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Showing posts with label PeterKreeft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PeterKreeft. Show all posts

Friday, 28 December 2018

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books Fourth Quarter 2018

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books Fourth Quarter 2018

My total books this quarter is down a bit from last quarter, but my page count is actually up. Just variations in the length of material read. And I am finishing the year at just under a book a day with 359 books read over the year, down a bit from the 380 last year. The Quarter by the numbers: 

78 books read
49 received 5/5 stars
8 of those had been read before
25 were non-Fiction
24 were fiction

So here is my top ten fiction and non-fiction books of the fourth quarter 2018. 

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books:

1. Inspiration from the Saints - Maolsheachlann O Ceallaigh
2. Father Damien's Letters - Joseph Damien De Veuster
3. Finding Our Way Home: A family's story of life, love, and loss - J Damon Dagnone
4. Footprints of the Northern Saints - Basil Cardinal Hume
5. Love In Action - Fernando Ocáriz
6. Overcoming Lukewarmness: Healing Your Soul's Sadness - Francis Fernandez-Carvajal
7. Wisdom from Pope Paul VI - Pope Paul VI and Mary Leonora Wilson FSP
8. Call Him Father: How to Experience the Fatherhood of God - Fr. Edward Maritany
9. To Raise the Fallen: A Selection of the War Letters, Prayers, and Spiritual Writings of Fr. Willie Doyle, S.J. - Edited by Patrick Kenny
10. Catholic Christianity: A Complete Catechism of Catholic Beliefs Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church - Peter Kreeft 

Top Ten Fiction Books:

1. Lives of the Early Christians in Rome Trilogy - Father Michael E. Giesler
Junia - Marcus - Grain of Wheat
2. Thanos Titan Consumed - Barry Lyga - MARVEL's Avengers
3. The Absence of War - Amy Welborn
4. Siege of Reginald Hill - Corinna Turner 
5. Treachery and Truth - Katy Huth Jones 
6. Ornamental Graces - Carolyn Astfalk
7. Charlotte's Honor - Ellen Gable - Great War Great Love Book 2
8. Guarding Aaron - T.M. Gaouette - Faith & Kung Fu Book 3
9. David Vining Short Stories Collections:
A Boy and His Satellite
Shoes for Two Soldier Sons
10. Death by Airship - Arthur Slade - Orca Currents

If you give some of these a try I am sure they will be with the read! 

Note: I did not include books that have been read in previous years and were reread this year in my top ten lists, they were in the bonus section. As stated it was no easy task making this quarter. But if you want more options check out my favorite books year by year list. This post is going up early because of the end of the quarter falling during holy week.


Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2015
Top Ten Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2016
Top Ten Non- Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Catholic Books
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2017
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2018
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2019 

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:

359 - 2018
380 - 2017 
272 - 2016 
177 - 2015 
130 - 2014 
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996




Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Catholic Christianity - Peter Kreeft - A Complete Catechism of Catholic Beliefs Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Catholic Christianity: A Complete Catechism of Catholic Beliefs Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Peter Kreeft
Ignatius Press

ISBN 9780898707984
ASIN  B004QOB78A


I read this book as part of my working through the Catechism in a year. Over the last few years I have read the catechism and other similar books a little bit each day throughout the year. This year I added this book and it took me 4 months of study to work through this volume. This was an excellent read. It was a wonderful study tool. It helped me go so much deeper in my study of the Catholic Faith. The sections in this volume are:

Preface
PART I: Theology (What Catholics Believe)
Chapter 1: Faith 
Chapter 2: God 
Chapter 3: Creation 
Chapter 4: Man 
Chapter 5: Jesus Christ 
Chapter 6: The Holy Spirit 
Chapter 7: The Holy Catholic Church 
Chapter 8: The Forgiveness of Sins 
Chapter 9: The Resurrection of the Body 
Chapter 10: Life Everlasting

PART II: Morality (How Catholics Live)
Chapter 1: The Essence of Catholic Morality 
Chapter 2: Human Nature as the Basis for Morality 
Chapter 3: Some Fundamental Principles of Catholic Morality 
Chapter 4: Virtues and Vices
Chapter 5: The First Three Commandments: Duties to God 
Chapter 6: The Fourth Commandment: Family and Social Morality 
Chapter 7: The Fifth Commandment: Moral Issues of Life and Death 
Chapter 8: The Sixth and Ninth Commandments: Sexual Morality 
Chapter 9: The Seventh and Tenth Commandments: Social and Economic Morality
Chapter 10: The Eighth Commandment: Truth

PART III: Sacraments and Prayer (How Catholics Worship)
Chapter 1: Introduction to Catholic Liturgy
Chapter 2: Introduction to the Sacraments
Chapter 3: Baptism and Confirmation
Chapter 4: The Eucharist
Chapter 5: The Sacrament of Penance
Chapter 6: Matrimony 
Chapter 7: Holy Orders 
Chapter 8: Anointing of the Sick 
Chapter 9: Prayer 
Chapter 10: The Lord’s Prayer 
Chapter 11: Mary
Conclusion
Abbreviations
Notes

This is not a volume I could pick up and read through from beginning to end. At least not do so and really take it in. But by reading 5-15 points a day it was very digestible. In the introduction Dr. Kreeft goes over some of the possible titles this book had, and his reason for them, and reasons for changing. They were:

Mere Christianity
What Is a Catholic

He also states:

“Half a century ago such a book would have been superfluous, for Catholics knew then twenty times more than they know now about everything in their faith: its essence, its theology, its morality, its liturgy, and its prayer; and there were twenty times more books like this one being written. The need was less, and the supply was more. Today the need is much more, and the supply is much less. Since “nature abhors a vacuum”, spiritually as well as physically I offer this unoriginal “basic data” book to those Catholics who have been robbed of the basic data of their heritage.”

The book might be unoriginal, and basic data about Catholicism, but maybe that is what makes it such a treasure. This book is likely one I will read each year for years to come. This book is an amazing resource, for the faithful, for those studying Catholicism, and for those just curios about what Catholicism is all about.

Kreeft has written some amazing books and this is among the best! 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Other Kreeft Reviews:
Socrates Meets Jesus
The Sea Within
Handbook of Christian Apologetics
Pocket Handbook of Christian Apologetics
The Journey
The Unaborted Socrates
The Best Things In Life
Between Heaven Hell
Doors in the Walls of the World
Catholic Christianity



Articles That Mention Kreeft:
Opus Dei
Opus Dei Part II
Catholic Catechism Dialogue blog
4 Resources


Monday, 9 July 2018

Doors in the Walls of the World Signs of Transcendence in the Human Story - Peter Kreeft

Doors in the Walls of the World:
Signs of Transcendence in the Human Story
Peter Kreeft
Ignatius Press
ISBN 9781621642282
eISBN 9781681498010

 


Just looking at the cover of this book evokes the imagination. It immediately calls to mind, C.S. Lewis's The Magician’s Nephew,  J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, and more recently N.D. Wilson's 100 Cupboards. But the book also takes me back. When I was in university as a mature student it seems that every month or two my spiritual director was recommending another book by Peter Kreeft. In fact, when I check I had read 14 books by Kreeft in 4 years. But I was greatly surprised to find out that It had over a decade since I had read one of his works. If his works in the last few years are as excellent as this, I need to add them all to my to be read list. This book was an absolutely wonderful read.

Kreeft begins the introduction when addressing how many philosophies of life there are begins with two answers; Answer 1 Three Philosophies of Life, and answer 2 there are only two philosophies. In the first answer the three types are:

1. Wonder begins in surprise.
2. This second kind of wonder-questioning-is wonder in the intellect, guided by the will (the "will to truth", which is far from automatic).
3. Wonder is consummated in contemplative awe.

And then he states:

"Philosophy not only begins in wonder (#1), it also proceeds by means of wonder (#2) and ends in wonder (#3). This book is about the third kind of wonder."
But then he goes on to give a second answer. Again he states:
"When you think about it logically, there are two and only two philosophies of life. For either there are or there are not doors in the walls of the world. Either there is Nothing or Something outside Plato's Cave."
And from there Kreeft goes on to explain that premise which is the basis for the rest of the book. He declares:
"A wall is a limit. A door in a wall is a way of overcoming that limit, a way out of the place confined by the walls. The walls here symbolize the physical universe. The doors symbolize escapes from that limit, "morenesses", transcendences. The point of this book is that there are many doors through the walls of the world, many Jacob's Ladders through the sky."
Kreeft then goes on a romp through literature to look at elements of story and elements in stories that breach that wall. The sections in the book are:

I. The Plot: Story as Life
II. The Setting: The Fragility of Time
III. The Characters: The Real Presence of Invisible Friends
IV. The Theme: Joy
V. The Style: Art

But the sections are not weighted equally. In the first section Kreeft gives 10 examples from 10 stories.

Story #1: The Colorado Water Droplet
Story #2: The Bouncing Acorn and the Bouncing Sperm
Story #3: One Grain of Sand
Story #4: The True Causes of World War III
Story #5: The Cheap Egyptian Tailor Who Saved the World
Story #6: Thornton Wilder's Tapestry
Story #7: Mark Helprin's Perfect Painting
Story #8: William James' Dystopian Utopia
Story #9: The "Ridiculous" Point of The Brothers Karamazov
Story #10: H. G. Wells' "The Door in the Wall"

The section on Characters has four chapters, God, angels, Saints and extraterrestrials. Both the sections on Theme and Style have 5 chapters. But the section on Setting is just a single chapter.

This book was an incredible read. I could hardly put it down. It has made me reflect more on some of my favorite fiction, and inspired me to add some of them back into my to be read pile along with some of the other books Kreeft drew examples from.

This is one of those books I know I will end up reading again. Much like Kreeft's own Between Heaven Hell, which I read every year for several years in a row. Any series fan of fiction will benefit from read this book! And Christian's especially will see the veil pulled back a bit and experience fiction, the world visible and the world invisible in a new way after reading this excellent book!

Note: If you are looking for a great Anthology that captures what this book talks about check out Secrets: Visible & Invisible 7 Amazing Stories - Catholic Teen Books.


Other Kreeft Reviews:
Socrates Meets Jesus
The Sea Within
Handbook of Christian Apologetics
Pocket Handbook of Christian Apologetics
The Journey
The Unaborted Socrates
The Best Things In Life
Between Heaven Hell
Doors in the Walls of the World

Catholic Christianity


Articles That Mention Kreeft:
Opus Dei
Opus Dei Part II
Catholic Catechism Dialogue blog
4 Resources


Friday, 17 April 2009

Meme - A fun book meme

This book meme has shown up a lot lately, the first three I read were Catholic Fire, Anchoress and Happy Catholic. A fun book meme, include up to 3 answers each if you like. We won’t tell.

1. Most treasured childhood book(s)?
I really did not read as a child, I could not because of my dyslexia. The earliest I remember reading and enjoying are: A Separate Peace - John Knowles, Cue for Treason - Geoffrey Trease, Piers Anthony - Bio Of A Space Tyrant, Steven Brust Jhereg. But once I got to university and took a children's lit I now read a few children's and teen books a year. Current favorite children's books: Narnia - C.S. Lewis, anything by Madelein L'Engle, Patrick Carman, Kenneth Oppel and Arthur Slade .

2. Classic(s) you are embarrassed to admit you’ve never read?
Don't know.

3. Classics you read, but hated?


4. Favorite genre(s)?
A read pretty much everything.

5. Favorite light reading?
Adrian Plass, Christopher Moore, Fred Seacombe, Noah ben Shea.

6. Favorite heavy reading?
Francis Fernandez, Federico Suarez, Jacques Philippe, Sven Lindqvist, Terry Tempest Williams, Scott Hahn.

7. Last book(s) you finished?
Exam 70-294 Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Infrastructure - Wendy Corbin.
100 Cupboards - N.D. Wilson
The Sword Thief - 39 Clues Book 3 - Peter Lerangis

8. Last book(s) you bailed on?
I don't remember.

9. Three (only three!) books on your nightstand?
The Princess Plot - Kirsten Boie
70-298 Designing Security for a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network - Tony Northrup
Terra Nullis - Sven Lindqvist

10. Book(s) you’ve read more than once, twice or three times?
Singer Trilogy - Calvin Miller
God Rides a Yamaha - Kathy Shaidle
The Way, Furrow, Forge - Josemaria Escriva
Jacob The Baker - Noah benShea
and so many more you can see my whole reading list since 1995 here.

11. The book(s) that meant the most to you when you were younger (ie, college/young adult)?
Favorite Books by year, Favorite authors by year.

12. Book(s) that changed the way you looked at life?
The Way, Furrow, The Forge - St. Josemaria Escriva
The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
Ishmael - Daniel Quinn
Bench Press - Sven Linqvist
Jacon the Baker - Noah benShea
As you Think - James Allen
Infected Christianity - Alan Davies
The Skull Measurer's Mistake - Sven Lindqvist
Dead Man Walking - Sr. Helen Prejean
Waking the Dead - John Eldredge
Life After God - Douglas Coupland
Anam Cara - John O'Donohue

13. Book(s) some would be surprised to know you’ve read?
Marquis de Sade

14. Book(s) You Mean to Read this Year?
I have 3 shelfs of review copy books to work through.

15. Desert Island Book?
Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien
Watership Down - Richard Adams
The Reckoning - James Bryon Huggins
Jhereg - Steven Brust
The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
The Final Planet - Andrew M. Geeley
God Game - Andrew M. Greeley
The Singer Trilogy - Calvin Miller
An Alien at Saint Wilfrids - Adrian Plass
Chronicles of a Curate - Fred Secombe
Falling Sideway - Tom Holt

BONUS! Desert Island Book for Your Worst Enemy?
Their Kingdom Come: Inside the Secret World of Opus Dei - Robert Hutchison
Man's Seacrh for Meaning - Viktor Emil Frankl
The Sea Within - Peter Kreeft

If you want to play along post your answers and link back or post a comment.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Meme Booked by 3 - January 2008 - Best of 2007

Meme Booked by 3 - January From Shelly's Bookshelf!

1. List up to 3 books you read in 2007 that you loved.

Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart - Fr. Jacques Philippe
Twisted - Laurie Halse Anderson
Sherman Oak and the Magic Potato - S. William Shaw

2. List up to 3 books you read in 2007 that were disappointments.

Their Kingdom Come: Inside The Secret World of Opus Dei - Robert Hutchison
You Suck: A Love Story - Christopher Moore
The Sea Within: Waves and the Meaning of All Things - Peter Kreeft

3. List up to 3 authors you discovered in 2007 you definitely will put on your Must Read list.

S. William Shaw
Dr. Kevin Vost
Fr. Jacques Philippe

Answer in the comments or leave a link to your answers, please. I'm looking forward to seeing what you list. You can also see my complete list of books read by year here, favorite books each year here and favorite authors here.

Monday, 21 May 2007

Meme: A Book Meme

Catholic Mom has posted this book meme.

How many books do you own?

Around 1300 at the moment, less than recent past I purge about once a year.

Book(s) I am reading now:

1.Sherman Oak and the Magic Potato - S. William Shaw
2. Memorize the Faith - Kevin Vost, PSY.D.
3. Searching for Meaning and Peace - Fr. Jacques Philippe
4. In Conversation With God Volume #2 - Francis Fernandez
5. Morte D'Urban - J.F. Powers

… plus about 20 others. All the books in the coffee table are on the go.

Books I've read recently:

1.Socrates Meets Jesus - Peter Kreeft
2.The Sea Within - Peter Kreeft
3.The Witch of Portobello - Paulo Coelho
4.The Singer - Calvin Miller
5. The Way - St. Josemaria Escriva

Five Books That Mean a Lot to Me:

1. My Bible
2. Space Trilogy - C.S. Lewis
3. Wheat the Springeth Green - J.F. Powers
4. Wizard of Earthsea - Ursula K. LeGuin
5. An Unacceptable Time - Madeleine L'Engle

This was fun! Instead of tagging, I will just invite anyone else who would like to play to post a link to your answers in the comment box so we can all take a look. Yet it would be nice to Shelly's answers at Shelly's Bookshelf.

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Meme Booked by 3 - May From Shelly's Bookshelf


Meme Booked by 3 - May From Shelly's Bookshelf She adapted this month's questions from a Newsweek feature.

1. Name up to 3 books you think everyone should read.
The Bible (Modern Translation)
In Conversation With God - Francis Fernandez Carvajal

The Best Things in Life - Peter Kreeft

Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
Ishmael - Daniel Quinn
The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

2. Name up to 3 authors you think everyone should read.
St. Josemaria Escriva (esp. The Way, Furrow and The Forge)
C.S. Lewis (Both Fiction and Nonfiction)
J.F. Powers


Dan Millman
Daniel Quinn
Sven Lindqvist

3.Name up to 3 books no one should read.
The Sea Within - Peter Kreeft
Their Kingdom Come - Robert Hutchinson

Haunted - Chuck Palahniuk
The Forever War - Joe Haldeman

I specifically tag Vehige at Thursday Night Gumbo, and Jim at Real Life Rosary because there answers are always so interesting, and I also tag Keith Little at The Corch. If you want to play leave your answers in the comments or leave a link back to your answers on your blogs. Have fun and thanks to everyone who plays.

I did two different versions of this meme one for my Catholic Blog and one for my General Blog.

(I have linked to my reviews of that book or other books by the same author.)

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Socrates Meets Jesus: by Peter Kreeft

Socrates Meets Jesus:
History's Greatest Questioner Confronts the Claims of Christ
Peter Kreeft
InterVaristy Press
ISBN 0830823387

This is another in a series by Kreeft that has Socrates reappearing in a modern day s
etting to challenge people with what they believe or why the live the way they do. So, much like his other books The Best Things In Life and The Unaborted Socrates, the names of people and places in this book are a series of puns and jokes. In this book, Socrates wakes up from what he assumed was his suicide in the 'Broadener Library at Have It University', which is supposed to be a renowned hub of learning in 'Camp Rich, Massachusetts'. Sound familiar?
It appears that he has been registered at the Have It Divinity School. The characters he interacts with are varied and interesting. The first student he meets is Bertha Broadmind, then Thomas Keptic, Professor Flatland who teaches 'Science and Religion'. Then Socrates encounters Professor Shift who teaches 'Comparative Religions'. Next Socrates encounters the claims of Christ in Professor Fesser's 'Christology' seminar. This is the purpose of the book - to have Socrates encounter the claims of Christ. The rest of the book takes place around these seminar classes.

Kreeft has a very interesting book here, in that he tries to answer
the question of what would happen if Socrates of Athens were to reappear today and interact with a modern university crowd. Socrates has not changed much from dying and reappearing somewhere and some time else. He is still the ultimate questioner and his questions will challenge what people believe and why they believe.
The first time I read Kreeft's Socratic style, a book written directly as dialogue, I was not all that enthusiastic about it. But now that I have read a few books in this style, I really enjoy it. It makes the reading of philosophy very quick and painless. That, combined with Socrates method of asking questions, lets you read more serious philosophy in an easier-to-approach method.

Kreeft is known as a great scholar who specializes in apologetics (the defense of the faith), also C.S. Lewis and Socrates. This book brings together two of those passions of his academic life and highlights them in a fun, uncomplicated way. Kreeft has a knack for taking very difficult topics and making them far more approachable.

This is a great book to encounter the claims of Christ and the modern academic setting. Though a little kitschy with all the puns, that just makes it more fun and memorable.

So pick up this book and join history's greatest questioner as he confronts and challenges the claims of Christ and the modern academic environment - especially in religious schools, colleges or seminaries. My recommendation would be to give it a try even if you just want to broaden your knowledge of Christianity or to learn how to ask the right questions to get the answers you are looking for. A great scholar, Dr. Peter Frick, once said, 'Life is not about knowing all the answers but about learning to ask the right questions.' This book will help you learn how to do that. Therefore, I can only say this book is definitely a 'Love It'.

(First Published in Imprint as 'Love It' in the 'Love It / Hate It' book review column 2007-05-04.)


Other Kreeft Reviews:
Socrates Meets Jesus
The Sea Within
Handbook of Christian Apologetics
Pocket Handbook of Christian Apologetics
The Journey
The Unaborted Socrates
The Best Things In Life
Between Heaven Hell
Doors in the Walls of the World
Catholic Christianity




Friday, 4 May 2007

The Sea Within by: Peter Kreeft

The Sea Within:
Waves and the Meaning of All Things
Peter Kreeft
St. Augustine's Press
ISBN 1587317575

I am usually a big fan of Dr. Peter Kreeft, yet this book not only left me flat, it left me baffled at why Kreeft would even write it. Dr. Kreeft is a professor of Philosophy at Boston College and is the author of nearly 60 books. Being a fan, I have read many of them, and this is the first to leave a sour taste in my mouth, or should I say a sour thought in my mind.

It is well known that Kreeft, even at his age, is an avid surfer. In fact it has been said he takes some speaking engagements just for the opportunity to surf. It was strange reading a 70-year-old man talking about the sea having orgasms and the sea as mother and child. For a man who has built a career as a Christian apologist, as a convert to Catholicism who defends the faith, this book reads as if he spent too many days in the sun at the beach and has embraced a naturalistic religion or 'spirituality' of nature not fitting with his body of previous work.

The advance promotions I encountered about this book made it sound like a mystical journey with Peter Kreeft, and to be honest that sounded really cool. However it ended up being a series of ramblings that tried to appeal to everyone. Kreeft uses terms like 'Orenda', an Iroquois term, or 'Toa', then the 'Sea as Koan', The 'Third Eye' and others. What do these terms have to do with the sea or Christianity?

It should be noted that Kreeft, for all his writing production, has published only one article in a peer-reviewed journal. "Zen In Heidegger's 'Gelassenheit'" was published in 1971 in the International Philosophical Quarterly, the philosophy journal published by Fordham University. So maybe all the hype and popularity of him as an author is not all that warranted.

My only personal encounter with Kreeft was via e-mail last year when I was trying to verify a fact in one of his other books. His response was short, brisk and arrogant. Maybe the great man was too busy writing this tripe to respond to a writer from a University Newspaper. Of course when you charge $1500 USD a day for speaking engagements, plus travel and board, maybe you think you can get away with almost anything. I once heard of a Led Zeppelin quote, about Zepellen 4 AKA 'Coda', that the reason the band's name was not on the album's original release was because with their popularity they believed they could crap on a recording and it would sell because it was Zeppelin. That is how I feel about this book. This book reads like a personal indulgence into ramblings of an old man, and though many will criticize me for my critique of Kreeft, I cannot recommend this book to you in good conscience.

(First Published in Imprint 2007-05-04 as 'Hate It' in the 'Love it / Hate It' Book review column.)


Other Kreeft Reviews:
Socrates Meets Jesus
The Sea Within
Handbook of Christian Apologetics
Pocket Handbook of Christian Apologetics
The Journey
The Unaborted Socrates
The Best Things In Life
Between Heaven Hell
Doors in the Walls of the World
Catholic Christianity




Friday, 6 April 2007

The Best Things In Life by: Peter Kreeft

The Best Things In Life: A Contemporary Socrates Looks at Power, Pleasure, Truth & the Good Life
Peter Kreeft
IVP Books
ISBN 0977849226

Peter Kreeft is known for writing in the dialectic style. Though Kreeft is famous for using this style, he does not pull it off in this book as well as he does in some of his other books. This book is written as a dialogue or series of dialogues between Socrates and two University students. ‘Peter Pragma’ and ‘Felicia Flake’ both of whom have 6 discussions with Socrates on different subjects.

That is just the beginning; the names are all puns in the book, as we have seen from our two main protagonists(Peter and Felicia). The puns continue through all the professors and personalities encountered. The president of Desperate State University is “Fudge Factor” and is as inept as his name implies. We also meet “Marigold Measurer”, the scientist who is addicted to data but without really understanding its purpose or use. Felicia has some mentors in her life - “Pop Syke” who is the guru of pop psychology, and “Karl”, the communist who is brother to “Adam”, the Capitalist.

Having read a number of Kreeft’s other books, this one was a bit of a letdown. The puns with the names got to be so trying and tiring that it was hard to finish the book. The same information could have been conveyed in conventional prose, with half the words. The dialogue grew boring and irritating. I just wanted the meat from this book and had to go through a lot of bone and grist to get to it.

The book has a lot to offer in the examination of why someone does what he does, and to help one live a more examined life. But the book often does it in a very long, roundabout way.

I never like to give a book a bad review, and often go back and read a book a second time before I will do so. This book, though hard to get through the first time, was more than worth it the second time. It teaches you the basics of philosophy, the Socratic method, as well as the Oxford method, for having an argument or discussion.

Much like some of his other writings - for example, Between Heaven and Hell and Making Sense out of Suffering - this book is one I will return to and re-read many times during my lifetime. So even if it seems cheesy and trite at first, I encourage you to persevere. It will be well worth the effort.
(First Published in Across the Creek 2007-04-02 "Book Look' Book Review column.)

Other Kreeft Reviews:
Socrates Meets Jesus
The Sea Within
Handbook of Christian Apologetics
Pocket Handbook of Christian Apologetics
The Journey
The Unaborted Socrates
The Best Things In Life
Between Heaven Hell
Doors in the Walls of the World
Catholic Christianity




Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Handbook of Christian Apologetics by: Peter Kreeft & Ronald K. Tacelli

Handbook of Christian Apologetics
Peter Kreeft & Ronald K. Tacelli
IVP Intervarsity Press
ISBN 9780830817740

This is a full version of the Pocket Handbook for Christian Apologetics written by the same authors. Recently updated with a fresh new cover, it doesn't appear that much else changed. Yet this has been considered a classic on the subject since its publication back in 1994. Used extensively in Campus ministries, and in both Catholic and Evangelical traditions, this book is very unique. This book used to be required reading for Campus Crusade for Christ Staff in Canada, and because it is an Intervarsity Press book, is used widely in that campus ministry also. Even the Navigators of Canada Resource center always keeps it in stock.
With such wide usage and varied acclaim, this book hardly even needs more of a plug. But it is truly a treasure. It answers hundreds of questions crucial to a deep understanding of Christianity and the claims of Christ. It tackles such large issues as: Do faith and reason conflict? Does God exist? Is the bible myth? Was Jesus more than a man? How can God allow evil to exist? Is there life after death? Miracles? And there are many more.

The sections of the book are:

  • Part 1: Introduction
  • Part 2: God
  • Part 3: God & Nature
  • Part 4: God & Grace
  • Part 5: God & Glory
  • Part 6: Conclusions
The chapters are nearly the same as the Pocket Handbook, and it also contains an extensive bibliography, scriptural index and subject index. These two indexes make the book great as a quick reference guide or for research purposes.

This book will become indispensable in your Christian toolbox. It is a valuable resource and well worth reading through, then going back to again and again. It will give you all the basics of the Christian faith in one book that has all the answers you will need. Check it out. Like all of Kreeft's other works I have reviewed, I would have to highly recommend this book. And I doubt that you will have a complaint after you have worked through it.


Other Kreeft Reviews:
Socrates Meets Jesus
The Sea Within
Handbook of Christian Apologetics
Pocket Handbook of Christian Apologetics
The Journey
The Unaborted Socrates
The Best Things In Life
Between Heaven Hell
Doors in the Walls of the World
Catholic Christianity




Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Pocket Handbook of Christian Apologetics by: Peter Kreeft & Ronald K. Tacelli

Pocket Handbook of Christian Apologetics
Peter Kreeft & Ronald K. Tacelli

IVP Intervarsity Press

ISBN 0830827021


This is an abridged version of Handbook for Christian Apologetics written by the same authors. This 'scaled down' version is a great little reference book, and is easily digestible, and hopefully it will draw you in enough to read the larger more complete work. This book is also one in a series, either sold separately or in a boxed set, that includes the following titles: Pocket Dictionary of North American Denominations, Pocket Dictionary for the Biblical Study of Hebrew, Pocket History of Theology, Pocket Dictionary of New Religious Movements.

This volume has 15 short, concise chapters written to answer the following questions:

1. Apologetics
2. Faith & Reason
3. Arguments for the Existence of God
4. The Nature of God
5. Creation and Evolution
6. Miracles
7. The Problem of Evil
8. The Divinity of Christ
9. The Resurrection
10. The Bible: Myth or History?
11. Life After Death
12. Heaven and Hell
13. Salvation
14. Christianity and Other Religions
15. Objective Truth

And it has a concluding page called 'The Bottom Line'. Each of these chapters is full of information to help you know your faith deeper if you are a Christian, or to help you understand the claims of Christianity if you are not.

This is a great resource, either for writing essays, for research, or for personal growth. It will give you all the basics of the Christian faith in one compact little book. Check it out. Like all of Kreeft's other works I have reviewed, I would have to highly recommend this book.


Other Kreeft Reviews:
Socrates Meets Jesus
The Sea Within
Handbook of Christian Apologetics
Pocket Handbook of Christian Apologetics
The Journey
The Unaborted Socrates
The Best Things In Life
Between Heaven Hell
Doors in the Walls of the World
Catholic Christianity