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Socrates Meets Jesus by Peter Kreeft

Socrates Meets Jesus is the examination of the claims of Jesus Christ written in the form of a Socratic dialogue.

Socrates wakes up at Have It Divinity University in Camp Rich, Massachusetts, after taking his hemlock. It is the year 1987 AD. There, he meets student Bertha Broadmind, amongst others, and makes trouble by asking questions. He begins by exploring what progressivism and fundamentalism really means. He also examines science, miracles and comparative religion.

After clarifying the above and thereby in effect established some foundation, Socrates then examines the claims of Jesus Christ as well as the characteristics of God as the Jewish faith saw it; after all, Jesus claimed to be the Son of (this) God.

Socrates Meets Jesus by Peter Kreeft

Given that the text is in the form of a dialogue, the arguments are at times highly generalized, not to say it isn’t thorough. Kreeft’s Socrates generally doesn’t quote specific passages from Scripture, but merely looks at the general picture that Scripture presents. Whilst some may prefer more focus on little details, this method avoids getting bogged down in, for example, translation issues which a more detailed analysis would demand.

Kreeft’s Socrates also accepts Scripture as is. This is not necessarily wrong since one of the rules of analysis is to first accept the data at face value—if one assumes authors are liars, then one would never get anywhere. Nonetheless, since this book is meant to be a work of Christian apologetics, a brief discussion on the history and validity of Scripture would make it more complete.

Overall, Kreeft’s Socratic dialogue is witty, entertaining and, for a “high-level” discussion, still very thorough, precise and effective.


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