Jesus-Shock by Peter Kreeft

Q. Why is Jesus the most controversial and the most embarrassing name in the world? Why is “Jesus” the most non-neutral name in the world? Why is He history’s greatest divider? Why does Jesus change every person He has ever met?

A. “Jesus-shock”

Jesus is “the answer to which every human life is the question” ~ St. JP2

Jesus is not a means to an end; He is the end, the final end and point and purpose and meaning and consummation of our lives (34).

Jesus is not the solution to our problems; He is the giver of our problems. Our problems are His tasks and our opportunities, His teaching and our education, His will and our sanctification (37).

Whether we see it or not, whether we believe it or not, we always struggle with Him, not with our problems, our lives, our deaths, our friends, or our families (37).

Q. What was the bitterest controversy of the Protestant Reformation, both between Protestants and Catholics and between different Protestant denominations, the one that had both sides calling the other not just heretics but devils?

A. The Eucharist. The experience of Christ’s Real Presence is the cause and explanation of “Jesus-shock” (29).

Jesus is a sword. He divides.

Kreeft gives 35 questions that all have the same one-word answer: Jesus.


Why is He history’s greatest divider?

Jesus is not the solution to our problems; He is the giver of our problems. Our problems are His tasks and our opportunities, His teaching and our education, His will and our sanctification. We always struggle with Him, not with our problems, our lives, our deaths, our friends, or our families. Your response to it is your response to Him.

Jesus is the only man in history who never bored anyone. For “Jesus-shock” breaks your heart in two and forces you to choose which half of your heart you will follow.

“Nothing is more beautiful than a Saint because a Saint is a little Christ.”

“She does not use the safety net of a spiritual mutual fund” – Mary’s soul is given to Jesus only!

If Catholics are right on the Eucharist, Protestants are missing out on the most perfect, intimate, and complete union with their Lord that is possible in this life.” The Eucharist provides the very thing Protestant Evangelicals cherish the most – the Real Presence of Christ and our real union with Christ.


“Scripture itself calls the Church “the pillar and ground of the truth.” (1 Tim 3:15), Scripture was the Church’s textbook, but the Church was the living teacher who taught and interpreted that textbook. Why trust the Teacher’s Book if you don’t trust the Teacher?

The Eucharist is the most perfect of all possible training devices: [1] It does not give us any sight of Him at all, [2] it does not usually give us any feeling of Him at all, [3] and yet it gives us all of Him, His full presence, [4] which is known by faith alone. We long for joy, and He tells us that He is our joy, and that he will be in us Himself, not that He gives us joy. (Jn 15:11). He is not a means, and our joy is not the end. That is idolatry. He is the end.

Abortion is the Antichrist’s demonic parody of the Eucharist. That is why it uses the same holy words, “This is my body,” with the blasphemously opposite meaning.

“It’s much more comfortable to see Jesus as a pop pyschologist and the Church as Mister Roger’s Neighborhood.”

Favourite Quotes:

Jesus talk is like sex talk. There is no neutral language for sex. All our words about sex are either “sexy” or an attempt to avoid being “sexy.” Just like our words with Jesus, they are either (1) love-words, (2) blasphemy (gutter language) words, (3) jokes – sex and religion are the two most popular subjects of jokes, (4) deliberate impersonal technical, scientific/technical words. I’ll bet you never realized this before: the perfect correlation between Jesus talk and sex talk (2-3).

The Christian kerygma, or proclamation, is the presence of a Person. If reduced to the shortest possible sentence, it would be: “Boo!” (17)

The Cross crosses out the “I” (19).

“Not only do we only know God through Jesus Christ, but we only know ourselves through Jesus Christ; we only know life and death through Jesus Christ. Apart from Jesus Christ, we cannot know the meaning of our life, or our death, of God or of ourselves” ~ Pascal

“We wish He had put up snake fences around Eden” (48).

“God is such a gentlemen that He asked permission from His mother to be born” (48).

“Our culture has filled our hearts but emptied our hearts, stuffed our wallets but starved our wonder. It has fed our thirst for facts but not for meaning or mystery. It produces “nice” people, not heroes” (55).

Christ’s beauty is a beauty that breaks our hearts. It is “no beauty we could desire” unless our hearts break first. Deep truth heals your mind, and deep goodness heals your will, but deep beauty wounds your heart. Beauty hurts (58).

The most creative thing we can ever do with our minds, namely shut up and enter the holy silence; we find Someone there who has been leading us beside those still waters, restoring our soul. The silence is not empty; it is full, like the silence in the eyes of a watching lion (58-9).

It is always our hearts that accept the Gospel first. The beauty-hungering heart always leads the truth-hungering head. It is the beauty of truth and the beauty of goodness that attracts us, not the mere correctness of them (60).

“The crazy love of a saint is reasonable because it is the only right response to the reality of the infinity. It is reasonable to love the Absolute absolutely for the same reason is is reasonable to love the relative relatively” (67).




  1. Amante Elnar says:

    Is there a way I can get a pdf copy of this Book? I’m currently living here in Saudi Arabia and getting this book in hard copy is impossible. Thanks for your help.

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