What’s Wrong with the World?

Erik Cooper —  July 1, 2014 — Leave a comment

There’s a famous story attributed to English writer and theologian, G.K. Chesterton, from the early 20th Century. The Times of London was planning a cover story titled “What is Wrong with the World?” and sent requests to Chesterton and other well-known philosophers of the day asking how they would answer this deep question.

In quintessential Chesterton fashion, he replied with the shortest (and yet most profound) answer in journalism history:

Dear sirs,

I am.


G.K. Chesterton


(Photo credit: The Noble Heart)

Amidst the heated debate about the denigration of our culture and the seemingly daily assault on judeo-christian values, it was good for me to hear this old story once again. I don’t know about you, but my gut reaction to the question, “what’s wrong with the world?” is simple:

They are.

You know who they are. The idiots. The rebels. The sinners. Them.

That’s where Chesterton’s pithy letter gives me pause.

Idiot, rebel, sinner describes me without the Gospel. Me without Jesus.

Last time I checked, the school of grace doesn’t hold graduations (at least not in this lifetime). I need to be drenched again and again in its healing and renewing power every single day. Except for Christ, I am what’s wrong with the world.

So as we stand up for morality, as we defend our religious freedoms, as we fight for what the Bible says is right and wrong (and yes, there is right and wrong), let’s do it as recipients of a gift. It will soothe our tone, it will humble our position, and it might even convince some people Jesus is who we know Him to be…

the only thing that’s right with the world.

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