by G.K. Chesterton
“In 1920, H.G. Wells wrote a two-volume work which became a best-seller, The Outline of History. . . Why not engage the same subject matter Wells had taken up, but from a perspective fully appreciative of the unique place Christianity held in human history? The result is The Everlasting Man." ~From Kevin Belmonte's Introduction
In The Everlasting Man, a humorous defense of Christianity which inspired C.S. Lewis, Chesterton shows that once man is reduced to animal, history becomes utterly meaningless. What truly gives man his dignity is the fact that he is so different from the beasts. What makes Christianity so different is that it tells of the story of the true man, the final man, the everlasting man, who came down in history and transformed it.
The Everlasting Man is a two-part history of civilization, Christ, and Christianity, by G. K. Chesterton. Originally published in 1925, it is to some extent a deliberate rebuttal of H. G. Wells' Outline of History, disputing Wells' portrayals of human life and civilization as a seamless development from animal life and of Jesus Christ as merely another charismatic figure. Whereas Orthodoxy detailed Chesterton's own spiritual journey, in this book he tries to illustrate the spiritual journey of humanity, or at least of Western civilization.
Considered to be Chesteron's finest work, he traces evolution not in terms of biology, but in terms of civilization. Chesteron's insights will leave the reader to wonder if the assertions of materialist history are true, or if we are overlooking another aspect of civilization, in which humanity has always been evolved. Beginning with primordial life in the cave, Chesterton questions if our ancestors were mere primitives, or if humans were effectively 'hard wired' from the beginning to be a spiritual animal. Chesterton will take the reader on a lightening tour through Ancient Greece, Rome and the Middle East in order to examine Christianity and polytheistic movements which existed side by side. The Everlasting Man is not only of value to the Christian reader, but also adherents of polytheism, as it also provides
“This sketch of the human story began in a cave; the cave which popular science associates with the cave-man and in which practical discovery has really found archaic drawings of animals. The second half of human history, which was like a new creation of the world, also begins in a cave . . . It was here that a homeless couple had crept underground with the cattle when the doors of the crowded caravanserai had been shut in their faces. And it was here beneath the very feet of the passers-by, in a cellar under the very floor of the world, that Jesus Christ was born.” ~ From The Everlasting Man
About the Authors
G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) was a humorous Engish writer. His most famous books include Orthodoxy, the Father Brown series, and The Man Who Was Thursday.
Kevin Belmonte is the author of William Wilberforce: A Hero for Humanity and Miraculous: A Fascinating History of Signs, Wonders, and Miracles. He was the lead historical consultant for the film, Amazing Grace.