Peter Kreeft

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Peter Kreeft
Head-and-shoulder photo portrait of Kreeft
BornPeter Kreeft
1937
OccupationPhilosopher, professor, Christian apologist, author
GenresChristian apologetics, philosophy
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Peter Kreeft
Head-and-shoulder photo portrait of Kreeft
BornPeter Kreeft
1937
OccupationPhilosopher, professor, Christian apologist, author
GenresChristian apologetics, philosophy

Peter John Kreeft (born 1937) is a professor of philosophy at Boston College and The King's College. He is the author of numerous books as well as a popular writer of Christian philosophy, theology and apologetics. He also formulated, together with Ronald K. Tacelli, SJ, "Twenty Arguments for the Existence of God".[1]

Academic career[edit]

Kreeft took his A.B. at Calvin College (1959) and an M.A. at Fordham University (1961). In the same university he completed his doctoral studies in 1965. He briefly did post-graduate studies at Yale University.

Kreeft has received several honors for achievements in philosophical reasoning. They include the following: Woodrow Wilson, Yale-Sterling Fellowship, Newman Alumni Scholarship, Danforth Asian Religions Fellowship, and Weathersfield Homeland Foundation Fellowship.

Kreeft joined the philosophy faculty of the Department of Philosophy of Boston College in 1965. He has debated several academics in issues related to God's existence. Shortly after he began teaching at Boston College he was challenged to a debate on the existence of God between himself and Paul Breines, an atheist and history professor, which was attended by a majority of undergraduate students. Kreeft later used many of the arguments in this debate to create the Handbook of Christian Apologetics with then undergraduate student Ronald K. Tacelli, S.J..

In 1971 Kreeft published an article entitled "Zen In Heidegger's 'Gelassenheit'" in the peer-reviewed journal International Philosophical Quarterly, the philosophy journal published by Kreeft's alma mater, Fordham University. In 1994, he was a signer of the document "Evangelicals and Catholics Together". He also formulated, with R. Tacelli, SJ, "Twenty Arguments for the Existence of God", which he calls a "cumulative case" and that "all twenty taken together, like twined rope, make a very strong case" he states.[2]

Conversion story[edit]

A Calvinist, Kreeft regarded the Catholic Church "with the utmost suspicion."[3] A key turning point was when he was asked by a Calvinist professor to investigate the claims of the Catholic Church that it traced itself to the early Church. He said that on his own, he "discovered in the early Church such Catholic elements as the centrality of the Eucharist, the Real Presence, prayers to saints, devotion to Mary, an insistence on visible unity, and apostolic succession."[3] The Church fathers such as Augustine and Jerome were clearly Catholic and not Protestant, he stated.

The "central and deciding" factor for his conversion was "the Church's claim to be the one Church historically founded by Christ."[3] For he applies C. S. Lewis's trilemma -- either Jesus is a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord to the Church: "either that this is the most arrogant, blasphemous and wicked claim imaginable, if it is not true, or else that He is just what He claims to be."

On the Bible issue, he refers to the church preaching that forms the basis for writing the Bible and the approval needed from the church to ascertain the contents of the Bible. To this he applied the axiom: "a cause can never be less than its effect. You can't give what you don't have. If the Church has no divine inspiration and no infallibility, no divine authority, then neither can the New Testament."[3]

His conversion took place as he asked God for help, praying that "God would decide for me, for I am good at thinking but bad at acting, like Hamlet."[3] It was then that he says he "seemed to sense" the call of saints and his favorite heroes, to which he assented.

According to Kreeft's personal account, his conversion to Catholicism was influenced by things such as:[3]

Quotes[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]