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Fundamentals of the Faith: Essays in Christian Apologetics [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   300
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.9" Width: 5.2" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 1988
Publisher   Ignatius Press
ISBN  089870202X  
EAN  9780898702026  
UPC  008987020202  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Kreeft considers all the fundamental elements of Christianity and Catholicism, explaining, defending and showing their relevance to our life and the world's yearnings. Here is a book to help you understand your faith more fully and to explain it to others more winningly. Like every religion, this faith has three aspects, corresponding to the three parts of the soul and filling the innate needs of all three parts. Kreeft uses these three divisions as the basic outline for his Christian apologetics. First, every religion has some beliefs, whether expressed in creeds or not, something for the intellect to know. Second, every religion has some duty or deed, some practice of program, some moral or ethical code, something for the will to choose. Finally, every religion has some liturgy, some worship, some "church", something for the body and the concrete imagination and the aesthetic sense to work at. Creed, Code and Cult; Words, Works and Worship, are a most useful way of outlining any religious faith, including the Catholic Faith of Christians.

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More About Peter Kreeft

Peter Kreeft Peter J. Kreeft (Ph.D., Fordham University) was born in 1937 and is professor of philosophy at Boston College where he has taught since 1965. A popular lecturer, he has also taught at many other colleges, seminaries and educational institutions in the eastern United States. Kreeft has written more than fifty books, including The Best Things in Life, The Journey, How to Win the Culture War and, with Ronald Tacelli, Handbook of Christian Apologetics.

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General   [5549  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Good book  Jan 12, 2007
I really enjoyed this book, it gives you a lot of things to think about and the author seems to be a more liberal Catholic. Many of the topics in this book can be found as lectures on the author's website. There are a few parts that he covers science topics that are not backed up but scientific research, however I do enjoy that he is willing to combine religion and science.
Unapologetic Apologetics  Mar 6, 2006
"The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it." That sums up most of the Christian apologetics I have heard. For the Christian, that may settle it. For the unbeliever, it settles nothing.

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.

One page can muck things up......  Oct 9, 2005
Kreeft's book is, on the whole, really quite good. Please be aware, however, of certain very troubling assertions found on *page 293*. (Kreeft himself has already expressed regret for his wording with respect to this issue.) Assuming the reader is aware of the content of said page, I proffer the following:

Authentic Catholic orthodoxy holds that Christian belief with respect to the truth of the divine origin and infallibility of the Catholic Church has (/via/ the supernatural virtue of faith) every bit as much 'positive epistemic status' (to use Plantinga's term) as Christian belief with respect to the divinity of Christ. Indeed, at least as concerns the theological virtue of faith, the two stand or fall together. In other words, a Catholic may not hold that one has greater certitude with respect to one than the other: if one can be absolutely certain that one is not in error with respect to the truth of the divinity Christ, the same holds (by way of the same Christian faith) with respect to the truth of the divine origin and infallibility of the Catholic Church. From an authentically Catholic perspective, therefore, it is unorthodox (or at least misleading) to claim that Protestants "might be right after all". Kreeft's wording in this regard is apt to cause serious misunderstanding among already malinformed Catholics (not to mention the great mass of people as a whole) as to the nature of the supernatural virtue of faith.

As an anecdote to the (as it were) "epistemic perils" of p. 293, I'd put forth for consideration Garrigou-Lagrange's ON FAITH (distributed by TAN), "Faith and Revealed Truth" by George D. Smith (found online, though be aware of a certain creeping evidentialism), and the portion of Frank Sheed's THEOLOGY AND SANITY (published by Ignatius) delineating the virtue of faith.

Thus, aside from caveats with respect to both:

a) page 293
b) certain "Rahnerian" 'anonymous Christian' tendencies evinced by Kreeft -- tendencies found in many otherwise superb Catholic works (springing, in large measure, from a *misinterpretation* of Vatican II),

I'd recommend the cautious reading of this book. Its flaws notwithstanding, it remains a tremendous work of Christian and, specifically, Catholic apologetics.
A Catholic C.S. Lewis  Sep 26, 2005
Having read "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis at least three times, I was delighted to find Peter Kreeft's book covering similar spiritual territory from a Catholic perspective. He does a great job of presenting the fundamentals -- fundamentals by the way that for the most part Protestants and Catholics should be able to agree on. As a protestant, I found the chapters on creeds to be quite useful in showing how the creeds contain truths that unite the church in a consistent doctrine -- again one that is shared by most Protestants and Catholics. Finally, the section of the book on the fundamentals of Christian living explains in very practical terms how we may live our lives more pleasing to God and to ourselves by following the basic principles discussed. The discussions on "Forgiveness" and "Temptation and Deliverance" are particularly powerful.

Much of what is in this book will be more familiar to Protestants who have attended Sunday School and studied the Bible, than it will be to a Catholic who attends Mass but rarely, if ever, attends a study group or reads the Bible. I suspect many Protestants in reading this book, however, will be surprised to see a Catholic theologian describing his Catholic faith in terms quite consistent with Protestant faith. This can create a new understanding among Protestants of what Catholics believe. This book should also be recommended reading for every Catholic in order that they might better understand the faith taught by their church. A sad truth is that although the Church may officially teach what Kreeft describes in the way of theology and personal relationship with Jesus Christ, many of the people sitting in Catholic Church each week don't know the depth of the faith the Church teaches and yet they are searching for just that -- and this book could go a long way to providing them some answers.
Great collection of essays on Christianity  Jun 17, 2005
This is a wonderful collection of short essays covering various issues in Christian apologetics and doctrine, such as philosophical proofs for God's existence, comparisons between Christianity and other religions, the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the theological virtues (faith, hope, and love), and the nature of the church. While the book as a whole does not constitute a comprehensive treatment of either apologetics or doctrine, Kreeft has a great knack for discussing these topics in a clear, concise, informative, and insightful manner, which makes the individual essays well worth reading.

If you would like the opportunity to read part of this book before deciding whether or not to purchase it, several of the chapters from this book are available on the author's web site (which you can find by doing a web search on "Peter Kreeft") -- look under the "Arguments for God's Existence" on the Featured Writing page, and under "Other Religions" on the More Featured Writing page.

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