51TMEOrqD4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I was delighted when the head of the Great Books College at Faulkner University offered the graduate students an op51TMEOrqD4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I was delighted when the head of the Great Books College at Faulkner University offered the graduate students an opportunity to read and review a series of books by Peter Kreeft. I am, however, ashamed that I delayed in finally reading and reviewing it. Alas, schedules being what they are.
Kreeft demonstrated a competency with all things Socratic as he portrayed Socrates in real-time at a modern academy. As Socrates did, so Kreeft let him do what he always did best -- ask questions and learn. The book wasn't portrayed as a dialogue between Socrates and Jesus, however. It was largely about Socrates at a modern academy encountering the intelligentsia of our time in classes on comparative religions and Christology. There, Socrates conversed with professors and students -- sometimes learning more from the latter than the former. Many theologians would recognize the vernacular right away, as would anyone with education in either philosophy, theology, and/or biblical studies.
Socrates encountered something all-to-familiar to us -- postmodernism. The doubting of absolute truths and an open-mindedness that is open to anything but "fundamentalism" is presented concisely. Those of the postmodern mindset meet the purest seeker of truth as he pursued knowing the Truth -- Jesus. Socrates had to navigate a land-mind of postmodern and liberal thoughts that wound up fueling his questioning which showed the ridiculousness of those who stand really for nothing at all except "tolerance and equality."
Perhaps, though, Kreeft's work is an indictment not only on how society thinks, but also on how God is studied as an academic discipline to the neglect of His being a Sovereign and Divine Creator and Savior. Socrates disdained the lecture that offered no opportunity for questioning, and the reading lists that consisted of "scholarship" rather than original texts. Moreover, in the end, the believer will appreciate this book because Socrates was the purest seeker of truth known to man. His search for truth, aided by the Scriptures, revealed exactly what he was unable to conclude from reason -- God. While Socrates believed in ultimately one God, he never knew who He was. Scripture answers his questions, and in the later chapters it's amazing to see how he interacted with the Bible.
I'd recommend this read to all believers, and I promise if you know nothing about Socrates, this book will make you want to pick up some of the Platonic works wherein his inquiries live. Anyone who purely seeks truth will be challenged to think and empty themselves of their preconceived notions about faith, rationality, and philosophy. This was a treasure of a read! ...more
I was rather surprised to see how coherent Lewis' thoughts were in this short book. To have lost his one love and yet still reason as he did proves hiI was rather surprised to see how coherent Lewis' thoughts were in this short book. To have lost his one love and yet still reason as he did proves his acumen. Nevertheless, this book is wonderful and will be an asset to any who are grieving. In his context, he spoke about the numerous emotions he encountered whilst grieving the lost of his beloved wife, but he even noted the moments he felt more at peace. Through this, he faced the reality and even utility of his grief -- what purpose did it serve? Does Lewis find peace? I believe so. I think he may also show how well love must be balanced and not too one-sided. Had he loved his wife so much that his life was consumed, he would have over-loved her. Had his love for God waned because of his love for her, he would not have only over-loved her, but under-loved Him. I highly recommend this book to anyone grieving, or anyone who helps those who are grieving. ...more
If there was one book that I'd recommend for an entire church to read, it would be this one. Dr. Pohl not only reminds us of the rich tradition of hosIf there was one book that I'd recommend for an entire church to read, it would be this one. Dr. Pohl not only reminds us of the rich tradition of hospitality as shown throughout the ages of Christianity, but she offers practice insight and noteworthy observations. This book will not only make a person rethink hospitality as a whole, but the reader may also take these concepts regarding ancient hospitality and regard the ostracized of our times with greater compassion. Be prepared to be challenged, rebuked, and admonished. This is a gem of a book. ...more
This book is very helpful for not only for distinguishing between secular humanism and Christian humanism, but it actually goes on to show that humaniThis book is very helpful for not only for distinguishing between secular humanism and Christian humanism, but it actually goes on to show that humanism in any form is a robbery of Christian humanism. This is a great book for those interested in learning more about Christian humanism as such. ...more
Though an older work, John Paul II spends time explaining the relationship between faith and reason. The latter is used to interpret and understand thThough an older work, John Paul II spends time explaining the relationship between faith and reason. The latter is used to interpret and understand the former, but it isn't in a place to question faith. Reason, as he portrays it, is a gift given from God, and every man by nature is a philosopher. The degree to which each knows philosophy determines their comprehension of faith. JP II certainly would not say that a philosophical education is essential to faith, but he would posit that the natural ability of man to reason should certainly lead to what is. In the age when metaphysics is ignored, JP II insists on their consideration, because it's natural for man to ask life's most puzzling questions: "Where did I come from?"; "What happens when I die?"; "Do I have a purpose?"; et. al. Whereas science cannot fully answer these questions, JP II argues that science should be considered and not ignored by those of faith. He said that even in studying and learning the disciplines which disagree with faith there are always some truth to be found. ...more
Schall, ever the metaphysician, strives for us to see the "highest things" through our everyday habits of dancing, playing, and sacrifice. This is a wSchall, ever the metaphysician, strives for us to see the "highest things" through our everyday habits of dancing, playing, and sacrifice. This is a wonderful book in the Thomist tradition that enlightens and bends the mind to realities beyond one's self. ...more
Have you ever heard a preacher say one thing and a read a scholar write another only to find that one seems pompous while the other seems ignorant? EnHave you ever heard a preacher say one thing and a read a scholar write another only to find that one seems pompous while the other seems ignorant? Entering the Fray is a great book that attempts to bridge the gap between the church and the academy. Halcomb shows the heart of a disciple and the prowess of a scholar. In his unique way, he explains "issues" pertaining to scholarship that both bless and plague the church.
Each chapter has a link to an online video of Halcomb himself giving a brief synopsis of the material within that chapter. In the book, however, he gives a pithy introduction to draw the reader in, then he "tunes in" to some preliminary notes on what he'll discuss. Thereafter, he "takes note" by expositing the issue and concludes each chapter by focusing his attention on how this information should either be reconciled with the church if it can at all.
What's remarkable about this book is Halcomb's modesty. He, at times, admits that there are certain problems, but he balances the information and dissemination of it very well. He weighs not only those scholars who would uphold the faith, but also those whom the faithful believer might find threatening. Why? To present all that's been said and what's currently being considered in the academy. Moreover, the reader -- lay or otherwise -- will be introduced into the "evolution" of thought within biblical scholarship.
Here's something worth noting: some people will pick up this book and be enlightened by the history of theses presented therein. Others will pick it up and think that some of these scholar were desperate for a dissertation thesis. Whatever one might feel while considering this information, they'll not feel as threatened or unsafe when sophisticated people talk about issues with certainty. The reader is left to make up their own mind, but Halcomb does his best to reconcile these two worlds of the church and the academy which may have the opportunity to be one. He does this well on many points, but some may not agree with him on everything.
I'd recommend this book to serious people within the church who want to dig deeper than what a Sunday sermon or Bible class will offer. You'll certainly enjoy this read if you're serious about the information and about understanding why some things are the way they currently are in commentaries and other biblical study aids.
The only criticism that I'd offer is that -- considering that there was much to think about -- Halcomb sometimes saturated his chapters too heavily with information. However, the information isn't unimportant, but if he wants to appeal to church-going folk who are ignorant of academic theories, this may be too much at times for some. But, we all know that you can't please everyone. Even in the depth and breadth of information, the reader should understand Halcomb's reason -- he wants to "help congregants, pastors, students of the Bible enter into the fray of the discussions that have shaped the field of biblical studies, and in turn, the church" (p. xii).
I've had the opportunity to meet and converse with Halcomb on a few occasions. He operates the Conversational Koine Institute (http://www.conversationalkoine.com/) where he offers classes via the internet to those who are interested in learning Koine Greek -- the language of the New Testament. He teaches in a conversational style, and he's great at it. The classes are very engaging. I took one last summer and enjoyed it but was unable to complete it due to my schedule. I'd recommend anyone taking these classes with Halcomb. He's a wonderful person, a thoughtful disciple, and he's talented in many ways as a teacher.
I want to give a big thanks to WIPF and Stock Publishers who gave me a copy of this book to review. ...more
Schall's most insightful thoughts on learning as a metaphysical endeavor is very welcomed in this work. The first part of his book is focused on beingSchall's most insightful thoughts on learning as a metaphysical endeavor is very welcomed in this work. The first part of his book is focused on being a student, the second on reviewing books and why they should be in one's library who pursues the highest things, and the last section is on the spiritual journey of learning. A great read! It makes you rethink education. ...more
This book is key to understanding early camp meetings in America particularly around the time of the Cane Ridge meeting in 1800-01. Bruce gives greatThis book is key to understanding early camp meetings in America particularly around the time of the Cane Ridge meeting in 1800-01. Bruce gives great insight especially into the mind of those early meetings and those who attended them; especially in the West (KY) and the South. ...more
A decent book on its subject matter. It's only decent because of the writing style, but fantastic on its information and citations. A bit dull at timeA decent book on its subject matter. It's only decent because of the writing style, but fantastic on its information and citations. A bit dull at times, but not intolerable. ...more