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Fundamentals of the Faith Paperback – 1 Dec 1990

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 32 reviews
89 of 92 people found the following review helpful
The best of many 26 Feb. 2002
By Hans Castrop - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although I am a Protestant, I have come to appreciate every thing Peter Kreeft writes. I bought his Handbook of Apologetics and could not put it down. Now these essays are feeding both mind a soul. Kreeft's way with words must be inspiration. His idea that faith, hope and charity together are the tripod that holds Christianity together is wonderful. In just one paragrpah he shows how you can't have one without the other two. Together they keep Christianity from becoming cold, cruel and wishful thinking.Each chapter is short and every word wothy of thought. My copy of the book is well marked and each page written on.
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.
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
A Foundation in Philosophy and Faith 4 Nov. 2001
By "westcoastgirlindc" - Published on
Format: Paperback
I first ran across this book ten years ago and have found myself continually buying copies for friends. Having just purchased it and reread it, yet again, I am convinced that, of Kreeft's many works, and among Christian apologetics generally, this one continues to stand out as foundational. By starting with the very "fundamentals lf the faith" in the first part of the book, Kreeft enables those with little or no understanding of Christianity to embrace it. He moves on to some of the tougher issues of the faith, and without flinching, presents a defense that is both philosophically and theologically sound. Finally, he turns to a series of essays on the Lord's Prayer that has continued to revitalize my prayer life. Overall, what makes this book such a winner for me is his clear, articulate prose -- and the fact that the book is presented in short essays that are ideal for an evening's consumption... if, in fact, you can resist the temptation to plough through the whole thing in a sitting.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Unapologetic Apologetics 6 Mar. 2006
By George R Dekle - Published on
Format: Paperback
"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.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
a master teacher 9 Feb. 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Peter Kreeft has just the right knack for finding the clear and telling analogy to make these age-old stances of church doctrine come alive and stick in your mind so that you can pass them on to friends. Many classic Church arguments are presented here in a way that's understandable for a non philosophy student. I've been wrestling with many of these concepts informally for years, but Kreeft's pedagogy is beginning to enlighten me, where my older and smarter brother in the faith hasn't been able to make it clear. Solid and orthodox in Catholic teaching.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Christian Apologetics 101 13 Sept. 2004
By Rich Leonardi - Published on
Format: Paperback
Kreeft's "Fundamentals of the Faith" is Christian Apologetics 101. Starting with "proofs" for the existence of God, he then establishes the reality of Christ's life and divinity, and then moves on to defenses of Christian doctrine entrusted to the Church.

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. No Jew confuses Creator with creature, God with man. And no man confuses a dead body with a resurrected, living one.

Here is what they got out of their hoax. Their friends and families scorned them. Their social standing, possessions, and political privileges were stolen from them by both Jews and Romans. They were persecuted, imprisoned, whipped, tortured, exiled, crucified, eaten by lions, and cut to pieces by gladiators. So some silly Jews invented the whole elaborate, incredible lie of Chrisitanity for absolutely no reason, and millions of Gentiles believed it, devoted their lives to it, and died for it - for no reason. It was only a fantastic practical joke, a hoax. Yes, there is a hoax indeed, but the perpetrators of it are the twentieth-century theologians, not the Gospel writers."

The book is vintage Kreeft and has earned the wide readership it enjoys.
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