In preparation to teach through the book of Romans I’ve been reading through G.K. Chesterton’s wonderful book, The Everlasting Man. Because Paul’s epistle sets forth an inspired defense of the Christian faith, I felt that Chesterton’s work would be beneficial for illustrative purposes. The following is an excerpt from Everlasting Man that focuses on the fact that many who have grown up around Christianity often have a disdain for it that impairs their ability to objectively evaluate the truth claims made by the gospel:
“Now the best relation to our spiritual home is to be near enough to love it. But the next best is to be far enough away not to hate it. It is the contention of these pages that while the best judge of Christianity is a Christian, the next best judge would be something more like a Confucian.
The worst judge of all is the man now most ready with his judgements; the ill-educated Christian turning gradually into the ill-tempered agnostic, entangled in the end of a feud of which he never understood the beginning, blighted with a sort of hereditary boredom with he knows not what, and already weary of hearing what he has never heard. He does not judge Christianity calmly as a Confucian would; he does not judge it as he would judge Confucianism…
In other words, I recommend these critics to try to do as much justice to Christian saints as if they were Pagan sages.”