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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

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

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