hits counter Creed or Chaos?: Why Christians Must Choose Either Dogma or Disaster; Or, Why It Really Does Matter What You Believe - Ebook PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Creed or Chaos?: Why Christians Must Choose Either Dogma or Disaster; Or, Why It Really Does Matter What You Believe

Availability: Ready to download

Today you hear it even from many well-meaning Christians: "It doesn't really matter what you believe, so long as you're sincere."But in Creed or Chaos?, author Dorothy Sayers demonstrates that such a "doctrineless Christianity" is not merely impossible; it's dangerous. Indeed, argues Sayers, if Christians don't steep themselves in doctrine, then the Christian Faith -- and Today you hear it even from many well-meaning Christians: "It doesn't really matter what you believe, so long as you're sincere."But in Creed or Chaos?, author Dorothy Sayers demonstrates that such a "doctrineless Christianity" is not merely impossible; it's dangerous. Indeed, argues Sayers, if Christians don't steep themselves in doctrine, then the Christian Faith -- and the world outside the Faith -- will descend into chaos. Each of us must choose: creed . . . or chaos! This book shows why there's no way you can avoid that choice -- and it helps you to choose wisely.


Compare

Today you hear it even from many well-meaning Christians: "It doesn't really matter what you believe, so long as you're sincere."But in Creed or Chaos?, author Dorothy Sayers demonstrates that such a "doctrineless Christianity" is not merely impossible; it's dangerous. Indeed, argues Sayers, if Christians don't steep themselves in doctrine, then the Christian Faith -- and Today you hear it even from many well-meaning Christians: "It doesn't really matter what you believe, so long as you're sincere."But in Creed or Chaos?, author Dorothy Sayers demonstrates that such a "doctrineless Christianity" is not merely impossible; it's dangerous. Indeed, argues Sayers, if Christians don't steep themselves in doctrine, then the Christian Faith -- and the world outside the Faith -- will descend into chaos. Each of us must choose: creed . . . or chaos! This book shows why there's no way you can avoid that choice -- and it helps you to choose wisely.

30 review for Creed or Chaos?: Why Christians Must Choose Either Dogma or Disaster; Or, Why It Really Does Matter What You Believe

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    My first foray into Dorothy Sanders' writings. This book consists of 7 essays on different aspects of Christianity and its centrality to all of human experience. I read particularly profound thoughts out loud to my husband, of which there were quite a few. Dorothy is similar to Lewis in terms of her writing style and topics (Christianity, dogma, ethics, economics, work, etc.), but she is a bit more caustic and biting. Her writing is still eerily relevant; many of the essays were written during W My first foray into Dorothy Sanders' writings. This book consists of 7 essays on different aspects of Christianity and its centrality to all of human experience. I read particularly profound thoughts out loud to my husband, of which there were quite a few. Dorothy is similar to Lewis in terms of her writing style and topics (Christianity, dogma, ethics, economics, work, etc.), but she is a bit more caustic and biting. Her writing is still eerily relevant; many of the essays were written during WWII but may as well have been written in 2018 for how well they describe today's culture and perception of Christianity. My favorite essay is probably, "The Dogma is the Drama" (especially the section set up as a [email protected] about the average Englishman's understanding of the pillars of Christianity), but all the essays were compelling in their own way. Highly recommend.

  2. 5 out of 5

    John Stanifer

    Nowadays, Dorothy Sayers is remembered primarily for her detective novels . . . but she was also a literary scholar who translated Dante's Divine Comedy. Even more interesting, Sayers was friends with C.S. Lewis and, like Lewis, she was invited to give sermons, lectures, and radio talks defending Christianity to the British public during WWII. Her series of plays about Christ drew a great deal of criticism for putting modern British slang into the mouths of Christ and the 12 disciples. But those Nowadays, Dorothy Sayers is remembered primarily for her detective novels . . . but she was also a literary scholar who translated Dante's Divine Comedy. Even more interesting, Sayers was friends with C.S. Lewis and, like Lewis, she was invited to give sermons, lectures, and radio talks defending Christianity to the British public during WWII. Her series of plays about Christ drew a great deal of criticism for putting modern British slang into the mouths of Christ and the 12 disciples. But those who got over the initial shock of the dialogue found the plays immensely moving. C.S. Lewis admitted to re-reading the text of the plays as part of his Advent devotions. "Creed or Chaos?" is a collection of several talks Sayers gave during the early '40s. The book was published in 1949, but the talks are allowed to stand as-is, which means we get references to the Nazis, Hitler, wartime rationing, and other time-sensitive references that allow us to get a strong feel for the context these talks were first presented in. The chapter titled "The Triumph of Easter" makes this worth the price of admission all by itself: "When Judas sinned, Jesus paid; He brought good out of evil, He led out triumph from the gates of hell and brought all mankind out with Him; but the suffering of Jesus and the sin of Judas remain a reality. God did not abolish the fact of evil: He transformed it. He did not stop the crucifixion: He rose from the dead" (12). I also found Sayers's remarks on the Christian attitude to work to be just as relevant today--if not more so--than they would have been to the English in the '40s: "The Church's approach to an intelligent carpenter is usually confined to exhorting him not to be drunk and disorderly in his leisure hours, and to come to church on Sundays. What the Church SHOULD be telling him is this: that the very first demand that his religion makes upon him is that he should make good tables. Church by all means, and decent forms of amusement, certainly--but what use is all that if in the very centre of his life and occupation he is insulting God with bad carpentry" (57)? I was fortunate enough to come across a first edition of Creed or Chaos? at a secondhand bookshop in Traverse City, and I'm so glad I bought it. Although I've been aware of the breadth of Sayers's work for years, this was the first of her books I've ever read. And what an introduction. I can't wait to read more of her religious writings, dive into the plays, her Dante translation, and some of her detective stories. If this is a sign of things to come (and I'm confident it is), she'll soon end right up there with Lewis in my estimation!!

  3. 4 out of 5

    D.N.

    Excellent. This is Sayers' best starting point for a new reader. The author views life in the context of the Incarnation, and stresses the need to make Christian dogma meaningful in ordinary life. In the essay “Creed or Chaos,” she points to the fatal error of allowing people to “suppose that Christianity is only a mode of feeling . . . [it is] hopeless to offer Christianity as a vague, idealistic aspiration: it is a hard, tough, exacting, and complex doctrine steeped in drastic and uncompromisi Excellent. This is Sayers' best starting point for a new reader. The author views life in the context of the Incarnation, and stresses the need to make Christian dogma meaningful in ordinary life. In the essay “Creed or Chaos,” she points to the fatal error of allowing people to “suppose that Christianity is only a mode of feeling . . . [it is] hopeless to offer Christianity as a vague, idealistic aspiration: it is a hard, tough, exacting, and complex doctrine steeped in drastic and uncompromising realism.”

  4. 5 out of 5

    Drew

    A short but potent classic.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Brantly

    I think she's better than Lewis.

  6. 4 out of 5

    David Johnston

    Dorothy Sayers (1893-1957) was one of the first women to be awarded a degree by Oxford University, she graduated with first class honors in French. She referred to herself as a scholar gone bad because she left academe and worked as an advertising copy-writer and as such was responsible for a successful national campaign for Colman's mustard. She is best known for her Lord Peter Wimsey detective novels. In Murder Must Advertise she has her intrepid detective go under cover working for an adverti Dorothy Sayers (1893-1957) was one of the first women to be awarded a degree by Oxford University, she graduated with first class honors in French. She referred to herself as a scholar gone bad because she left academe and worked as an advertising copy-writer and as such was responsible for a successful national campaign for Colman's mustard. She is best known for her Lord Peter Wimsey detective novels. In Murder Must Advertise she has her intrepid detective go under cover working for an advertising firm to solve the murder, putting her familiarity of such institutions to good use. She was an unofficial member of the Inklings and while she never met C.S. Lewis face to face, she was a frequent correspondent with that inveterate letter writer. I was a little underwhelmed with Creed or Chaos? I would have preferred a little more time spent on the Creeds and less on Chaos. The three great creeds of the Church are handily printed on the front and back flyleafs (flyleaves?); the Apostle's Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed. The need for creeds is fairly well articulated as is the usefulness of the heresies that brought them about. A heresy honestly come by is to be preferred to slothful indifference to the truth which leads to nihilism. She wrote these essays during the dark days of World War Two, about the same time C.S. Lewis was giving his radio lectures on Christianity which were later turned into the book Mere Christianity. It came as something of a shock to realize that perhaps the British people were as uninformed as to the content of Christianity then as modern American college students are now. I agree with Ms. Sayers that if you are going to attack something, you should at least know what it is you are attacking. Or if you are going to worship just for the sake of worship, there is a difficulty in arousing any sort of enthusiasm for the worship of nothing in particular. The problem is that creeds and dogma seem so boring, but when she wrote plays based on Christian dogma, she was praised by the college students of her time for her powers of invention by adding things that were so interesting and dramatic. They did not believe her when she told them that the dogma is the drama. Her explanation was not well received and they felt if there was anything attractive about Christian philosophy, she must have put it there herself. They were astonished and considered it revolutionary that the Church believed in any real sense that Christ was God or that in any real sense that Christ was true Man or that the doctrine of the Trinity could be considered to have any relation to fact or any bearing on psychological truth. At least the students of her day seemed willing to give her and the Christian faith a fair hearing. Nowadays she would have been laughed off campus and ridiculed if the ACLU hadn't already had her and her work banned.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Sexten

    A very well-written collection of essays, although some of them weren't full of the most original ideas. The best essays were the final two - "Why Work?" and "The Other Six Deadly Sins" - which contained, respectively, a great theology of creation, and criticism of society's good intentions that mask its avarice or other self-centered motives.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jason Carter

    I'm on a roll, re-reading particularly good books from my past which seem to grow antsy when gathering dust on the book shelves. Such is this treasure from Sayers. It is less a book per se than a collection of essays--seven short chapters packed with some of the most insightful, quotable observations on man, God, culture, economics, and the struggle to live together in society. They are arranged so well that one may easily forget that each "chapter" stands alone on its own right. Beginning with, " I'm on a roll, re-reading particularly good books from my past which seem to grow antsy when gathering dust on the book shelves. Such is this treasure from Sayers. It is less a book per se than a collection of essays--seven short chapters packed with some of the most insightful, quotable observations on man, God, culture, economics, and the struggle to live together in society. They are arranged so well that one may easily forget that each "chapter" stands alone on its own right. Beginning with, "The Greatest Drama ever Staged", Sayer takes issue with a moralistic Christianity emptied of dogma and drama--a weak-kneed religion. Other essays include: - The Triumph of Easter - Strong Meat - The Dogma is the Drama - Creed or Chaos? - Why Work? - The Other Six Deadly Sins Throughout, Sayers champions robust, unapologetic orthodoxy, strong meat fit for adults and not the pablum of the 1940s English church ladies. By seeking to be popular and non-confrontational, such religion becomes toothless in the face of vigorous onslaught from rabid secularism. Sayers casts a different vision, one resting not on pious platitudes but on the greatest story ever told: that of the God-man who enters history and takes upon himself the violence of his own creation, becoming both victim and hero. "If this is dull, then what, in Heaven's name, is worthy to be called exciting? The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused him of being a bore--on the contrary; they thought him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround Him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified him 'meek and mild,' and recommended Him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies."

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rev Ricky

    I love this book. It is spicy, a little feisty and straight down the middle of beautiful. Jesus criticized the Samaritans in John 4 for not knowing what they worshiped. I wonder if he would say the same to us today. As a matter of fact, it seems most christians worry more about how they worship than about what or who. Sayers believes not knowing who we worship leads to disaster. Our beliefs are the most important thing about us: "if Christian dogma is irrelevant to life, what in heaven's name is I love this book. It is spicy, a little feisty and straight down the middle of beautiful. Jesus criticized the Samaritans in John 4 for not knowing what they worshiped. I wonder if he would say the same to us today. As a matter of fact, it seems most christians worry more about how they worship than about what or who. Sayers believes not knowing who we worship leads to disaster. Our beliefs are the most important thing about us: "if Christian dogma is irrelevant to life, what in heaven's name is relevant?" (p. 35) She wrote during the second World War, and came to this terrifying conclusion. The Nazis were not being naughty, doing something bad though they knew better. Rather, they were acting out their beliefs. Humans have always acted out what they believe about God, themselves and creation. Dorothy Sayers calls us to examine those beliefs, to examine the ancient creeds of the church, to embrace the beautiful truths therein, and to practice them in our lives. I hope you will read this book and enjoy it as much as I did.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mark Enlow

    Brilliant read! Favorite quote which sums up the book: "The thing I'm here to say to you is this: that it is worse than useless for Christians to talk about the importance of Christian morality, unless they are prepared to take their stand upon the fundamentals of Christian theology. It is a lie to say that dogma does not matter; it matters enormously. It is fatal to let people suppose the Christianity is only a mode of feeling; it is vitally necessary to insist that it is first and foremost a r Brilliant read! Favorite quote which sums up the book: "The thing I'm here to say to you is this: that it is worse than useless for Christians to talk about the importance of Christian morality, unless they are prepared to take their stand upon the fundamentals of Christian theology. It is a lie to say that dogma does not matter; it matters enormously. It is fatal to let people suppose the Christianity is only a mode of feeling; it is vitally necessary to insist that it is first and foremost a rational explanation of the universe." The chapter "Why Work?" was also helpful in my continued personal revamping my understanding of vocation. I found the book very accessible and read it in two sittings.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Stangl

    Amazing and extremely relevant book of theology. It's both encouraging and depressing to realize that Western civilization was struggling with the exact same issues in the 1940s that we're dealing with today. Very easy to read and understand--possibly the least intimidating theology book I've ever encountered. A lot of the material overlaps with concepts discussed in "The Mind of the Maker" and "The Man Born to Be King", which can get repetitive, but also adds a nice level of coherence between h Amazing and extremely relevant book of theology. It's both encouraging and depressing to realize that Western civilization was struggling with the exact same issues in the 1940s that we're dealing with today. Very easy to read and understand--possibly the least intimidating theology book I've ever encountered. A lot of the material overlaps with concepts discussed in "The Mind of the Maker" and "The Man Born to Be King", which can get repetitive, but also adds a nice level of coherence between her theological works. I don't agree with all her points in the discussion of sacramental work, and several of the same points are repeated in multiple essays, but otherwise it's a nearly flawless defense of orthodox Christianity in a hostile world.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    This a series of lectures or articles by Sayers. The main article is an argument for the return to dogmatic confessionalism. She saw in the early 20th century a swing toward laissez faire statements of belief which she predicts will end in chaos in the church. There are other essays including "Why Work?" a defense of the doctrine of vocation and "The Other Six Deadly Sins" a somewhat comical view of the perception that "lust" is the only thing the church preaches against.

  13. 5 out of 5

    John

    Some of the finest of Dorothy L. Sayers non-fiction essays are collected in "Creed or Chaos". They are about many different issues but maybe the central theme is something like the Church in relation to the world, as it is the Church who have the Creed, and without it all goes to chaos. Three of the ones I enjoyed the best was "Creed and Chaos", "Why Work?" and "The Other Six Deady Sins". As a good start to Dorothy L. Sayer as a theologican and a cultural critic, look no further.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chloé Bennett

    Everything Sayers writes is amazing! This is a lovely, highly readable way to informally study the concept of Creed in Christianity.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    Powerful writing; as much so today as it was 75 years ago. The title essay alone is worth the price of he book and the time spent reading it

  16. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    A book for today's world. The evangelical world is certainly in "chaos" today. Dorothy Sayers may provide us with a few of the answers. if we are ready to listen and learn.

  17. 5 out of 5

    K. P.

    This week June 13 was Dorothy Sayers Birthday. Best known for her detection novels. This book, a plea for sanity is too often out of print. find it!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Awdur

    I picked this up on a whim but quite enjoyed it, particularly the first several chapters.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mike E.

    This book was given to me by the Emmans family in 2002. As I was pruning my bookshelves I put it in my summer reading bookbag. I am glad that I did! She writes well and and has much to say worth hearing and meditating on. My favorite chapter was "Why Work?" Sayers writes, "Work is not, primarily, a thing one does to live, but the thing one lives to do." The book is a collection of writings. Each chapter can be taken on its own. In short, her thesis is that truth matters--a lot. Truth comes from G This book was given to me by the Emmans family in 2002. As I was pruning my bookshelves I put it in my summer reading bookbag. I am glad that I did! She writes well and and has much to say worth hearing and meditating on. My favorite chapter was "Why Work?" Sayers writes, "Work is not, primarily, a thing one does to live, but the thing one lives to do." The book is a collection of writings. Each chapter can be taken on its own. In short, her thesis is that truth matters--a lot. Truth comes from God in Christ and in His Word and through His church. True believers make up His church, she says. Again I loved the chapter on work and I will peruse it again. She writes that work "should be looked upon, not as a necessary drudgery to be undergone for the purpose of making money, but as a way of life in which the nature of man should find his proper exercise and delight and so fulfill itself to the glory of God." Sentences tend to influence me more that entire books. This book is full of influential sentences. =========== The sixth Deadly Sin is named by the Church Acedia or Sloth. In the world it calls itself Tolerance; but in hell it is called Despair. It is the accomplice of the other sins and their worst punishment. It is the sin which believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, loves nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing. lives for nothing, and only remains alive because there is nothing it would die for. We have known it far too well for many years. The only thing perhaps that we have not known about it is that it is mortal sin.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Patrick O'Hannigan

    This collection of related essays (some of them originally speeches given during WWII) punches well above its modest weight, as they say admiringly in boxing. Sayers is compulsively quotable without ever sounding twee, and she minces no words. Of an ignorant but common attitude toward Jesus that was a problem even five generations ago, she writes, "We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified Him 'meek and mild,' and recommended Him as a fitting household pet for pale This collection of related essays (some of them originally speeches given during WWII) punches well above its modest weight, as they say admiringly in boxing. Sayers is compulsively quotable without ever sounding twee, and she minces no words. Of an ignorant but common attitude toward Jesus that was a problem even five generations ago, she writes, "We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified Him 'meek and mild,' and recommended Him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies." Of the apostles' sudden boldness after the Resurrection, she notes, "They had seen the strong hands of God twist the crown of thorns into a crown of glory, and in hands as strong as that they knew themselves safe." Exactly! Sayers' thoughts on how Christian doctrine suggests that we should approach work as a creative activity rather than a wage-earning necessity are still piquant, and her criticisms of the consumerist mindset still hit home. Her diagnosis of the interrelationships between the Seven Deadly Sins remains persuasive, too. If, like me, you are more familiar with the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed than with the Athanasian Creed, then you will cheer the editorial choice to have all three ancient statements of belief printed at the end of this edition. The Athanasian Creed's high-octane explanation of the Trinity is a gem that ought to be better known by all Christians -- as indeed might be said for almost everything in this book. The people who blurbed its original publication as putting Dorothy Sayers on the same footing as her friends C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton were right.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joel Mitchell

    In this collection of essays Dorothy Sayers discusses the need of sound, objective doctrine over a more subjective “all you need is sincerity” approach to Christianity. I have previously admired Dorothy L. Sayers as a translator of The Divine Comedy and author of the Lord Peter Wimsey detective series, and I must say she is equally engaging as a theologian/philosopher.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Craig W.

    Creed, doctrine and dogma are not words associated today with reasonable people. “Creed or Chaos” shows that association is itself irrational and that ignoring creed or perverting it leads to ruin. This is not abstruse theology. It will make sense to any one with even a casual familiarity with Christianity. The author uses basic ideas in three widely accepted Christian creeds, the Apostolic, Nicene and Athanasian and discusses how our beliefs about the nature of God, Christ, and man have conseque Creed, doctrine and dogma are not words associated today with reasonable people. “Creed or Chaos” shows that association is itself irrational and that ignoring creed or perverting it leads to ruin. This is not abstruse theology. It will make sense to any one with even a casual familiarity with Christianity. The author uses basic ideas in three widely accepted Christian creeds, the Apostolic, Nicene and Athanasian and discusses how our beliefs about the nature of God, Christ, and man have consequences for our lives and society. She includes a good chapter showing how our view of the nature of work affects. The book closes with a chapter on the seven deadly sins and shows how we dress them up to be respectable. Written from lectures given during WWII, the message is even more relevant today. The trends Dorothy Sayers observed sixty years ago have only accelerated. Readers of her fiction will have a deeper appreciation of the thinking behind those books by reading this.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I was drawn to this book for two reasons: 1. Dorothy Sayers was a mystery writer who also wrote books on theology. 2. I am interested in books that discuss the fundamentals of the Christian faith. When I got the book, I was particularly pleased that this book promotes the importance of the Christian creeds -- the Apostle's Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. Although Sayers wrote in the years after WWII, apostocies creeping into the church was as real then as they are now and were I was drawn to this book for two reasons: 1. Dorothy Sayers was a mystery writer who also wrote books on theology. 2. I am interested in books that discuss the fundamentals of the Christian faith. When I got the book, I was particularly pleased that this book promotes the importance of the Christian creeds -- the Apostle's Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. Although Sayers wrote in the years after WWII, apostocies creeping into the church was as real then as they are now and were in the early church. In the early Chistian chruch they were called Nestorianism, Arianism, the Eutyches heresy, etc. Although we don't call them by their Greek names any longer, these heresies still infect the church. I very much enjoyed the first half of the book and her discussion on this issue. However the second half of the seemed totally unrelated to the first and dealt more with more social issues, which is why I gave it three star.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Becky Pliego

    I admire Dorothy Sayers and I always learn a great deal from her. This short and easy to read book is fantastic. I especially recommend chapters 1-4 and ch. 5 (next time I revisit this book, I will skip chapters 5 and 7). Note: Sayers was an Anglican, so I do not agree with all her theology.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    In her clear and unabashed way Sayers says many things that the church today needs to hear and act on. A thorough understanding of the ideas and the consequences of those ideas which are embraced in post modern western culture and the church living within that culture.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ethan

    Some of the "big issues" of Sayers' early post-war era are things of the past by now, but with a smidgen of mental flexibility they can be transposed to current situations. The real, solid elements of orthodoxy discussed here, both the difficulties and the solutions, are timeless.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    What can be said about this that has not already been said? Dorothy Sayers is a brilliant apologist with clear diction and a standpoint that is firmly rooted in reality, not in dusty clouds and miasmas. Definitely worth a read--and perhaps several.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Meegan

    Good book. Raises some very interesting issues about mediocrity and Christianity that are still relevant today.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    First Edition. Read for a course at Baylor University entitled: Oxford Christians, taught by Dr. James Barcus.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ishki

    Very short, easy to read.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.