I’m Sick and Tired of Lewis and Chesterton

Twice in the past week, I thought I’d said something relatively clever only to have someone say, “It’s funny that you say that: I was reading something that C. S. Lewis wrote about that very idea not long ago . . . .” If it’s not Lewis, it’s G. K. Chesterton: “Chesterton, of course, pointed out that . . . .” I swear, I am sick to death of pulling myself up onto a new limb of thinking only to find one of those two guys sitting there smiling smugly.

First, are those guys still writing books and essays from beyond the grave? I could swear that their “complete works” have not been completed. Every time I turn around, I find something else they wrote that I have somehow missed. I can only imagine what it would be like if they had blogged in addition to publishing their longer works.

Second, I am constantly reminded that the Preacher of Ecclesiastes was right when he reminded us, “Is there anything whereof it may be said, See, this is new? It hath been already of old time, which was before us” (1:10). For some reason, most of us believe our thoughts to be immensely wiser or more innovative than those of past thinker. I suppose I could call this epiphany “chronological snobbery,” an arrogant belief that what we think now is far superior to what the ancients had thought. No . . . wait a minute . . . blast that C. S. Lewis!

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