Forty Answers to “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic”: #23

Thanks for joining me today as we continue our series examining and responding to Catholic apologist and philosopher, Peter Kreeft’s book, “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic” (2018).

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Claim #23: I am a Catholic for the reason Walker Percy gave: “What else is there?”

In this very short chapter, Kreeft references American writer, Walker Percy (1916-1990), who was a “devout” Roman Catholic. Kreeft describes a conversation* in which Percy was asked the reason he was Catholic, to which the writer responded rhetorically, “What else is there?” The other party supposedly answered with a long list of alternative ideologies (Kreeft presents 36, including fundamentalism, Modernism, left-wing liberalism, right-wing conservatism, materialism, and spiritualism), to which Percy replied with something to the effect of, “I rest my case.” The reader is meant to understand from Percy’s smug reply that Catholicism is self-evidently superior to all other world-views, religious and secular. Kreeft then equates Percy’s answer to Peter’s reply on behalf of the other apostles (John 6:67-68), that they would remain with Jesus Christ after many other disciples had abandoned Him following the Bread of Life discourse of John 6.

Response

Leading Kreeft’s list of “less-than-desirable” alternatives to Roman Catholicism is Gospel Christianity (under the label of “fundamentalism”). Gospel Christianity is not an “alternative world view,” but is genuine Christianity based on the New Testament Scriptures, that declares the genuine Good News! of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. All other religious ideologies are false, including pseudo-Christian Roman Catholicism and its false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit.

The question, “What else is there?,” is dichotomous coming from Percy, Kreeft, or any other Catholic. The Roman Catholic church officially teaches that all religionists – Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists – and even atheists can merit Heaven if they are sincere in their beliefs and are “good.” See Nostra aetate (“In Our Time”), Second Vatican Council, October 28, 1965. The incongruence is compounded by Kreeft’s reference to John 6 and Rome’s gross misinterpretation of the Bread of Life discourse. Rome takes a hyper-literalist approach to John 6 (“Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” – John 6:54), teaching that only those who consume RC-ism’s consecrated Jesus wafer will attain Heaven, while dichotomously granting that non-Catholic religionists and atheists, most of whom have never even seen a Catholic Jesus wafer, are also able to merit Heaven.

What else is there, Mr. Kreeft? Why, every ideology on the planet according to your own church’s Vatican II declaration! Your own Roman Catholic church rebuts Walker Percy’s and your rhetorical question with its religious inclusivity/plurality.

But, seriously Mr. Kreeft, what else is there? Why, there is the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone!

*See “Why Are You Catholic?” by Walker Percy

Next week: Claim #24: I am a Catholic because I am greedy

7 thoughts on “Forty Answers to “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic”: #23

    1. Thank you, Lisa Beth! Yes, Kreeft’s argument is self-refuting according to his own church’s teachings.

      Buffalo got a lot of snow but we missed most of it. Thanks and have a safe and good weekend yourself!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What an unconvincing chapter in his book! Seriously is he a philosopher? Definitely doesn’t seem to be one with the rigors of an analytic tradition…I don’t even know who this Walker Pearcy guy is and this seems like a dated way of arguing for Rome. But then how compelling is this argument when the guy’s not compelling enough for the next generation and audience?
    WHat a cringe title for the next one next week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the on-target comments! Yup, Kreeft’s very lame argument in this chapter is as limp as a wet noodle especially in light of the RCC’s semi-Universalist attitude towards other religions.
      Yeah, I cringed at next week’s title also. His argument is as equally lame as this chapter.

      Liked by 1 person

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