Peter Kreeft [Academic Philosopher & Christian Apologist]

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Image: Chloe Langr/epicPew

Peter Kreeft (b. 1937, Paterson, New Jersey) is a Professor of philosophy at Boston College and The King’s College. He obtained his BA at Calvin College (1959), his MA at Fordham University (1961), and his PhD at Fordham (1965) (1).

Kreeft explains that several rational factors convinced him of the truth of Christianity, particularly C.S. Lewis’ trilemma argument in favour of Christ’s deity. The trilemma argument says that the only alternatives to Christ being who he said he was (God himself) was that he was either evil or deluded. If he was neither evil or deluded then one must accept the truth of his message. Kreeft has elucidated this argument and expanded on it in some of his writings. Kreeft is also an expert on C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. He has examined the philosophical significance of works such as Lord of the Rings, a work that was inspired by Tolkien’ Christian views (2). Kreeft is also a convert to Catholicism and the “central and deciding” factor for his conversion was “the Church’s claim to be the one Church historically founded by Christ.” He views favourably Thomistic philosophy and the writings of the Catholic saint, St. John of the Cross.

Kreeft has produced numerous videos focusing on religion and philosophy for Prager University’s website (3), has formulated 20 arguments for the existence of God (4), and has written widely on Christian philosophy, apologetics, theology, and culture. He has engaged in debates, notably with Paul Breines, an atheist and history professor, while teaching at Boston College, and has spent a much time speaking at conferences (5).

Kreeft is the author of several dozens of works, some of which are worth noting. Fundamentals of the Faith, Essays in Christian Apologetics (1988) is an apologetic work penned for Catholics in which the fundamental elements of Christianity and Catholicism are explained and defended. Christianity for Modern Pagans: Pascal’s Pensees (1993) looks at the 17th century French Catholic theologian Blaise Pascal as being the first post-medieval apologists, and argues that Pascal’s apologetics in Pensees are ideal for modern and contemporary skeptics. The Handbook of Christian Apologetics (1994) was motivated by his debate with Paul Breines. He includes many of the arguments from that debate, and examines important topics such as faith and reason, the existence of God, God’s nature, how we know God, and creation and evolution. Kreeft’s most recent work, Doors in the Walls of the World (2018), draws on history, physical science, psychology, religion, philosophy, literature, and art and shows how these incorporate elements of the transcendent which suggests that there is more to the world than merely the material.

References

1. Peter Kreeft. About. Available.

2. Mooney, C. 2002. How J.R.R. Tolkien became a Christian writer. Available.

3. PragerU. Peter Kreeft. Available.

4. Peter Kraft. Twenty Arguments God’s Existence. Available.

5. Boston College Library. The Heights, Volume LXVII, Number 14, 15 September 1986. Available.

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2 responses to “Peter Kreeft [Academic Philosopher & Christian Apologist]

  1. We should also note, however, Chaplapreneur (like that sobriquet, btw; Israel Kirzner (and Bill Baumol, too, probably) would no doubt approve), and James, that Kreeft’s musings have received blistering criticism and rebuttal over on YouTube by various counter-apologists.

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