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Fundamentals of the Faith: Essays in Christian Apologetics Paperback – November 1, 1988
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Just one example of Kreeft's powerful imagery is his picture of Christianity as a flower: Faith is the root, hope the stem, and charity the flower. "The flower is the fairest, the stem does the growing, but the root must come first" (p.170)
I expect to return to this book time and again. For anyone who wants to know what Christians believe (including Christians), this is essential reading. The last section on the unity of the Church in which Kreeft lists the things both Protestants and Catholics would have to surrender to become one again is worth the price of the book. Kreeft calls his vision of a united Church "The Evangelical Catholic Church" and perhaps his ideas could serve as a starting point for meaningful conversation. I also enjoy his list of questions concerning orthodoxy that can unify all Christians.
The Apostle Paul, when he evangelized in Athens, realized that he could not appeal to scripture or religious tradition because they meant nothing to the nonbelievers of the Areopagus. In this post-modern, secular world, a Christian will not score debating points against an atheist by quoting scripture, but by making logical arguments. Kreeft's book equips the Christian with those logical arguments. His apology appeals to reason, and his logical arguments in defense of Christian faith are compelling.
A FOOTNOTE: Kreeft, like C.S. Lewis and G. K. Chesterton before him, comes in for the criticism that his philosophy isn't "deep" enough. Although I am a firm believer in the proposition that "deep" thought can be expressed with shallow words, I can understand the concern for a thoroughgoing scholarly treatment of Christian apologetics. If you want some heavyweight philosophical language on the subject, read Richard Swinburne's "The Existence of God" or Alvin Plantinga's "Warranted Christian Belief." If you want something you can read without getting a headache, stick with this book.
Written as a series of essays, "Fundamentals" is a terrific primer on the Faith that doesn't insist you read it in one sitting.
Kreeft has a unique way of turning a phrase or skillfully using an analogy. For instance, in his chapter on the Holy Spirit, he instructs the reader that the Spirit is a "He" not an "it."
Is the Church an "invisible" body as Protestants say or a visible entity as described by Catholics? Both. The Mystical Body of Christ, Kreeft explains, has an invisible dimension and a physical one recognized by its four marks--one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic.
"Fundamentals" is also an effective apologetic against attacks on orthodox Christianity perpetrated by modern theologians and, most recently, by the likes of The Da Vinci Code's Dan Brown. In his chapter on the divinity of Christ, Kreeft states the following:
"The first escape is the attack of the Scripture 'scholars' on the historical reliability of the Gospels. Perhaps Jesus never claimed to be divine. Perhaps all the embarassing passages were inventions of the early Church (say 'Christian community' - it sounds nicer).
In that case, who invented traditional Christianity if not Christ? A lie, like a truth, must originate somewhere. Peter? The twelve? The next generation? What was the motive of whoever first invented the myth (euphemism for lie)? What did they get out of this elaborate, blasphemous hoax? For it must have been a deliberate lie, not a sincere confusion.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
You want faith? You ain't gonna find it in no book. Try jumping off a bridge. Then you may get faith.Published 18 days ago by James W. Ferrill
Very insightful and eye opening. Be sure to take your time reading it and be prepared to take breaks and meditate.Published 3 months ago by Charles Dobson
Excellent set of essays set forth in a clear, logical order. Peter Kreeft is an outstanding modern day philosopher/apologist.Published 7 months ago by J. Jones
Good read for my fellow Catholics. Kreeft gets points across to us non-philosophy types.Published 13 months ago by gee ef
Basically a pro-Christian lecture in book form. Not my preferred reading material, but required to graduate.Published 21 months ago by Ron Gruber