This isn’t a formal review by any means but I did recently complete this book and thought it was so fantastic it deserved a quick mention. The book was suggested to me in my quest for a ‘basic Christianity’ book to give to skeptics that would lay out in easy to understand but documented detail precisely what Christianity is, the kind of thing that Dorothy Sayer’s ‘well educated Zoroastrian’ could produce. Kreeft’s Handbook is not that book. (It is, however, the book I was looking for to serve as the apologetics text book for the certificate of apologetics for my ministry’s online academy.)
Despite not being ‘the book’ I was looking for when I bought it, it represents a fine set of arguments for the defense of Christianity as understood for thousands of years and which we call ‘orthodox.’ Given that, it is clear then that if someone wanted to learn what Christianity essentially is, this book can only help.
I especially enjoyed Kreeft’s approach to apologetics. This would be because most of his approaches are remarkably similar, often identical, to my own. There are several reasons for this, I think. The first is obvious: despite protestations, there really is such a thing as orthodox Christianity, and as such it will produce a limited range of approaches among those who really seek to understand it and promote it. The other is less obvious unless you know me and read Kreeft’s book. Namely, we share a common spiritual heritage… in particular CS Lewis, but also GK Chesterton and George MacDonald playing important parts in the way we understand things and phrase things.
All told, I bet there aren’t more than 20 paragraphs of the book that I had any problem with and out of some 400 pages, that’s really impressive. I can without hesitation and with much enthusiasm recommend this book to anyone, Christian, atheist, seeker, Mormon, agnostic, high school teacher, youth director, pastor. The book is excellent and provides plenty of sources but is geared to be readable while covering nearly all the relevant claims of Christianity, why they are true, and then dealing with the common objectives.
As a final note, Kreeft is a devout Catholic but he does an admirable job focusing on the things that really constitute ‘mere’ Christianity, even making a number of overtures to you Lutherans out there that I think you’ll appreciate.
Without further ado, here is the link to this fine book: Handbook of Christian Apologetics: Hundreds of Answers to Crucial Questions