Thursday, November 11, 2010

Book Review: Socrates Meets Kant by Peter Kreeft

What if Socrates and Kant could be brought to life to engage in a dialogue about key philosophical questions?  Peter Kreeft creatively resurrects the two noble philosophers and transcribes for us their fascinating discussion in his book Socrates Meets Kant. 

In full iconic style, Kreeft, creates a book where the Father of Philosophy, Socrates, meets his most influential modern child, Immanuel Kant.  Naturally using the Socratic Method, Socrates gives an insightful cross-examination of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason and Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals. 

Even more intriguing is Kreeft’s way of giving Socrates an understanding of modern life enabling the conversation to be relevant for today’s readers.  In contrast, the portrayal of Kant stays strictly within the confines of his own time period. Thus when Socrates analogously refers to a computer, Kant has no idea what he is talking about.  This helps add to the humorous nature of the book. 

It is truly a creative idea to bring Socrates to life because students of philosophy and the academy at large thrive on the Socratic Method.  Learning about Kant through a fictional dialogue with Socrates is quite ingenious.   Kreeft sets the dialogue in the realm of the afterlife where the two meet for the first time.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hearing God

While even many Christians profess that they cannot hear God, God is speaking and once we learn how He speaks we find that we have been hearing all along.  Even those who do not see themselves as people of faith often have had experiences of hearing Him in some form or fashion.  Once they are awakened to His reality, they realize just how much He has been with them before they even knew Him.

God has always been a relational God. The Trinity is proof of this. God is all about having intimate community and that involves communication.  When He created the first couple, He spent time walking with them in the cool of the evening through the Garden of Eden.  This was the ideal to have His creation have personal communion with Him.  When sin entered the world it became difficult for us to hear Him.  Our connection was no longer pure and unbridled by the bondage of sin.

Now, for most, our hearing is faulty and we do not perceive well the voice of the Lord.  However, the good news is that He is the way back to that communion with Him.  Jesus did the work necessary to redeem what was lost and open up the communication again.  When we live in relationship with Him we learn His voice just as a baby learns his parent’s voice and can distinguish it from others.  Just the same, we learn the sound of our Father’s voice.  The more time we spend with Him the more fine tuned our hearing gets.

God is speaking to each of us to come near and receive His grace and love.  He is also speaking to help direct our path to the good path.  We do have a responsibility to listen.  He doesn’t make us listen.  Sometimes people will hear of the rare story where God really jolted their hearing to realize that He was talking.  But most the time it is a partnership of relationship.  To hear without the relationship would not usually be beneficial to us.  The greater the relationship grows the greater He can trust us with what He wants to say. 

Just like a little child cannot learn all the wisdom from his parents while he is learning to walk, but as he masters walking, talking, and takes on more and more responsibility of being alive the more he can be trusted with the wisdom of living.  The key is not to blame God or ourselves for not hearing.  Blame was dealt with once and for all at the Cross.  Blame need not be shouldered upon ourselves; we just simply need to start today afresh.  Start today spending time with Jesus.  Start today listening. 

Listen not with your natural ears, but with your spirit.  Listen with your heart. What is He saying? Don’t try to see a vision, or hear audible sounds. Just wait and reflect quietly upon Him.  Ask the Holy Spirit to come and wash you in His love.  Just sit, listen on the inside.   You may not hear right now while you sit, but that time spent will be instrumental in hearing later when you least expect it.  You may be in the shower or writing a composition and suddenly knowledge will fill you that you know is coming from an external source right into your being.  Listen and then write it down.  This helps you to later remember God is speaking to you.  Don’t try to hear, just rest and His presence will carry to you His words for you.  He is speaking, just rest in Him and listen.  


The world has experienced many ends since its birth, 2012 is no different.  Many life cycles have swept the world for a time. They meet their death and a new cycle, a new season is born.  For new life to come, the old must pass away to give way to it. 

The old that passes is not all that exists, but all that exist in an old paradigm.  The things that end are the things that are out of alignment with the new season.  It’s like a spiritual surgery of culture, systems, and people.  However, there will be those who hold on to the old and prevent the new from affecting their lives. They will not experience the ending and this will not be healthy for them as the new will be out of their reach as it will be beyond their sight. 

The cessation of the Mayan calendar in December 2012 need not be seen as the end of time, but the end of a time.  They could not see beyond into the coming years because something so fresh, something so new, something so amazing was coming.   The world needed to have an awakening to the coming of this end and beginning, thus, the calendar stopped with no explanation.  This created a world that is watching. 

It is possible the season would pass us by otherwise.  But yet we watch, wait, anticipate, and talk amongst ourselves of what awaits humanity.  This is not a time for panic, but a time for reflection and foresight to align oneself with what is being released in the new season. 

With any birth comes pain. Labor is involved. Preparation is involved. Holding fast to that hope of the new that is coming will help align ourselves with the forward season rather than allowing fear to keep us bound to the dying season. 

For those who are already seeing what is coming they can begin to walk in it now.  Others will do a fast adjustment and have a premature birth into the new.  This will cause some difficulties in transition, but the transition will come though they will have more growing to do on the other side than others.  Still others will be still born always living like the change never happened. The only affect of this change upon them will be negative rather than positive because it goes against their positioning instead of them riding its positioning. 

2012 does bring an end, but a good end. The change is already in the air.  It will not be the end of the physical world or of humanity.  But it will be an end of an age and the beginning of a new age for the world.  This is something to celebrate rather than to fear.  Good things are coming for those who have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.