Book Review: Socrates Meets Jesus
Socrates Meets Jesus
Inter-Varsity Press 1985
Amazon rating: 3.5 stars
Fusion's Book-o-meter™ scale: 4 for style and 3.75 for content
After a long time I have brought yet another book review. This time I picked an interesting book called "Socrates Meets Jesus" by Peter Kreeft. For those in the know, Peter Kreeft is known in apologetics circles as an apologist. He's also a C.S Lewis fan and a fan of Socrates. He teaches Philosophy at Boston College and lectures on Religion. He also stands out because he was once a Reformed believer and after thinking (or over thinking?) he defected to Roman Catholicism. Many of you know I am Protestant believer, so why am I reading this book?
I have to admit first and foremost that I like the style of the book. He writes the story in a socratic dialogue. It involves Socrates waking up (after his death?) in Have it (a pun on Harvard) with an enrollment slip for the divinity school.
A fish out of water type story. More so, as soon as we wakes up, the questions begin. From progress since his day to theology, he has questions about a lot of things. In the divinity school he and Bertha Broadmind, dialogue a lot about evil, faith, Jesus and God. He questions the assumptions of liberal academia and makes some good points. In a way, this Socrates sounded more like C.S. Lewis (which doesn't surprise me). If you know someone who has to deal with liberal Christians, this would be the book to read. What's interesting is that a new book looking a the resurrection has been released by Geza Vermes. It ends with the view that states that resurrection happened in people's hearts. Such ideas are discussed in this book.
But what is it that I liked about the book? The questions! I have been want to find people that deal with the use of questions in evangelistic dialogues. However there are a few . Kreeft knows how to craft a question. Why is that important? For now, it just matters that in dialoguing with unbelievers, questions are the tools that can help you to find out what the other person's presuppositions are.
Now what didn't I like? For the most part, the first two-thirds of the book were well done, but the last part was what bothered me. Kreeft, via Socrates, makes it seem that the truth of the OT prophets is close to the Classic Greek Philosophers and the Myths of times past (an idea I'll deal with later) However, as we read in Romans, no one seeks after God, and people don't want to know God. If the Myths point to God the question is why? It's not salvific, and it wouldn't lead to God without him first reaching out to the person.
Having said that, it was a decent reading and might give you an idea of how to talk to people in an apologetic dialogue. More so, John Frame of Reformed Theological Seminary recommends Kreeft's books for the same reason. So there!
Update: I might add, no I do not endorse everything Mr. Kreeft writes. He's catholic (I completely and utterly hope he changes his mind for the good of his soul) but I can respect good scholarship for the same reasons I would protest an abortion clinic with an atheist. So there!