I first ran across this book ten years ago and have found myself continually buying copies for friends. Having just purchased it and reread it, yet again, I am convinced that, of Kreeft's many works, and among Christian apologetics generally, this one continues to stand out as foundational. By starting with the very "fundamentals lf the faith" in the first part of the book, Kreeft enables those with little or no understanding of Christianity to embrace it. He moves on to some of the tougher issues of the faith, and without flinching, presents a defense that is both philosophically and theologically sound. Finally, he turns to a series of essays on the Lord's Prayer that has continued to revitalize my prayer life. Overall, what makes this book such a winner for me is his clear, articulate prose -- and the fact that the book is presented in short essays that are ideal for an evening's consumption... if, in fact, you can resist the temptation to plough through the whole thing in a sitting.
Although I am a Protestant, I have come to appreciate every thing Peter Kreeft writes. I bought his Handbook of Apologetics and could not put it down. Now these essays are feeding both mind a soul. Kreeft's way with words must be inspiration. His idea that faith, hope and charity together are the tripod that holds Christianity together is wonderful. In just one paragrpah he shows how you can't have one without the other two. Together they keep Christianity from becoming cold, cruel and wishful thinking.Each chapter is short and every word wothy of thought. My copy of the book is well marked and each page written on.
Just one example of Kreeft's powerful imagery is his picture of Christianity as a flower: Faith is the root, hope the stem, and charity the flower. "The flower is the fairest, the stem does the growing, but the root must come first" (p.170)
I expect to return to this book time and again. For anyone who wants to know what Christians believe (including Christians), this is essential reading. The last section on the unity of the Church in which Kreeft lists the things both Protestants and Catholics would have to surrender to become one again is worth the price of the book. Kreeft calls his vision of a united Church "The Evangelical Catholic Church" and perhaps his ideas could serve as a starting point for meaningful conversation. I also enjoy his list of questions concerning orthodoxy that can unify all Christians.