The great mind plunges deeper into waters of understanding. But, in the case of Peter Kreeft, perhaps the great mind – to his own peril – comes up for some unnecessary “air”. The temptation of holding on to a humanistic world view when the stuff’s about to hit the fan, is strong. Even for strong minds, like Professor Kreeft.
To wit –
“Nothing in the Jewish Scriptures contradicts Christianity, but some things in the Qur’an do. Yet even here, an ‘ecumenical jihad’ is possible and is called for, for the simple and strong reason that Muslims and Christians preach and practice the same First Commandment; Islam, total surrender submission of the human will to the divine will. We fight side by side not only because we face a common enemy but above all because we serve and worship the same divine Commander.”
– Peter Kreeft, “Ecumenical Jihad”, written in 1996.
And yet, 8 years EARLIER came this from “Fundamentals of the Faith” –
“Two unsettling facts dominate the relations between Christianity and Islam:
1. Dialogue is almost nonexistent. Islam resists ecumenical dialogue more than any other religion. To “proselytize” in any way in a Moslem country is to go to prison.
2. Islam once nearly conquered the world, in the early Middle Ages when its empire stretched from Spain to Indonesia, and it looks as if it could do so again. Islamic growth rates in Africa and even America are phenomenal….
Christians should hope and pray that their separated Islamic brothers and sisters be reunited with our common Father by finding Christ the Way. We cannot stop “proselytizing,” for proselytizing means leading our brothers Home.”
– Peter Kreeft, “Fundamentals of the Faith”, 1988
There seems to exist in our current culture, a dire need to not only look for someone’s arm but to grab at it willy-nilly like some security blanket, in the march to fight the forces of evil. While I’ve been spending quite some time paying attention to this human mechanism, pondering its application to religious persecution, I haven’t quite been able to articulate it properly. I’m still not there, but I feel I’m getting closer. The Sen. Ted Cruz situation seems to have crystallized matters much for me in recent days.
This is what it comes down to; I’m feeling deep within my soul a need to slough off any need to conform in the spirit of fraternity. It’s not good enough that Cruz calls himself a Christian. It’s not good enough to “stand with Israel” if we don’t explicitly understand what that means. It’s not good enough that Muslims claim – along with wayward Catholics – that Islam worships the One True God. As Peter Kreeft unintentionally points out in his Ecumenical Jihad days, it’s not good enough – nay, it’s counter-productive! – to wrap ourselves up in fraternal, “down-filled comforters” in this war against the enemy. Sometimes, the common enemy of those with whom we fight side by side isn’t all that… common, upon further inspection.
They say “there are no atheists in foxholes.” For the theist, our “foxhole” is faith, structured on two pillars: Scripturam et Traditionem. We march forward as individuals steeped in rigorous adherence to our faith, not mealy-mouthed in a spirit of going along to get along. In recent days, I’ve found that to come down with heavy-handed criticism of Cruz will invoke verbal “Jew-hater” beat-downs, courtesy of Cruz’s “conservative” fan-boy base.
Sometimes the bombs will be lobbed at us from within our “own camp”. Such are these times.
It’s time for strict adherence to Traditional Catholic Teaching, even if it means having to put Jews and Israel under the microscope.
It’s time for fearless proselytization, regardless of what our Church leaders strongly suggest, even if it means losing our head both figuratively and literally.
It’s time to get “Kreeft-ian” (circa ’88) fundamental on the fundamentalists.
Don’t be deceived by the enemy, Satan. There are no friends. Only the faith.