On Kreeft's "Bucket List"
I haven't seen it, but Rob Reiner's The Bucket List has not received great reviews. Despite that, the idea of getting things done before it is too late seems to be a growing trend. In today's New York Times, another movie that deals with mortality and how to spend our dwindling days, Amy Redford's The Guitar, is profiled.Boston College professor and philosopher Peter Kreeft has also jumped on this theme and titled his new book Before I Go. Granted, Professor Kreeft has not received a serious diagnosis recently nor does he have plans to "kick the bucket" anytime soon. It's just that he is 70 and wants to say what he wants to say, specifically to his children. An article from last week's Boston Globe mentions how most of the wisdom Professor Kreeft wants to offer to his four grown children comes from his Catholic faith.A devout Catholic, Kreeft is also a well-known scholar on the writings of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. When asked why he decided to publish this book, since it is really only directed towards his children, Kreeft responds:
Because all children are very similar, and all parents are very similar, and all wisdom is very similar. What's true is true.
This is an interesting idea. I don't know that I would necessarily say that all children and all parents are similar, but having taken a class with Kreeft and having read a few of his books, it doesn't surprise me that he thinks this. In general, and especially on issues of morality, he is an absolutist. He says this about Catholicism:
One of the reasons I became a Catholic when I was in college is my discovery of the astonishing gap between what the church teaches and what she practices. Her practice has been extremely spotty - she hasn't lived up to her ideals very well at all - and yet her ideals have remained the same and consistent and faithful and very high.
When asked if "any ideals the church holds" are wrong, Kreeft replies:
No. The church claims to be the authentic voice of Christ and his apostles on earth. If that claim isn't true, it's arrogant and blasphemous. If it is true, well, you eat all the food that Mother Church puts on your plate. Which does not mean it's a complete meal. The church never claims to give you all the answers.
See the entire article for more of this interview. Looks like Kreeft can check "Leave book with thoughts on God and life for the kids" off of his bucket list.
About the Author
Marianne L. Tierney is a PhD student in theology at Boston College.