A Great Book…

I was in my son’s room earlier in the week, and glanced at his bookcase.  He’s a Mercer graduate with a degree in Christianity, and his bookshelf is a treasure trove of pithy reading: e.g. “The Complete C. S. Lewis Signature Classics”; Thomas Merton’s “No Man is an Island”; “Catholicism” by Richard P. McBrien.  But the first book I latched onto was “Handbook of Christian Apologetics” by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli.  It’s simply a marvelous book – profound, yet witty and accessible.  If you ever were confounded by a question from your non-believing friends like “How can a loving God and Hell co-exist?” or “Can God make a rock so big that He Himself can’t lift it?” it’s the book for you.  Bill Maher or Richard Dawkins going mano a mano with Kreeft or Tacelli in a debate would be like me trying to guard Dwight Howard in the post: I wouldn’t even have ZaZa Pachulia’s thugliness as an asset.  For those who find my NBA simile mystifying, I’ll just say the non-believers would be way out of their depth.  A sample:

Some readers may wonder why so much space has been devoted to attacking modernism in a book on basic Christian apologetics.  The reason is given in section 2 on the importance of the issue.  Modernists have been undermining faith far more effectively than atheists.  The wolves in sheep’s clothing have carried away far more sheep than the honest wolves.  The reason for attacking modernism more polemically than atheism is ultimately Jesus.  Jesus had only gentle words for honest skeptics and doubters like Thomas, but horribly hard words for religious teachers who caused the little ones who believed in him to stumble – something about millstones…

For Jesus did not regard people as theological partisans, but as lambs for whom the Good Shepherd came to die.  He was as cool as an Oxford debater when he was attacked by the Pharisees, but mad as a mother bear when he saw his children’s souls hurt by them.  We do not think it a safe bet that he has a more “mature,” “nuanced” and “sophisticated” attitude today.

Easter Sunday.  The day everything changed, and the great light of hope in a world that seems to be going increasingly mad.  I hope yours was blessed and joyous.

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