©2005 Peter Kreeft; (P)2005 Recorded Books
Retired teacher of literature with an interest in religion and in science and in history. I have loved reading for 50 years.
The content is excellent, and the audio quality is very good.
My best friend is a science teacher and agnostic. I am a Christian and I teach English. Both of us have taught for about 30 years, and we both are curious about reality (whatever it is) and we both want to know more than we now know.
Both of us love this audio. We find that Dr. Kreeft has presented his discussion in a reasonable and balanced fashion. His arguments are proper and structured very well.
I will listen to this book several times. I have finished hearing it once so far, and that led me to purchase six print books of Dr. Kreeft's. I would welcome the chance to purchase more of his audiobooks.
While Dr. Kreeft is a Christian, he does not let his faith keep him from a balanced, logical discussion of the use of reason in faith issues.
I am surprised that some reviewers found this audiobook to be boring; I found it to be quite riveting. It consists of a course with 14 lectures, not a book with 14 chapters, so perhaps this format was less familiar to them?
Professor Kreeft compares and evaluates various religious beliefs, including arguments made for and against God's existence, beliefs about immortality, and the natural of religious experiences. He resists teaching the content of his own opinions (although it is apparent that he is a relatively liberal Christian), preferring to present arguments made by intelligent people holding various points of view, and to show different ways in which a question might be answered.
Professor Kreeft works with a very interesting concept of faith: He asks us to consider the scientific method, noting that this process calls for "doubt" in order to function properly. A scientist wishes to test a hypothesis-- Her starting point must be to say "I will not believe this hypothesis, unless I can prove that it is in fact true." Note that doubt is not the same thing as denial. doubt still calls for testing, but it is "guilty until proven innocent" testing.
Faith, notes Kreeft, is the opposite of the scientific method's "doubt". Faith is "innocent until proven guilty" testing. It is not the same thing as belief, or as certainty. He asks us to consider that the act of listening is an act of faith, and possibly the only way to practice faith. To listen to someone is to have faith in what they are saying-- not necessarily to belive their ideas in the long run, but to consider what they are saying as a genuine possiblity, working of further analysis. Whether your beliefs are theistic, atheistic, agnositic, or otherwise, you will find yourself "listened-to" by Kreeft.
Contrary to the person who thinks Prof. Kreeft was too politically correct and not pro-Catholic enough, I think this was a very balanced presentation from someone who is clearly "pro-religion", i.e., who believes in God. He doesn't discount the "other side" because he acknowledges that there are perspectives very much worth considering. This is supposed to be like a university course, requiring open-minded thoughtfulness, and it succeeds in that. Prof. Kreeft is engaging, smart without being condescending, and accessible without being too cute. I think he is an unusually calm, intelligent voice on the side of religious belief.
I love Modern Scholar lectures and I possess quite a few set of lectures but this is the first I give five stars to, because I found the lectures captivating, thought provoking and unpretentious. It teaches the listener how to seek and evaluate each of the majour religions and religious issues without overtly presumptious. I wish all Christians could be as profound as this lecturer, and I wish all Christians can listen to this set of lectures.
The work deals with difficult and important themes with superficiality. The questions are posed and examined without sufficient debate. The audiobook presents a good introduction to the questions related to faith and reason. One must go ahead in order to gain more information about philosophy of religion.
Very thoughtful and insightful analysis of religion. The professor treats the subject with care on all sides and says many things that are profound. I found it to be excellent.
Some reviews have said that the author and narrator's voice is monotone and that this is off putting. Well it is monotone except when he cracks a joke about the Boston Redsox and then there is a slight raise in excitement. I actually did not find the voice off putting. It is clear and precise, just what is needed for reading this type of book. If he was reading a novel or a dramatic story like The Lord of the Rings, then this would be a disaster. So, voice good.
I have listened to many of Dr Kreeft's lectures that are free on his website - very interesting, all of them. But I just could not get into this book. I stopped it after 2.5 hours. I might return. Now, I listen to my books in the car travelling to and from work. Perhaps an indepth book on philosophy is not suited to that. I kept wanting to rewind and relisten to understand. Not the easest thing in a car. So, I would have to say that for me, this was a book either to be read or to be listened to in the armchair at home with headphones, a note pad and my finger on the rewind button. Hence I gave it 2 stars based on a very subjective opinion.
I may have expected more from this one, but what I found was a lengthy pro et contra for believing or not believing in God. The author admits to being a Christian believer, and I feel that this colours the lectures a bit.
I would say that this is something you should listen to if you are unsure about why you believe, or why you don't believe. Alternately, if you are looking to rehearse arguments for those long debates on the existence of a creator.
I am a Catholic who sincerely believes that there is no salvation outside the, "One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church". I endeavor to save souls by converting as many people as possible to the one true faith. I have found through experience that philosophical/historical argument is the most effective way to do this.
In this work the study of the different religions including atheism has been invaluable to the success of my missionary work. Obviously, the only people I have ever converted were sincere in their quest to find know, and love the truth. These people are lovers of wisdom not of political correctness. I want to understand Atheism, and different world religions so that I will understand what is good and bad about them, so that I will be more effective in my missionary work.
Peter Kreeft, however; is not primarily concerned with the truth in his analysis of different religions such as Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism as well as the several others he analyzes, as he is very superficial and politically correct.
Some of my best friends are atheists and by questioning them for their reason for being atheists I have found three primary reasons: one belief in God would require a change in life style that they do not want to make, two they note that many believers are hypocrites and seem to be impervious to the grace of God, three for many, their understanding of religion is that of a child whilst they are grown-ups. I have been astounded by several educated atheists who have tried to disprove a notion of God or religion that is suitable for a seven year old. These people will attempt to attack the Catholic religion by discrediting an infantile understanding of God and the Church.
By the way Kreeft's final conclusion is that all religions are the same, he seems to suggest, however; that atheism is an inferior position even though he rightly points out that many forms of Buddhism are atheistic and that Confucianism is agnostic.
I felt like I was listening to a long series of syllogisms read by someone trying to sound relevant and important; when really they didn't have much to say. From my point of view, this audio book was just plain boring.
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