On Peter Kreeft I cannot


On Peter Kreeft

I cannot explain why, but Peter Kreeft is one contemporary author whose nearly every work appeals to me. The exceptions (a couple of books about the Bible, and one or two others) are books for which I am very evidently not the intended audience. The books on the Bible seem very elementary and not particularly insightful, but I doubt they were written for a dyed-in-the-wool former fundamentalist, even so, they seem to lack some of the insights that Mr. Kreeft's work usually carries. I have also written to Mr. Kreeft about his seeming preference of Huxley over Orwell as predictors of the future. He seems to think Orwell's totalitarian state passe--I believe it is still a terrifying possibility, and the more I hear of our media people, the more I become convinced that somewhere in the U.S. a minispeak and a minitruth are both live and well.

However, while at the Basilica Shrine, I purchased another IVP title (to which I would otherwise have little or no access as it falls perfectly between the normal stock of the Catholic Bookstore and that of the "Family Christian Bookstore" which tends to be highly suspicious of things that reek of Catholicism.

This work, How to Win the Culture War made for some interesting subway reading on the way back home. There are many insights, and I'll start by sharing just a taste.

from How to Win the Culture War Introduction Peter Kreeft It's loud and crude, and I'm not sorry. For it is written on a battlefield, in the heat of battle. It is written for soldier or potential soldiers, enlistees. It is therefore not a carefully nuanced, politely academic argument. It is not a sweet violin; it is an ugly, blarng trumpet. On a battlefield, a trumpet works better than a violin.

Here is a preiew and summary of the book in one page.

To win any war, an any kind of war, the nine most necessary things to know are the following:
1. that you are at war
2. who your enemy is
3. what kind of war you are in
4. what the basic principle of this kind of war is
5. what the enemy's strategy is
6. where the main battlefield is
7. what weapon will defeat the enemy
8. how to acquire this weapon
9. why you will win.

Now, I must say as a crypto-pacifist, I find this kind of language very disturbing. On the other hand, I sense deeper than the disturbance the truth of what is being said. More than that, I realize that we are talking about a war which we must win and we must win not with battle in arms, but with battle in the spiritual realm. I have always regarded Paul's words about the real battle as a fundamental and central truth of the Bible--"We battle not against the powers of this world, but against the powers and principalities, thrones and dominions of the spiritual world." (Bad paraphrase, but you get the idea.) And I have always wanted to do my part in this battle. Once again, one of my favorite writers is there to encourage me. I owe Mr.Kreeft a great debt of thanks for this wonderful work. I will share more later.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on November 27, 2002 7:14 PM.

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