Dale Ahlquist on the Chesterton Option

Dale Ahlquist on the Chesterton Option June 2, 2017

Like Chesterton, he pays generous compliment to Rod Dreher’s Benedict Option before (like me) disagreeing with it as fundamentally a theology of retreat and abandonment of the field instead what the gospel commands: the transformation of the world in Christ.

What does he recommend instead?

Work to become your own employer rather than someone else’s employee. Whenever you can, buy local. Start your own school with like-minded parents who understand that there is nothing more important than the souls of our children. Join a health care cost-sharing cooperative rather giving your money to a health insurance conglomerate that is officed in a glass skyscraper. Join a local credit union instead of a bank. Give part of your money to the poor and give them the dignity of spending it themselves rather than spending it for them.

Create your own entertainment rather than paying for the paltry product pedaled by the entertainment industry. Make your own art. Write poems. Poems that rhyme. Read books. Read old books. Read Chesterton.

Grow things. If you cannot grow vegetables or flowers, at least grow children.

Every day should include a family meal where we linger long at the table. Every day should include a time of family prayer. Every day you should make a time of silence for yourself. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. Keep yourself holy. Break the conventions, keep the commandments.

Look at everything as if you are seeing it for the first time. Always be thankful. Always think about God. And if you are always thankful, you always will think about God. And you will be happy.

Chesterton says, The aim of human polity is human happiness . . . There is no obligation on us to be richer, or busier, or more efficient, or more productive, or progressive, or in any way worldlier or wealthier if it does not make us happier.

And as I said before: Read Chesterton.

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