Father Brown

Everywhere I go I hear Christians whinging about social justice: why don’t other Christians live out their faith? Where are the practical works to benefit the Poor and Oppressed?
I have never met a single one of these people who was willing to don a cape and undies and actually go out there and Fight Crime for Jesus.
Why not?
BECAUSE THEY ARE SOFT.

Yes.
I am calling out to anyone who is really ready to Reveal the Wrath of God against All Unrighteousness. You know what I’m talking about – solving Mysteries, battling Minions, and Old Time Religion.
It shall be known as…
“The League of Righteousness” (hereafter as “The League”).

It was G. K. Chesterton got me thinking along these lines. I occasionally read his Father Brown stories when I’m wrung out and need to relax. Father Brown is a small, unremarkable-looking, catholic-priest-version of Sherlock Holmes. Along with his penchant for Solving Mysteries and Fighting Crime, he never passes on a good opportunity to make profound theological speeches (I like to think of it as his ‘Secret Power’). Father Brown Cover

This one is a corker (admittedly the exegesis is a little shonky):

‘I know the Unknown God,’ said the little priest, with an unconscious grandeur of certitude that stood up like a granite tower. ‘I know his name; it is Satan. The true God was made flesh and dwelt among us. And I say to you, wherever you find men ruled merely by mystery, it is the mystery of iniquity. If the devil tells you something is too fearful to look at, look at it. If he says something too terrible to hear, hear it. If you think some truth unbearable, bear it.
(Chesterton, “The Purple Wig” in The Wisdom of Father Brown, 181)

Doesn’t that get you in the mood for Solving Mysteries?

Here is a task for theologians, philosophers, and scientists:
to tear down false mystifications in the light of The Mystery Made Known.

“We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor 10:5 HCSB)

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4 thoughts on “Father Brown

  1. I like this one, from The Curse of the Golden Cross:

    ‘I’m exactly in the position of the man who said, “I can believe the impossible, but not the improbable.”’
    ‘That’s what you call a paradox, isn’t it?’ asked [Tarrant].
    ‘It’s what I call common sense, properly understood,’ replied Father Brown. ‘It really is more natural to believe a preternatural story, that deals with things we don’t understand, than a natural story that contradicts things we do understand.’

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  2. Father Brown is fantastic! When I was about ten the head teacher of maths at my Dad's school gave him the FB Omnibus. We read it repeatedly. I loved the way Father Brown always applied a deep understanding of human nature to cut through the superficial appearance of things and crack the puzzle.
    You can count me in on 'The League' – if one can choose to join. I would have thought members would be called into the fray from exotic locations by mysterious carrier pigeon messages – but then that might not be practical.

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