Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dr.Peter Kreeft

On Jan.28 More than 500 aspiring philosophers braved the winter conditions and packed the gym at Westminster Abbey in Mission to hear distinguished Catholic Philosopher Dr.Peter Kreeft speak.

The respected Dr. Kreeft held the attention of the people through his insightful and profoundly moving logic. It wasn’t all serious though, there were many hilarious moments such as when Kreeft reminded everyone that through the Bible God is trying to reveal only two things: one, “I’m God “ and two “Your not” and that most people including himself forget about number two.

Kreeft explains that philosophy is the love of wisdom and is not dangerous to the faith, in fact as Kreeft says,  “philosophy is the handmaid to theology”. Many famous philosophers such as Hegel, Freud, Kant and Nietzsche have attempted to deconstruct Christianity. However Kreeft has the rare talent of bringing everyday Christians into a deeper understanding of God and the love of philosophy through the use of rich analogies. To do this Kreeft says we need to apply the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and love. First we have to believe in God through faith or by using our reason. Second we must hope to seek out a relationship with God and thirdly we must love God and act in a way in which we move closer to Him. We must always remember it is not knowledge that gets us into heaven but love.

Kreeft gave two lectures at the Abbey; the first was on Jesus’ philosophy of Happiness contrasted with our own idea of happiness. Reiterating that happiness is not found in the most recent technological advancements such as a smart phone. Jesus, like the Catholic Church is counter cultural and Kreeft demonstrated this perfectly by using the beatitudes for his illustration. Taken from the Sermon on the Mount Jesus’ challenges us about what true happiness is. Kreeft argues that Jesus’ paradoxical teaching should not be difficult, in fact the beatitudes (Matt 5) are not as difficult to accept compared to the Incarnation. If we can believe the story of a certain man who began his life as a zygote, embryo, fetus and helpless baby who needed His mother’s care for survival, grew up and was executed by crucifixion as a common criminal. If we believe that this person is the creator of the universe? Then we should have no problem adhering to Jesus’ instructions of how one finds happiness.
Jesus was able to turn death into life’s most powerful instrument. God stretches out His arms to us and offers us to do His will. Kreeft digresses “The problem is, we almost always choose our own will rather than God’s”. Kreeft wonders if we only believe that we believe in Jesus, perhaps “we only have faith in faith rather than having faith in Him”.

The afternoon session had Kreeft giving a medical diagnosis of Western Civilization. The prognosis is not good. Christians are confused when they ask themselves what is the meaning of life? when in fact it is the creator of life that is asking us what is your meaning? The essential ingredients to make our faith more concrete according to Kreeft are “ words, works and worship”. If we can visibly demonstrate these to the world, the world will know we are one (John 17). Catholics need to give a courageous response to the current culture war, courage is what decides which civilizations endure or fall.

Dr.Peter Kreeft is a professor of philosophy at Boston College and at the King’s College in New York City. He is a prolific author with more than 70 books to date.  Visit www.peterkreeft.com for a full list of audio and writing.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Busy Catholic: In this week’s B.C. Catholic

I scored another front page photograph for our paper:The Busy Catholic: In this week’s B.C. Catholic: Here’s what’s inside the February 6, 2012 edition of The B.C. Catholic Newspaper: Spiritual chef Sister Ann Shields, SGL, serves up some s...