A very exciting collection on pre-pub

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Posts 670
Sleiman | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Jul 26 2013 9:31 PM

Peter Kreeft Theology collection.

He's probably my most favorite Christian writer/philosopher of the current century. If you don't know much about him, I invite you to listen to one of his lectures. He writes in a very similar style to how he talks and teaches. He has a way of conveying information that keeps you engaged and entertained even when the subject matter is utterly serious. And he happens to be extremely intelligent as well.

Yes he's Catholic and if you're among those who are sensitive to this, please take courage and do not make that deter you from discovering his rich writings. There's a lot of common-place Christianity there much like C.S. Lewis; one of his most favorite Christian figures (the others are probably Chesterton and Sts Augustine and Aquinas).

You probably already own one of his works: he co-authored the Handbook of Christian Apologetics logosres:hca;art=title. He also contributed to one of Geisler's apologetic books.

To get another taste of his style of writing, check out a story he made up where C.S. Lewis during his writing of "Mere Christianity" was surprised by Martin Luther and Thomas Aquinas debating. There is a snippet of it here and also in this forum post. And if you search hard enough on the internet, you can find the entire story.

Still not convinced? Why not check out the sample pages and let me know what you think.

Posts 18669
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 26 2013 9:56 PM

I've ordered it, but it's missing all but one of Kreeft's titles that I have in my print library, which is quite disappointing. I hope they come out with a Kreeft Upgrade collection that includes the following:

  • Between Heaven and Hell
  • Christianity for Modern Pagans (Pascal's Pensees)
  • Making Sense out of Suffering
  • Socrates Meets Jesus
  • Back to Virtue
  • C.S. Lewis for the Third Millennium
  • The Shadowlands of C.S. Lewis
Posts 670
Sleiman | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 26 2013 10:32 PM

Rosie Perera:

I've ordered it, but it's missing all but one of Kreeft's titles that I have in my print library, which is quite disappointing.

I know what you mean. But Kreeft is a prolific writer his Amazon Author page lists 65 book results. I want them all in Logos.

Posts 1602
Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 27 2013 1:26 PM

Wonderful!  Smile  I've pre-ordered.  Thanks for bringing this to our attention!

Posts 1602
Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 27 2013 7:28 PM

Sleiman:

I want them all in Logos.

YesYes

Posts 670
Sleiman | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 29 2013 7:55 AM

Ok... I'm on a mission: I will keep bumping this thread up with quotes from Peter Kreeft until the collection is in development! Devil

Here's the first one:

“America does not know the difference between money and sex. It treats sex like money because it treats sex as a medium of exchange, and it treats money like sex because it expects its money to get pregnant and reproduce.” 
How to Win the Culture War: A Christian Battle Plan for a Society in Crisis

Posts 255
Sogol | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 29 2013 8:12 AM

I guess we'll just have to get this one published first and then maybe we'll get the rest of the titles in versions 2, 3, 4, 5....

Posts 670
Sleiman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 30 2013 8:38 AM

Peter Kreeft in Fundamentals of the Faith:
So the saints are right. If I am nothing, nothing that is mine is anything. Nothing is mine by nature. But one thing is mine by my free choice: the self I give away in love. That is the thing even God cannot do for me. It is my choice. Everything I say is mine is not. But everything I say is yours is mine. C. S. Lewis, asked which of his many library books he thought he would have in heaven, replied, "Only the ones I gave away on earth and never got back". The same is true of our very self. It is like a ball in a game of catch: throw it and it will come back to you; hold onto it and that ends the game.

Posts 8893
fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 30 2013 3:19 PM

Have you seen http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/2413/finding_god_at_the_beach_an_interview_with_peter_kreeft.aspx?

"The Christian way of life isn't so much an assignment to be performed, as a gift to be received."  Wilfrid Stinissen

Mac Pro OS 10.9.

Posts 670
Sleiman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 31 2013 5:39 AM

fgh:
Thanks for the link, I have not seen it before. But I've heard similarly from Kreeft talks particularly his conversion story (which you can find on youtube).

Today's quote is from his book on prayer

Let's get very, very basic and very, very practical about prayer. The single most important piece of advice I know about prayer is also the simplest:   Just do it!

How to do it is less important than just doing it. Less-than-perfect prayer is infinitely better than no prayer; more perfect prayer is only finitely better than less perfect prayer.

Nancy Reagan was criticized for her simple anti-drug slogan: "Just say no." But there was wisdom there: the wisdom that the heart of any successful program to stop anything must be the simple will to say no. ("Just say no" doesn't mean that nothing else was needed, but that without that simple decision nothing else would work. "Just say no" may not be sufficient but it is necessary.)

Similarly, no program, method, book, teacher, or technique will ever succeed in getting us to start doing anything unless there is first of all that simple, absolute choice to do it. "Just say yes."

The major obstacle in most of our lives to just saying yes to prayer, the most popular and powerful excuse we give for not praying, or not praying more, or not praying regularly, is that we have no time.

The only effective answer to that excuse, I find, is a kind of murder. You have to kill something, you have to say no to something else, in order to make time to pray. Of course, you will never find time to pray, you have to make time to pray. And that means unmaking something else. The only way to install the tenant of prayer in the apartment building of your life is to evict some other tenant from those premises that prayer will occupy. Few of us have any empty rooms available.

Deciding to do that is the first thing. And you probably won't decide to do it, only wishto do it, unless you see prayer for what it is: a matter of life or death, your lifeline to God, to life itself.

Is this exaggerated? Are there more important things? Love, for instance? We need love absolutely; but the love we need is agape, the love that only God has and is; so unless we go to God for it, we won't get it. And going to God for it means prayer. So unless we pray, we will not love.

Having got that clear and having made prayer your number one priority, having made a definite decision to do it, we must next rearrange our lives around it. Rearranging your time, preparing time to pray, is like preparing your house to paint. As everyone knows who has done any painting, preparation is three-quarters the work, three-quarters the hassle, and three-quarters the time. The actual painting is a breeze compared with the preparation. The same is true of prayer: the hardest step is preparing a place, a time, a sacred and inviolable part of each day for it. Prayer is like Thanksgiving dinner. It takes one hour to eat it and ten hours to prepare it. Prayer is like Christmas Day: it took a month of preparation, decoration, and shopping to arrange for that one day. Best of all, prayer is like love. Foreplay is, or should be, most of it. For two people truly and totally in love, all of their lives together is foreplay. Well, prayer is like spiritual love-making. God has waited patiently for you for a long, long time. He longs for you to touch the fringe of his being in prayer, as the woman touched the hem of Christ's garment, so that you can be healed. How many hours did that woman have to prepare for that one-minute touch?

The first and most important piece of practical preparation is scheduling. You absolutely must schedule a regular time for prayer, whether you are a "scheduler" with other things in your life or not. "Catch as catch can" simply won't work for prayer; it will mean less and less prayer, or none at all. One quick minute in the morning to offer your day to God is better than nothing at all, of course, but it is as radically inadequate as one quick minute a day with your wife or husband. You simply must decide each day to free up your schedule so you can pray.

How long a time? That varies with individuals and situations, of course; but the very barest minimum should certainly be at least fifteen minutes. You can't really count on getting much deep stuff going on in less time than that. If fifteen minutes seems too much to you, that fact is powerful proof that you need to pray much more to get your head on straight.

After it becomes more habitual and easy, expand it, double it. And later, double it again. Aim at an hour each day, if you want radical results. (Do you? Or are you only playing?)

What time of day is best? The most popular time—bedtime—is usually the worst possible time, for two reasons. First, it tends not to be prime time but garbage time, when you're the least alert and awake. Do you really want to put God in the worst apartment in your building? Should you offer him the sickest sheep in your flock?

Second, it won't work. If you wait until every other obligation is taken care of first before you pray, you simply won't pray. For life today is so cruelly complicated for most of us that "every other obligation" is never taken care of. Remember, you are going to have to kill other things in order to pray. No way out of that.

The most obvious and usually best time is early in the morning. If you can't delay the other things you do, you simply must get up that much earlier.

Should it be the very first thing? That depends. Some people are alert as soon as they get up; others need to shower and dress to wake up. The important thing is to give God the best time, and "just do it."

Place is almost as important as time. You should make one special place where you can be undisturbed. "Catch as catch can" won't work for place either.

What place? Some people are not very sensitive to environment and can even use a bathroom. Others naturally seek beauty: a porch, yard, garden, or walk. (I find praying while you take a walk a good combination of spiritual and physical exercise.)

You probably noticed I haven't said a word about techniques yet. That's because three-quarters is preparation, remember? But what about methods?

I can only speak from my own experience as a continuing beginner. The two most effective that I have found are very simple. One is praying Scripture, reading and praying at the same time, reading in God's presence, receiving the words from God's mouth. The second is spontaneous verbal prayer. I am not good at all at silent prayer, mental prayer, contemplative prayer; my thoughts hop around like fleas. Praying aloud (or singing) keeps me praying, at least. And I find it often naturally leads to silent prayer often, or "mental prayer," or contemplation.

Most advice on prayer focuses on higher levels: contemplative prayer. But I suspect many of my readers are prayer infants too and need to learn to walk before they can run. So these are some lessons from one man's prayer kindergarten. Let's "just do it" even if "it" is only crawling towards God. 

Posts 846
Eric Weiss | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 31 2013 5:56 AM

Sleiman:
Is this exaggerated? Are there more important things? Love, for instance? We need love absolutely; but the love we need is agape, the love that only God has and is; so unless we go to God for it, we won't get it. And going to God for it means prayer. So unless we pray, we will not love.

*sigh*

agape is NOT the love that only God has and is. From D.A. Carson Exegetical Fallacies - Second Edition, available in Logos:

But most of those who insist that there is a distinction to be made in John’s use of the two verbs do so on one of two grounds. First, they argue that translators of the Septuagint and New Testament writers have invested61 ἀγαπάω (agapaō, to love) and ἀγάπη (agapē, love) with special meaning to provide an adequate expression by which to talk about the love of God; and only this accounts for the word’s rapid rise to prominence in our literature. But this argument has been overturned by the diachronic study of Robert Joly, who presents convincing evidence that ἀγαπάω (agapaō) was coming into prominence throughout Greek literature from the fourth century b.c. on, and was not restricted to biblical literature.62 This development was fostered by a number of changes in the language (linguists call them structural changes) in which ἀγαπάω (agapaō) was becoming one of the standard verbs for “to love” because φιλέω (phileō) had acquired the meaning to kiss as part of its semantic range. The reasons for these developments need not detain us;63 but the evidence is substantial and effectively disqualifies this first ground.

The second ground on which many build their argument that ἀγαπάω (agapaō) is to be distinguished from φιλέω (phileō) in John 21:15–17—and the one that concerns us most directly at the moment—is well illustrated by William Hendriksen’s commentary.64 Hendriksen shows that although there is considerable semantic overlap between ἀγαπάω (agapaō) and φιλέω (phileō), once one considers all the biblical passages in which these two words occur there is clear evidence for a little semantic “overhang” in each case. For instance, φιλέω (phileō) can be used when Judas kisses Jesus (Luke 22:47); ἀγαπάω (agapaō) is never used in such a context. On this sort of basis, then, Hendriksen concludes that ἀγαπάω (agapaō) and φιλέω (phileō) are not complete synonyms, and therefore that they preserve slightly differently semantic thrusts in John 21:15–17.

Whatever the outcome of the continued debate on this passage, it should by now be obvious that Hendriksen’s argument will not stand up, precisely because he mishandles the difficult questions surrounding synonymy. The heart of his argument is that the total semantic range of each word is slightly different from the other, and therefore that there is a semantic difference in this context. But if we decide contextually specific questions of synonymy on the basis of the total semantic range of each word, any synonymy in any context is virtually impossible. Hendriksen’s treatment illegitimately forecloses the question.65

- - -

61 The less sophisticated, of course, will not use the word invested, but will say that the writers of the Septuagint and the New Testament chose ἀγαπάω (agapaō) and cognates as the only adequate term with which to talk about God’s love. But this is a return to the root fallacy, already discussed.

62 Robert Joly, Le vocabulaire chrétien de l’amour est-il original? Φιλεὶν ετ ἀγαπάν dans le grec antique (Brussels: Presses Universitaires, 1968).

63 Briefly, Joly demonstrates that φιλέω (phileō) acquired this new and additional meaning because an older verb for “to kiss,” κυνέω (kyneō), was dropping out; and the reason for this latter disappearance was the homonymic clash with yet another verb, κύνω (kynō, which means “to impregnate”), particularly in the aorist, where both κυνέω (kyneō, to kiss) and κύνω (kynō, to impregnate) have the same form ἔκυσα (ekysa). This would encourage various salacious puns and gradually force κυνέω (kyneō) into obsolescence.

64 William Hendriksen, The Gospel of John, 2 vols. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1953–54), especially 2:494–500.

65 Perhaps I should add that I am not suggesting there is nothing distinctive about God’s love. The Scriptures insist there is. But the content of God’s love is not connected on a one-to-one basis with the semantic range of any single word or word group. What the Bible has to say about the love of God is conveyed by sentences, paragraphs, discourses, and so forth; that is, by larger semantic units than the word.

Optimistically Egalitarian (Galatians 3:28)

Posts 287
Hapax Legomena | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 31 2013 6:57 AM

I am looking forward to this collection.  I do wish Logos could get the rights to more of his works.

Posts 670
Sleiman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 1 2013 5:57 AM

Eric Weiss:

*sigh*

agape is NOT the love that only God has and is.

Hey Eric, this seems like a pet peeve to you. I'm not bothered so much by it but I understand you. Kreeft is not a Greek scholar, he's a philosopher so excuse him :) If we just delete the word agape from the sentence it will still convey the whole message: 
Is this exaggerated? Are there more important things? Love, for instance? We need love absolutely; but the love we need is [...] the love that only God has and is; so unless we go to God for it, we won't get it. And going to God for it means prayer. So unless we pray, we will not love.

Posts 670
Sleiman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 1 2013 6:38 AM

Today's quote is from his book "The philosophy of Jesus": 

THERE ARE FOUR PERENNIAL philosophical questions. “Philosophy” means “the love of wisdom,” and wisdom, if we had it, would give us answers to at least these four great questions:

  1. What is? What is real? Especially, what is most real?
  2. How can we know what is real, and especially the most real?
  3. Who are we, who want to know the real? “Know thyself.”
  4. What should we be, how should we live, to be more real?

They are the questions about being, truth, self, and goodness. The divisions of philosophy that explore these four questions are called by four technical names: metaphysics, epistemology, philosophical anthropology, and ethics.


1. First things first: everything is relative to metaphysics. The first thing every baby wants to know is: What’s there? My son’s first question was “Wot dat?” He kept shooting the question at everything, like a machine gun, until he got a catalog of answers, a universe.

If we are wise, we never grow up.


2. But we do change. Around the beginning of adolescence we turn critical: we want to know not just the difference between cats and dogs but the difference between truth and falsehood. We want to know how we can know, how we can be sure. We become epistemologists. And since the most interesting question of metaphysics is about ultimate reality, the most interesting question of epistemology is about knowing ultimate reality: how can we finite fools know infinite wisdom? How can man know God? Or even that there is a God?


3. A little later, we also turn inward. We wonder who we really are once we stop playing with our masks on other people’s stages. Why is it so hard to “know thyself ”? Obviously, what we are is human beings, but what is that? (“Wot dat?”) Once we know the known, we want to know the knower.


4. Finally, when we realize that this self that knows is fundamentally different from everything else in the known universe because it alone can failto be its true self, we then demand to discriminate not only between truth and falsehood but also between good and evil. We can be bad or good. Nothing else in the universe has that choice. Our selves, unlike acorns or stars, are not wholly given to us but made by our choices. Once we realize that, we ask how we can become our true selves, our real selves, our good selves. How can bad people become good people? And what is it to be a good person? (“Wot dat?”)


The logical order of questions is this: we must first know something real before we can know how we know it; and we must first know who we are before we can know what is good for us. The order is also an order of increasing concreteness, increasing practicality, and increasing accessibility and interest to ordinary people. Ethics is based on metaphysics, it is logically posterior to metaphysics; but it is psychologically more compelling.


Philosophers have thought profoundly about these four questions for over two millennia. Why have they not found answers that are adequate, final, and universally acknowledged? Why is one of the best definitions of a philosopher “one who contradicts other philosophers”? H.L. Mencken said, “Philosophy consists largely of one philosopher arguing that all the others are jackasses. He usually proves it.”


The Christian answer: because the only adequate and final answer to all four great philosophical questions is Christ. The most philosophical writer in the Bible, John, begins his Gospel by identifying Jesus with the Logos (“In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logoswas with God and the Logos was God . . . and the Logos became flesh and dwelt among us.”) What is the Logos? It is an incredibly rich Greek word. Here are some of its meanings: the Logos means the Word of God, the Revelation of God, the Speech of God, the Wisdom of God, the Mind of God, the Truth of God, the Reason of God, the Philosophy of God.


Jesus is God’s philosophy.

Posts 846
Eric Weiss | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 1 2013 8:34 AM

Sleiman:

Eric Weiss:

*sigh*

agape is NOT the love that only God has and is.

Hey Eric, this seems like a pet peeve to you. I'm not bothered so much by it but I understand you. Kreeft is not a Greek scholar, he's a philosopher so excuse him :) If we just delete the word agape from the sentence it will still convey the whole message: 
Is this exaggerated? Are there more important things? Love, for instance? We need love absolutely; but the love we need is [...] the love that only God has and is; so unless we go to God for it, we won't get it. And going to God for it means prayer. So unless we pray, we will not love.

Not a particular pet peeve, but reciting disproven hoary old "preacher Greek" chestnuts, whether from the pulpit or in print, does irritate me. If you haven't had a few years of NT Greek or Biblical Hebrew or don't check with up-to-date lexical/grammatical information, don't say or write "In the original Greek [Hebrew], it says/this word means...." as if you're now giving your audience or readers some arcane knowledge. Kreeft isn't doing that here, but his premise that agape is a special possession of God's, which it's not, means his conclusion can be faulted. Cool

Optimistically Egalitarian (Galatians 3:28)

Posts 9946
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 1 2013 8:43 AM

Sleiman:

Eric Weiss:

*sigh*

agape is NOT the love that only God has and is.

Hey Eric, this seems like a pet peeve to you. I'm not bothered so much by it but I understand you. Kreeft is not a Greek scholar, he's a philosopher so excuse him :) If we just delete the word agape from the sentence it will still convey the whole message: 
Is this exaggerated? Are there more important things? Love, for instance? We need love absolutely; but the love we need is [...] the love that only God has and is; so unless we go to God for it, we won't get it. And going to God for it means prayer. So unless we pray, we will not love.

This is a matter which has been noted on the b-greek forum on numerous occasions though I think that was on the old forum (change in format).  I believe Eric is / was a participant in the forum so I can understand his reservations on that score.  Old myths die hard, and the myth that agape is only related to God and that it means something entirely different from fileo is one that continues to hang on so, no, don't cut him any slack—drive a stake through the heart of this notion.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 846
Eric Weiss | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 1 2013 10:21 AM

George Somsel:

Sleiman:

Eric Weiss:

*sigh*

agape is NOT the love that only God has and is.

Hey Eric, this seems like a pet peeve to you. I'm not bothered so much by it but I understand you. Kreeft is not a Greek scholar, he's a philosopher so excuse him :) If we just delete the word agape from the sentence it will still convey the whole message: 
Is this exaggerated? Are there more important things? Love, for instance? We need love absolutely; but the love we need is [...] the love that only God has and is; so unless we go to God for it, we won't get it. And going to God for it means prayer. So unless we pray, we will not love.

This is a matter which has been noted on the b-greek forum on numerous occasions though I think that was on the old forum (change in format).  I believe Eric is / was a participant in the forum so I can understand his reservations on that score.  Old myths die hard, and the myth that agape is only related to God and that it means something entirely different from fileo is one that continues to hang on so, no, don't cut him any slack—drive a stake through the heart of this notion.

Thanks, George. Cool

Bye-bye, Trench's Synonyms (or at least caveat emptor).

Optimistically Egalitarian (Galatians 3:28)

Posts 8893
fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 1 2013 4:45 PM

More Kreeft: Peter Kreeft’s Socratic Dialogues (7 vols.)

"The Christian way of life isn't so much an assignment to be performed, as a gift to be received."  Wilfrid Stinissen

Mac Pro OS 10.9.

Posts 670
Sleiman | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 2 2013 9:08 AM

George Somsel:
Old myths die hard, and the myth that agape is only related to God and that it means something entirely different from fileo is one that continues to hang on so, no, don't cut him any slack—drive a stake through the heart of this notion.
Agree. Here's Pope Benedict's words on the subject (from Deus Caritas Est also in Logos):


This in turn led us to consider two fundamental words: eros, as a term to indicate “worldly” love and agape, referring to love grounded in and shaped by faith. The two notions are often contrasted as “ascending” love and “descending” love. There are other, similar classifications, such as the distinction between possessive love and oblative love (amor concupiscentiae—amor benevolentiae), to which is sometimes also added love that seeks its own advantage.

In philosophical and theological debate, these distinctions have often been radicalized to the point of establishing a clear antithesis between them: descending, oblative love—agape—would be typically Christian, while on the other hand ascending, possessive or covetous love—eros—would be typical of non-Christian, and particularly Greek culture. Were this antithesis to be taken to extremes, the essence of Christianity would be detached from the vital relations fundamental to human existence, and would become a world apart, admirable perhaps, but decisively cut off from the complex fabric of human life. Yet eros and agape—ascending love and descending love—can never be completely separated. The more the two, in their different aspects, find a proper unity in the one reality of love, the more the true nature of love in general is realized. Even if eros is at first mainly covetous and ascending, a fascination for the great promise of happiness, in drawing near to the other, it is less and less concerned with itself, increasingly seeks the happiness of the other, is concerned more and more with the beloved, bestows itself and wants to “be there for” the other.

[...]

Fundamentally, “love” is a single reality, but with different dimensions; at different times, one or other dimension may emerge more clearly. Yet when the two dimensions are totally cut off from one another, the result is a caricature or at least an impoverished form of love.

Benedict XVI. (2005). Deus Caritas Est. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

Therefore Agape is not only God's love and also God's love is not only agape. No argument with me. Cool?

Posts 9946
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 2 2013 9:30 AM

Here's the passage that settles the matter completely—Jn 1.20

ὁ γὰρ πατὴρ φιλεῖ τὸν υἱὸν καὶ πάντα δείκνυσιν αὐτῷ ἃ αὐτὸς ποιεῖ, καὶ μείζονα τούτων δείξει αὐτῷ ἔργα, ἵνα ὑμεῖς θαυμάζητε.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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