A number of your books have been imaginary dialogues between Socrates and other historical figures. Why?
I assign Socratic dialogues to my classes and they do them, and do them well, and enjoy it. I’ve never understood why professional philosophers don’t do the same. Plato was the first philosopher who wrote extensively, and no one has surpassed him since. One reason is that we’re too proud to imitate, too in love with “originality.” It’s well known that the only way to be original is to stop trying to be. It’s a corollary of the great law “lose yourself to find it.” Once I started writing Socratic dialogues (beginning with Between Heaven and Hell), I saw no reason to stop. Socrates lives in some corner of my mind and keeps coming out. It’s as natural as breathing with two lungs (pulmonary dialogue?).
In the past year or so, there has been a spurt of books, such as The God Delusion, assailing the idea of faith? What do you attribute this to? How serious do you see this?
I don’t know. Maybe it’s collusion. Certainly, atheists are panicking: Religion was supposed to dry up and disappear, according to their “progressive enlightenment” theory. But it isn’t. I welcome them to the public square. They usually believe in objective truth, and so are more honest than many religious believers who fear such arguments. They are the sparring partners we need to box with to put on muscle.
Do you believe that it is easier or more difficult to make Christ central to one’s life today as opposed to 50 years ago?
It is easier with every century of the Church’s history because we have more weapons (e.g. JP II), but it is also harder because we have more enemies, temptations and problems. Christ is “the same yesterday, today and forever” (if not, he’s not the Christ but just a chum), but “today” changes from simpler to more complex. But the unchanging truths are 100 times more important than the changes. It’s the same Christ, the same Church, the same Real Presence, the same sins, the same sanctity that Paul preached almost 2,000 years ago. No new rough beast will ever slouch to Bethlehem to be born; and even at the end of time it will be the same beast, the Lamb, who will come as a Lion. And “Aslan is not a tame lion. He’s not safe. But he’s good.”
Read the entire interview.
The most recent "Socrates Meets... " is Socrates Meets Descartes: The Father of Philosophy Analyzes the Father of Modern Philosophy's "Discourse on Method". And this coming spring Ignatius Press will be publishing a book by Kreeft titled Because God Is Real: Sixteen Questions, One Answer, a response to many of the questions and challenges presented by atheists and agnostics.
Related IgnatiusInsight.com Articles and Interviews:
• On Writing and Apologetics | Talking with Peter Kreeft
• Seducing Minds With The Socratic Method | An Interview with Peter Kreeft
• Socrates Meets Sartre: In Hell? | From Socrates Meets Sartre
• The Point of It All | From The God Who Loves You
• The Divinity of Christ | From Fundamentals of the Faith
• How To Read The Bible | From You Can Understand The Bible
• The Presence of Christ in The Lord of the Rings | From The Philosophy of Tolkien
• Abortion: What Can Be Done? | Introduction to Three Approaches to Abortion
• The Question of Hope | From Heaven: The Heart's Deepest Longing