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102 of 106 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Necessary and Welcomed Pain in Our Spiritual Backsides
Peter Kreeft is not a nut. The holder of a Ph.D., he serves as a professor of philosophy at Boston College: a school well noted for its intellectual rigors. His academic credentials are immaculate.
Peter Kreeft is not insular. Teaching at a Roman Catholic college and obviously holding strong allegiance to Roman Catholic tradition, he manages to quote Martin Luther...
Published on July 16, 2003 by The Rev. Dr. Daniel J. G. G. Block

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Terms for War
This is the first book I've read by the philosophy professor. It is not what I expected... in language. I did expect the Christian perspective. The book's tone is certainly not academic; it is as rhetorical as politics on TV, full of sound bytes.

Kreeft writes of issues that are the battles of the culture war: abortion, promiscuity, academics, the media, but...
Published on February 4, 2010 by Rod Zinkel


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102 of 106 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Necessary and Welcomed Pain in Our Spiritual Backsides, July 16, 2003
Peter Kreeft is not a nut. The holder of a Ph.D., he serves as a professor of philosophy at Boston College: a school well noted for its intellectual rigors. His academic credentials are immaculate.
Peter Kreeft is not insular. Teaching at a Roman Catholic college and obviously holding strong allegiance to Roman Catholic tradition, he manages to quote Martin Luther and Chuck Colson. He dedicates this book to James Dobson, Richard John Neuhaus and Alan Keyes. His ecumenical credentials are perfect.
However, because Dr. Kreeft recognizes the seriousness of the issue at hand, and because he states his case with strident passion, he will inevitably be belittled by the irreligious, the merely spiritual, and liberal, "feel-good" Christians, alike.
The issue that Dr. Kreeft seeks to define is the difference between popular culture and true faith. His is the voice in the wilderness crying that there can be no easy peace between our secular culture of death, and faith in the living LORD of life. Accepting his claim requires learning how to see what is broken in the society that surrounds us.
The response that Dr. Kreeft seeks to elicit is sanctification: more faithful obedience to God's Word, and a weakening of the claims that our sinful world makes upon its Christian inhabitants. Accepting his call requires learning how to let go of the privileges, amenities and pleasures of popular culture. Accepting his call requires disciplined discipleship.
Those who claim their privileges, demand their entitlements, and are in love with this world will belittle Peter Kreeft. Despite their attacks, his is a corrective, conservative voice that Christ's Church must hear.
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115 of 127 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Feisty but Necessary, November 18, 2002
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Amazon Customer (Melbourne Australia) - See all my reviews
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Peter Kreeft is a respected philosophy professor at Boston College. He has written many influential books, and is in many ways a Catholic version of C.S. Lewis. That is, he is an indefatigable apologist for the Christian faith in an increasingly hostile and secular environment.
In his newest book, Kreeft engages in a forceful, almost emotional, assault on the cultural decline everywhere apparent in the West. In many ways this is a more popular and polemic approach than is found in his previous books, However, given the urgency and importance of the matter, he may be right to use such an approach.
He wastes no time in laying out his brief. We are at war, he argues, The soul of the West is being fought over, and it doesn't look good for our side. But knowing that we are at war is the first prerequisite for winning it. As such, we need to enter into a wartime consciousness, and get our priorities right. We need to give up our trivial pursuits and get involved in this life or death struggle.
Of course Kreeft realises that this is not just a battle against flesh and blood (or governments and cultures). It is ultimately a spiritual battle, and the most effective weapon is saints - believers who have decided to represent Christ fully in a dark and ungodly age. And saints always go into the "moral ghettos", be they Moses or Christ. "Saints are society's white corpuscles, society's saviors" he says. "If nobody wants to crucify you, you're not doing your job. Or else your job isn't his work."
Thus the fight is ultimately about which will prevail: secularism or faith. Kreeft argues that secularism is a doomed philosophy, and that no secular society has survived for more than 72 years (the former USSR being our best test case to date). Indeed, Western societies seem to have contracted "moral AIDS". We are self-destructing quickly, and the only hope is to reclaim a spiritual and moral vision for the West.
While the battle is ultimately spiritual, it does manifest itself in society and culture. And secular ideas and values are penetrating the West with horrific results. Cultural and intellectual poison is steadily destroying our culture. As Kreeft remarks, the most powerful forces in the West today are not church and state but Hollywood and Harvard. Popular culture and academia have been setting the agenda, while the faithful have been marginalised.
But it is time to reclaim lost territory, argues Kreeft. And forget about those who argue we are just trying to turn back the clock: "You can turn a clock back, both literally and figuratively. And you'd better, if the clock is keeping bad time."
We need to re-proclaim values and absolutes in a society that despises both. And we need to go even further, and reclaim conscience. Relativism, the new tolerance, the sexual revolution, and moral apathy have all combined to kill conscience.
And this can only lead to worse consequences. As Charles Colson has shown, the only two means we have to prevent community from sliding into chaos are cops and conscience. And when conscience is destroyed, that leaves only cops to stem the tide. A police state becomes the inevitable outcome. Thus our moral relativism is leading us in a dangerous direction.
Many defenders of democracy have noted this tension. For a democracy to work properly, a strong moral populace is needed. Yet a democracy tends to produce moral permissiveness, undermining its very foundations. Thus less conscience results in more cops, leading to the end of democracy.
This is the dilemma or paradox of democracy. And history offers us many examples of how this works out in a society. The longest-lasting societies have been the most moralistic, be they Jewish, Confucian, Islamic or Roman. Our recent secular societies however appear to be rather short-lived, whether fascist or Marxist.
The sexual revolution is perhaps the most important component of cultural decline. Kreeft argues that we cannot win the culture war unless we win the sex war, because "sex is the effective religion of our culture". This includes the whole array of battle fronts: pornography, homosexuality, easy divorce and abortion.
And to the extent that the church has also compromised in these areas, the culture war will be even more difficult to fight. Yet fight we must. We are called, not to live an easy life, but to take up our cross and follow our Master. The battle can be won, but only if we take our calling seriously and get involved. This book is a timely reminder to do just that.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Christian eyes only- or is it?, April 30, 2005
By 
Corum Seth Smith (Hendersonville, NC USA) - See all my reviews
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I think Kreeft explains this clearly in the beginning, but a non-Christian, or even an unorthodox, non-normative Christian, will simply not understand this book.

The irony to me is this: I am an Evangelical Baptist, Kreeft a devout Catholic. I vehemently agree with Kreeft on every point as a brother in Christ; having far more in common with him than with modernist "Baptists" who have simply folded up camp and retreated fearfully from ideological opponents. Kreeft himself says in the book that he has more in common with me than with a Kennedy in his own state. He is right.

Non-Christians will probably find this book horrible. I don't think Kreeft was writing for a broad audience here- he realized that sometimes it is important, even necessary to preach to the allegedly obedient "choir."

The chapter with Satan discussing the battle plan is a page right out of the "Screwtape Letters." I think I have truly found a kindred spirit in Peter Kreeft, I would love to just talk to him someday.

Back on topic: The essence of this book is a call ideally to all Americans to a state of higher moral and spiritual purity. In this sense he will have vehement detractors; I laughed when he said the book would be banned in Canada as "hate speech" not because I thought he was paranoid, but because it seemed very plausible.

Finally his book uncovers an interesting dichotomy. Those in power reserve the right to define "progress." Christians who believe otherwise are subtly or not so subtly labeled as extremists and perhaps considered "regressive." It shows an inherent flaw with people who push "tolerance" as the cardinal virtue, because there are a large group of people who they themselves cannot tolerate, or even hate. This is because they view themselves as profoundly correct and opponents as incorrect. Once truth and morality are relativized, however, it is illogical to impose any standard whatsoever. Kreeft lays out a number of conundrums and deftly deciphers them.

Christians who look at the world with dissatisfaction should read this book.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stirring call to action, May 17, 2005
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In all seriousness, this book reads like a Knute Rockne halftime speech. Reader beware: Kreeft uses some awfully strong language--he's not afraid to smash his fist into a locker or throw a clipboard at your head to get your attention. But any Christian, Jew, Muslim, or really any believer in God can play on Kreeft's team. And whether you come in tired, confused, mad, or even just warming the bench, you'll want to get out there and take on the forces of evil after hearing his inspiring, if not frightening, message.

Kreeft lays out the enemy's battle plan ala C.S. Lewis/The Screwtape Letters, speaking as Satan addressing his team of demons. While the concept of a literal Satan may be quaint to some, Kreeft builds a pretty convincing case for his existence, through Biblical citations but more through some persuasive logical argument. Kreeft maintains that once we understand the enemy, his goal and his plan, we can formulate a response. The enemy, of course, is Satan; the goal is the total corruption of souls; the plan is to wreak personal and social chaos by infusing the philosphy of relativism into all our thoughts and actions. But despite the damage that's been done, Kreeft is anything but pessimistic: he is certain that it is never too late to wake up to the dangers and take effective action. Kreeft explains how we can do this. Well worth reading, as long as you're willing to set your complacency aside!
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another gem by Peter kreeft, March 28, 2003
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Amazon Customer (Downey, Ca. United States) - See all my reviews
This is the 16th book I have read by Peter Kreeft. It is another solid book filled with wisdom and much common sense. The author goes into why he believes we are a culture that is in trouble, and What is the most important battle. He then tells us what we must do to change the world. It is a short book and easy to read, but it is has an important message.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The war rages on..., February 22, 2007
This book is a necessity for all Christians, both Catholic and Protestant. Even though the author is Catholic (as am I) I feel that Evangelical Christians would find just as much use in it. We are not so different, after all, it seems, when put up against our common enemy, secularism.

It's a quick and easy read, but it packs a punch. Anyone who doubts that there is a culture war either seriously doesn't keep up with the news, or is living under a rock. The war is real, frightening at times, but we will win it.

I especially recommend this book for anyone who tends to think the outcome is hopeless. The author reminds us that we are doing God's work, and God doesn't fail. He lays out a battle plan for us, and gets us familiar with the enemy and his trickery.

I really think this is the time for all traditional Christians, and to expand on that, all traditional worshipers of the God of Abraham, to put aside our differences for a common goal. We shouldn't be fighting with each other, we should band together and fight those who want to destroy all that's dear to us.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good soldier runs to the sound of the battle, June 26, 2006
Catholic scholar and author, Peter Kreeft tackles the issue of the proverbial culture war and does a masterful job of sounding the alarm for every Christian to rally around the defense of Truth. Kreeft clearly identifies the true enemy in this war - not the people on the opposing side of a political party or even the individual who says there is no God, but rather the enemy is that ideology that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and keeps man enslaved and separated from the Truth of the Gospel - that Christ has come to set mankind free from sin and bondage.

Once the enemy has been clearly identifies, Kreeft turns his attention to revealing the enemies battle plan - to make that which is wrong sound right, that which is evil appear good. The enemy is the father of lies and his primary strategy is to make the lie sound good to man by packaging it with bows and ribbons of deception.

The solution, Kreeft argues, is the saint, the believer, those men and women called and set apart for the Lord's service who have been set free from the bondage of sin and can recognize the lie and deception and can live a meaningful, purposeful life in stark contrast to the lies of the enemy. But it is not enough to live differently, the Christian must demonstrate a compassion and love for those still trapped behind enemy lines - he must also love differently...sacrificially.

Kreeft does an incredible job of presenting the battle in terms that help a Christian understand their duty as followers of Christ - as well as the cost they must bear to live counter to the culture that surrounds them on all sides. But Kreeft cuts the follower of Christ no slack - this is a cosmic battle, eternal life hangs in the balance and the good soldier runs to the sound of the battle.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading, May 29, 2003
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Every Christian in America and Europe has to read this book. The Culture War in which we are engaged must be won and it can not be won if we do not know who the enemy is and how we can beat that enemy. Some of what Dr. Kreeft has to say is difficult to accept; it is the truth.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Accurate and Insightful, September 15, 2004
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Kreeft presents here a work that is accurate and insightful regarding the cultural war currently being waged in our society. He correctly identifies the players and describes the various strategies. He falls short however, in offering a solid plan of action for Christians and others who still adhere to absolute truth.

This book is a good, quick read for anyone wanting to get the conservative Christian's perspective on the unifying thread behind many of today's "hot button" issues.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, January 30, 2005
I am now a big fan of Kreeft. This book is concise and clear. It does not require amass of education to get through it. We can sit around and say, "what is with the world today?" or read this book and find out what is with the world today AND take steps to take it back.

Kreeft has a gift of presenting the information necessary for today's society in a direct, no nonsense way. Worth the read!
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