to retain it, nor to disciple others in it, nor to communicate it to non-Christians.  Not only is the unexamined life not worth living, in is not even possible any more for  those who wish to be faithful Christians and faithful witnesses for Christ.”  $15.00.  Order from https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/.

Interested in the case for God? For more on the Christian world view, check out Dr. Williams' book REFLECTIONS FROM PLATO'S CAVE, in the Lantern Hollow E-store.

In all these books I have tried to follow C. S. Lewis’s example and write in such a way that I combine substance and serious wrestling with significant issues with a writing style that is approachable for people who are not necessarily experts in those fields.  If I have succeeded only a little in that, then I can safely paraphrase Emperor Palpatine:  “You want them, don’t you.”  Yes, you do.

Need the Perfect CHRISTMAS PRESENT?

Need the perfect Christmas present for your book-loving friends and relatives?  Look no further.  Have I got some answers for you!  All are books that I can recommend highly with the greatest confidence, having, er, written them myself.

BethlehemStar2
Perfect gift for a fan of C. S. Lewis or J. R. R. Tolkien:  Mere Humanity: G. K. chesterton, C. S. Lewis, and J. R. R. Tolkien on the Human Condition (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2006).  What a piece of work is a man (or woman)?  I set forth the strong biblical answer to that question given by these three Christian writers in their expository works, and then show how they incarnated in in their fiction.  In Lewis’s Space Trilogy you have hrossa, seroni, pfiffltriggi, and the Green Lady of Perelandra–rational and spiritual but non-human species that serve as foils to set off, by both their similarities and their differences to us, the essential characteristics of true human nature.  (Tor and Tinidril on Perelandra are humanoid, but not human, not being descended from Adam and Eve.)  In the Narnia books, Talking Beasts perform the same function.  In Tolkien’s Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, elves, dwarves, and wizards play that role.  In the book as a whole you get both a strong defense of the biblical view of humanity that has traction against various modernist and pos-modernist reductionisms, and also interesting explications of the popular fiction from that standpoint.  $14.99.  Order from the publisher or on Amazon.

C. S. Lewis
C. S. Lewis

Perfect gift for a lover of literature in general, especially high-school kids studying literature in home school or their parents, or those thinking of majoring in English in college and needing a biblical place to stand against the sterile winds of secularist literary theory in our day:  Inklings of Reality: Essays toward a Christian Philosophy of Letters, 2nd ed. (Lynchburg: Lantern Hollow Press, 2012).  Christians are a “people of the Book.”  What does this say about them and the place reading should have in their lives?  What should Christians read?  How?  Why?  Explore such questions as you watch some of the finest Christian minds wrestle with them through history.  Lewis and Tolkien and the other Inklings are not the primary focus of this book, but they play a major role in it–the pun in the title was made with benevolence aforethought.  $15.00.  Order from https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/.

Inklings of Reality Donald Williams cover

Perfect gift for a lover of poetry:  Stars through the Clouds: The Collected Poetry of Donald T. Williams (Lynchburg: Lantern Hollow Press, 2011).   Jim Prothero says, “Williams has returned poetry  to the writing of poetry.  Here you will find new life breathed into the great forms that graced English verse for centuries.  Owen Barfield insisted that poetry must cause the reader to undergo ‘a felt change of consciousness.’  That’s a tall order, but Don Williams achieves it.  Someone said reading C. S. Lewis ’caused one to grow in sanity.’  I find very few other authors of whom that may be said: tolkien, L’Engle, Frost–not many more.  But it can be said of the poetry of Donald Williams.”   $15.00.  Order from https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/.

Stars Through the Clouds

Perfect gift for a person interested in theology, philosophy, and apologetics:  Reflections from Plato’s Cave: Essays in Evangelical Philosophy (Lynchburg: Lantern Hollow Press, 2012).  From the introduction:  “Francis Schaeffer was right: In the Post-Christian world, lay men and women can no longer afford to remain ignorant of critical issues and questions that used to be the domain only of philosophy majors.  The biblical world view can no longer be taken for granted, even by Christians.  If we do not think in terms of world view, that is, think philosophically, we will be able neither to discern the biblical world view, nor to retain it, nor to disciple others in it, nor to communicate it to non-Christians.  Not only is the unexamined life not worth living, in is not even possible any more for  those who wish to be faithful Christians and faithful witnesses for Christ.”  $15.00.  Order from https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/.

Interested in the case for God? For more on the Christian world view, check out Dr. Williams' book REFLECTIONS FROM PLATO'S CAVE, in the Lantern Hollow E-store.

In all these books I have tried to follow C. S. Lewis’s example and write in such a way that I combine substance and serious wrestling with significant issues with a writing style that is approachable for people who are not necessarily experts in those fields.  If I have succeeded only a little in that, then I can safely paraphrase Emperor Palpatine:  “You want them, don’t you.”  Yes, you do.

WHY EVANGELICALS CAN’T WRITE, Part 1

WHY EVANGELICALS CAN’T WRITE,
And How Flannery O’Connor Can Help Us Learn Better

Donald T. Williams, PhD

A version of this essay appeared as “Writers Cramped: Three Things Evangelical Authors Can Learn from Flannery O’Connor,” Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity 20:7 (Sept., 2007): 15-18. A fuller version appears in Inklings of Reality: Essays toward a Christian Philosophy of Letters, 2nd ed., revised & expanded (Lynchburg: Lantern Hollow Press, 2012).

C. S. Lewis’s writing desk. (He could write!)

There is a certain irony in the fact that I, an Evangelical, am now offering to you words I wrote down about why Evangelicals can’t write. Whether I am the exception that proves the rule, Posterity will have to judge (if the publishing industry ever offers it the opportunity). At the very least, the ironic presence of this essay on your screen is an opportunity for exegesis. It suggests that my title is not to be taken literally. Evangelicals obviously do write, and publish, reams upon reams of prose. What they have not tended to write is anything recognized as having literary value by the literary world.

 
What makes this failure remarkable is that our Protestant forebears include a numer of people who did: Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, John Donne, George Herbert, John Milton, and John Bunyan, to mention just a few. Equally remarkable is that near-contemporary conservative Christians–sometimes quite evangelical and even evangelistic, though not “Evangelicals”–have often done so. G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, Dorothy L. Sayers, T. S. Eliot, Graham Greene, Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, Walker Percy, Flannery O’Connor, Madeline L’Engle, and Annie Dillard are all recognized as important literary figures even by people who do not share their Christian commitment. Where is the American Evangelical who can make such a claim?

G. K. Chesterton
G. K. Chesterton

The people I have mentioned who are both great writers and great Christians are all from liturgical churches: Roman Catholic, Anglican/Episcopal, Orthodox. (Dillard, who started out as a Presbyterian, has recently converted to Catholicism.) The closest thing Evangelicalism has to a name that could rank with these is probably Walter Wangerin, Jr., who is not really a “mainstream” Evangelical but a Lutheran–again, from a liturgical tradition. Try to think of a Baptist (of any stripe), a Free or Wesleyan Methodist or a Nazarene, a conservative Presbyterian (OPC or PCA), a Plymouth Brother, a member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, a Pentecostal, or a member of an independent Bible church who belongs in that company. While there may be one reading these words right now who is destined to join them, and to whom this rhetorical gambit is being grossly unfair, our experience up to now has been such that the mind is simply unable to suspend its disbelief and imagine any such thing. Instead, we get “Left Behind.” In more ways than one.

J. R. R. Tolkien
J. R. R. Tolkien

Why? Is there anything we can do about it? Is there anything we can do about it without compromising our commitment to our Evangelical distinctives? What are those Evangelical distinctives anyway?

 
These are the questions I will try to wrestle with–I won’t promise to answer–in this two-part essay. I do not want to overstate the case. No doubt someone could point out minor figures who are, or who have the potential to be, exceptions to the generalization which is my premise. I should be glad to hear of them, but as we are talking about general trends, they hardly overturn that premise. The liturgical churches foster a lot of schlock and kitsch of their own; but they are also communities that are capable of fostering and nurturing great writers and great writing. So far, we Evangelicals have not. In fact, one could make a case that we positively discourage “literary” writing as being of questionable spiritual value. I am just crazy enough to want to change that state of affairs.

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Too often people like Thomas Howard or Sheldon Vanauken have migrated Romeward (or, like Franky Schaeffer, at one point, to Byzantium), partly because their commitment to serious art could find no home in Evangelicalism. Some of them would deny that this was the major reason, but we would be naïve to think that it was not a factor. I want to say forthrightly that I do not see such migrations as a viable solution. For myself, I would define an Evangelical as a person committed to Nicene and Chalcedonian orthodoxy, to a high view of the authority of Scripture, to the Reformation doctrine of justification by faith alone, and to the necessity of personal faith in Christ (and therefore the importance for most people of a personal conversion experience, as long as we do not stereotype it) for salvation. If we must really give up any of that in order to learn to nurture serious artists and writers, then Evangelicals are prepared to let art and literature perish from the earth! But I cannot believe that the God who begot the incarnate Logos and whose Spirit inspired the Gospels desires, much less requires, any such thing. So let us find another way, and ask, “What can we learn from these great Christian writers that we, as Evangelicals, can apply in our own discipling communities?”

Let me attempt a beginning to an answer by examining one useful example: Flannery O’Connor.  What she can teach us will be our topic next week.

______________________________________________________________________________

Donald T. Willliams (BA, Taylor University, M.Div., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, PhD, University of Georgia) is R. A. Forrest Scholar at Toccoa Falls College in the Hills of N.E. Georgia. His books include Mere Humanity: G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, and J. R. R. Tolkien on the Human Condition (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2006), Stars through the Clouds: The Collected Poetry of Donald T. Williams (Lynchburg: Lantern Hollow Press, 2011), Inklings of Reality: Essays toward a Christian Philosophy of Letters, 2nd ed., revised & expanded (Lantern Hollow, 2012), and Reflections from Plato’s Cave: Essays in Evangelical Philosophy (Lantern Hollow, 2012).

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Order Stars through the Clouds ($15.00), Inklings of Reality ($15.00) or Reflections from Plato’s Cave ($15.00) at https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/.

The Christmas Story: The King is on the Move

Merry Christmas to everyone from us at Lantern Hollow Press!

Today is a day of traditions in which each of us with our families and friends celebrate this day in whatever way we love most.  In my experience, Christmas is the cheeriest of holidays, and the undercurrent of joy (be it from the presents or, one hopes, from a much deeper source) lends such a lovely atmosphere to the festivities.

I’m a huge fan of traditions.  The familiarity and camaraderie of taking part in a family tradition is part of what makes the holiday so special.  My family normally enjoys a spread of specially made Christmas cookies on Christmas Eve while traditional carols play.  We often watch a Christmas movie or two before going to bed.  Most people seem to have a favorite Christmas film or book.  Often it’s a funny one; sometimes it’s a sweet one; other times it’s a solemn one.  My family swings pretty far in both directions.  We might watch The Grinch or we might watch The Nativity.  It depends on the mood, really.  My friend and I have a tradition of watching the strange and fantastic Hogfather, which involves Death taking over for the Santa figure when he goes missing.  It’s… much more festive than it sounds.

I have to say, though, that my favorite Christmas story and film of late has been The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Perhaps this is somewhat unconventional.  To me, though, it is the perfect Christmas book and movie, and not just because of my slightly obsessive fixation with the idea of finding a magical land in the back of my wardrobe (although I haven’t given up on that just yet).

winter lamp post narniaAnyone who has read the book or seen the film knows that there are some obvious associations with Christmas that can be made in this story. The children stumble through a wardrobe’s back into a winter wonderland.  Later on in the story, they meet Father Christmas himself and receive gifts.  It has a Christmasy feeling to it for a good portion of the story. As the story goes on, though, the snow melts, the lion appears, and we see an enactment of the Easter story.  So is this more a Christmas story or an Easter one?

As far as I am concerned, they are the same story.  The Advent heralds the arrival of Christ, our Saviour.  His coming is defined not just as the Incarnation of God in Man, but as a mission of salvation.  The Easter story is tied to the Advent and when we celebrate Christmas, we are celebrating them both.

And so, to me, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is the perfect Christmas story.  It reflects Christ’s coming in its entirety, the celebration of His arrival along with the powerful and ultimate sacrifice that He makes on our behalf.  It is all wrapped into one great tale.

aslan narnia snow winter
Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.

When we celebrate Christmas, we are often struck by the profound mystery of Christ born as an infant.  An infinite God is contained in the most helpless of human forms.  This is something that Lewis’s first Narnia book lacks.  Aslan comes as a great and majestic lion, fully grown, a mighty and terrifying presence ready for battle against the enemy.  This is not the babe in the manger that we so often see in nativity scenes.

Despite this, or even because of it, Aslan is still a powerful representation of the coming of Christ because the great lion represents the drama and awe of the Incarnation rather than its literal enactment. We see in the lion what the Advent means: the King has come. Just as Christ’s coming was prophesied for centuries, when whispers of Aslan’s arrival begin to spread, there is a breathless tremble of fear and joy.  His return heralds salvation. He comes to ransom a captive nation who longingly awaits his arrival.

This is so wonderfully carried out in Lewis’s book through the imagery of winter’s spell breaking before the lion.  Aslan is on the move.  The world itself is reborn before him in a beautiful portrayal of redemption.  His presence has a massive impact from the moment that he comes.  This reflects the infinitely more lovely and awesome arrival of Christ, even as an infant, and what that means for our fallen world.  Nothing less than a heavenly choir celebrated His coming and while His surroundings were lowly and simple, there is nothing simple or lowly about the Incarnate Word moving within time and space.  G.K. Chesterton’s poem Gloria in Profundis focuses on this mighty “fall” of God to earth, how He lowers Himself and through that lowering, demonstrates His power all the more.

There has fallen on earth for a token
A god too great for the sky.
He has burst out of all things and broken
The bounds of eternity:
Into time and the terminal land

stock-footage-seamless-loop-features-the-bethlehem-christmas-nativity-star-with-hundreds-of-twinkling-stars-in-aAt Bethlehem, the angels sang “good will to those on whom His favor rests.”  We who love Christ know that while He is not “safe”, He is “good,” and so if we are on His side, His coming is not a source of terror, but awe.  His enemies have no such comfort.  They know that the Lion is neither safe nor tame and His coming is something to fear. The lion Aslan so effectively represents what Christ’s coming means because he is shown as someone to be both feared and loved.  He is so utterly gentle and loving toward the children, even Edmund (or perhaps especially Edmund), but it is impossible to forget that this is a lion and a king and even the White Witch trembled before him.

When Aslan moved, the children in Narnia saw snow melting and flowers blooming; the witch saw her impending destruction.

When Christ was born, the shepherds heard angels sing and a baby cry; the devil heard a lion’s roar.

Sometimes we forget how unbearably awesome this story is that we are celebrating at Christmas.  Lucy says in The Last Battle that “a stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world.” How do we even begin to comprehend this?  This is a story worth telling a thousand times over in a thousand different ways, a story of evil and hopelessness and the quiet and glorious coming of light, a story in which a hero’s sacrifice saves millions.  As ever-aspiring subcreators, we try to tell this story over and over again without ever coming close to doing it justice.  C.S. Lewis’s retelling is a fantasy and it is not meant to be a straightforward allegory, but it captures the essence of what makes the Advent extraordinary — the coming of a King, who is limitless in being and might, into the lowliest and most limiting of circumstances in order to fight a battle for us that we could never hope to win.  And win, He did.

Glory to God in the Lowest
The spout of the stars in spate-
Where thunderbolt thinks to be slowest
And the lightning fears to be late:
As men dive for sunken gem
Pursuing, we hunt and hound it,
The fallen star has found it
In the cavern of Bethlehem.

~ G.K. Chesterton

That Crucial Subtitle: G. K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday

For God speaks in one way,

And in two, though man does not perceive it.

In a dream, in a vision of the night,

When deep sleep falls on men,

While they slumber on their beds,

Then he opens the ears of men

And terrifies them with warnings . . .[1]

It perplexed G. K. Chesterton no end that nobody seemed to notice The Man Who Was Thursday’s subtitle: “A Nightmare.”  It especially bemused him because, as he said in his introduction to a 1926 stage adaptation of Thursday, “that sub-title is perhaps the only true and reliable statement in the book.”

Like so many statements Chesterton uttered, his statement about Thursday’s subtitle at first looks like hyperbole but, on closer inspection, turns out to be unvarnished truth.  “Nightmare” may not be a literary genre unto itself, but in Thursday Chesterton almost made it one.  The particular kind of nightmare Chesterton wrote in Thursday’s pages was the kind where the ground constantly shifts underfoot, where the vivid scenery never stays put – where little, if anything, is as it appears.  Reading Thursday is a little like walking through a house that’s equal parts madhouse, haunted house, and fun house.

The deceptive appearances and is-it-a-dream sleight of hand start on Thursday’s first page, with Chesterton’s description of Thursday’s opening set, a fictional bohemian London suburb called Saffron Park:

The place was not only pleasant, but perfect, if once he could regard it not as a deception but rather as a dream. Even if the people were not “artists,” the whole was nevertheless artistic.

After Saffron Park Thursday moves rapidly through a succession of bizarre sets, the speed of each succession heightening the story’s nightmarish quality.  A small dive that serves lobster and fine French champagne becomes a well-guarded underground bunker.  A fine morning for an al fresco breakfast on a balcony overlooking Leicester Square gives way to a wild afternoon chase through snowy London streets.  Whenever Chesterton has finished painting one scene he discards it and moves on to the next, and temporally, the sequence of the scenes makes no sense.

While the vivid scenes — by turns gloriously beautiful and utterly frightening — shift with an unnatural, unnerving rapidity, the story’s unlikely hero and title character, Gabriel Syme, gives the story some measure of consistency and coherence.  A self-styled “poet of law,” Syme is a bird so improbable that the story’s villain, Lucian Gregory, calls him a “contradiction in terms.”  Yet even for his general honesty and wholehearted embrace of his strange, paradoxical identity, Syme is not who he appears.  A “very mild-looking mortal” with “meek blue eyes,” who endures his adversary Gregory’s outbursts “with a certain submissive solemnity,” Syme is less meek than he looks.  From the beginning to the end of his wild adventures he proves to be a character of notable vigor and courage.  His courage holds him to his course in places where he can see no path before him, and allows him to face many terrors, even those that threaten to paralyze him by being so vastly inflated by his own poetic imagination:

 Utterly devoid of fear in physical dangers, he was a great deal too sensitive to the smell of spiritual evil. . . . . [L]ittle unmeaning things peeped out at him almost pruriently, and [had] given him a sense of drawing nearer and nearer to the headquarters of hell.

Syme’s mission is to infiltrate the Supreme Anarchist Council, which comprises seven members, each bearing the name of one of the days of the week, and each presenting to Syme a unique, vivid terror.  Each Councilman almost appears normal, but each has one unnerving feature – looking “as men of fashion and presence . . . with the additional twist given in a false and curved mirror.” To take three examples: Monday has an “even and classic face” with the “nightmare touch that his smile suddenly [goes] wrong,” all “on one side, going up in the right cheek and down in the left.”  Friday is one Professor de Worms, a man “in the last dissolution of senile decay,” such that Syme cannot “help thinking that whenever the man move[s] a leg or arm might fall off.”  Saturday is a medical doctor named Bull, in whom Syme sees “nothing whatever odd . . . except that he [wears] a pair of dark, almost opaque spectacles.”  The dark glasses take away “the key of the face.”  Because the enigma gives Syme’s imagination an open field in which to run wild, he fancies Dr. Bull the wickedest man on the Council.

Reviewing Thursday is a tricky task because suspense is important to the reader’s enjoyment of it.  So I have probably said about as much as can be said without stepping on Chesterton’s revelations and punchlines.  As in every nightmare, in Thursday the revelations come fast and furious – and, as in God’s climactic speech to Job, the punchlines come in gigantesque word-pictures rather than straight answers.  It isn’t giving away too much, though, to add that by story’s end, we find that Syme’s quest, like everything else in the story, has shifted: from a poet of law’s quest to defeat anarchy to a philosopher’s quest to learn the nature of reality.  That quest is bound up with getting an answer to one question: Who, or what, is Sunday?

By the time Sunday answers the question, it’s clear that Chesterton himself, no less than Syme, Syme’s friends, and the book’s readers, is following the bewildering parade of gaudy pictures, rather than leading it.


[1] Job 33:14-16 (ESV).