»  The American Spectator

June 2012

  Heavens to Betsy!


Heaven: The Heart's Deepest Longing
by Peter Kreeft

[Note :  This was not commissioned precisely as a book review. Kreeft's book was sent out to several writers, who were asked to record their reactions to it for a set of comparative essays.]

Seeing that the first sentence in the first paragraph of the first chapter of Peter Kreeft's book Heaven: The Heart's Deepest Longing is a quote from C.S. Lewis, my suspicions were aroused right away. Kreeft hastened to confirm them, quoting Lewis again four pages further on, and again eleven pages after that, then four pages on from that, then two pages on from that, then forty-one more times in the following hundred pages.

The metaphor that comes to mind is the one about conversing with the monkey when the organ-grinder is at hand. I knew, by the time I reached that second quote, that I had signed up for 152 pages of Lewisian woo. (No, Mister Editor, I didn't read the Introduction, nor the Appendices. How much can you ask of a man?)

And in fact I am pretty well acquainted with the organ grinder. If you write for conservative American magazines and websites, and reveal yourself to be an unbeliever, concerned readers will quickly direct you to C.S. Lewis, with many earnest beseechings. If I had a dollar for every email I have received that contained the injunction, "Do please read Mere Christianity," I might be able to afford the guided pilgrimage around Lewis's childhood haunts on offer from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

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[Read the whole article in American Spectator]