Few figures have impacted the rising generation of Catholics more than Peter Kreeft, the widely respected philosophy professor and prolific bestselling author of more than eighty books. Through his writings and lectures, Kreeft has shaped the minds and hearts of thousands of young apologists, evangelists, teachers, parents, and scholars.
This collection of eighteen essays, mainly by millennial Catholic leaders and converts to the Catholic faith, celebrates Kreeft’s significant legacy and impact, his most important books, and the many ways he has imparted to others those two seminal gifts: wisdom and wonder.
Among the eighteen contributors to this book are the editor Brandon Vogt, Trent Horn, Tyler Blanski, Douglas Beaumont, JonMarc Grodi, Jackie Angel, Matthew Warner, Rachel Bulman, Fr. Blake Britton, and others.
As I was reading these stories, I often found myself nodding my head in agreement and delighting in these individuals’ stories of how Peter Kreeft affected their lives.
In my searching days before entering the Church, I came across his book “Handbook of Christian Apologetics: Hundreds of Answers to Crucial Questions” that he wrote with Fr. Ronald K. Tacelli. This book hit me at about the perfect time. As I was investigating Christianity, I was also concerned that I was fooling myself into thinking any of this could be true. My awareness of my sinfulness, that I was not going to cure myself in some Pelagianism hope. If there was a God, I wanted to know if this was true and not because I wanted it to be true.
Reading this book put away those doubts. That the faith was intellectually rigorous and much more so than the atheism I had accepted most of my life. While the arguments and format were helpful for me, Kreeft’s wit also shows through at times. We are often convinced more through evident joy than through well-crafted arguments.
Over the years, I would explore more of his books and his unique voice. I would later come to see some influences such as Chesterton and Archbishop Sheen in him—which I see as natural integrations. A lightheartedness because he could take himself lightly to turn a Chesteron phrase.
Mostly what I came to understand reading these essays is that I need to re-read many of his books I have and get those I haven’t read (which is a lifetime reading project in itself, considering his prodigious output.) One of the downsides of the enthusiasm of a convert is just how much you don’t yet know and passes you by on a first reading. It is worthwhile to dive in over your head at times since you get that sense that there is so much more there you can return to.
Recently Word on Fire put out Food for the Soul: Reflections on the Mass
Readings (Cycle C) by Peter Kreeft. His reflections are everything you might hope they would be. This was not some project where he resorted to dashing out some reflections for every Sunday and Solemnity of the year. An obvious labor of love. I look forward to reading them each week, and this is also true of other members of a bible study I am in.