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Did the Resurrection Happen?: A Conversation with Gary Habermas and Antony Flew (Veritas Forum Books) Paperback – April 29, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0830837182 ISBN-10: 0830837183

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Product Details

  • Series: Veritas Forum Books
  • Paperback: 185 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (April 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830837183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830837182
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #880,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Lay readers could hardly ask for a better entrée to the resurrection as a philosophical issue. A beacon of enlightenment on its subject." (Booklist, May 15, 2009)

"The conversation between Habermas and Flew has been a fascinating one at the highest levels of philosophical reflection. This book beautifully chronicles that dialogue in a way that is clear for those not versed in philosophy. The book will cause you to sit and ponder. That is a compliment enough, but more than that you will learn how two competing worldviews should interact with each other--and that is a real gift." (Darrell Bock, Dallas Theological Seminary)

"A lively conversation about the most important question in the history, and for the future, of the world. Habermas's compelling answers to Flew's questions awaken hope within me. The resurrection and vindication of Christ frees us from the fear of death, and for true life, now and forever. I wish this book for all of us, especially skeptics who are also thinkers." (Kelly Monroe Kullberg, author of Finding God Beyond Harvard: The Quest for Veritas, founder and director of project development, The Veritas Forum, and editor of Finding God at Harvard: Spiritual Journeys of Thinking Christians)

"David Baggett has skillfully edited an engaging and warm-hearted debate between Gary Habermas and Antony Flew, two of the world's foremost philosophers and thinkers, the former a Christian and apologist and the latter a well-known atheist who recently has embraced deism. Their debate centers on the very essence of Christian faith--the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is a great book. I recommend it enthusiastically." (Craig A. Evans, Ph.D., Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Acadia Divinity College)

"This book offers not only a lively exchange on Jesus' resurrection between Habermas and Flew. The section on Flew's pilgrimage to belief in God and the excellent analysis by Baggett help both round out the dialogue as well as provide much food for philosophical and theological thought. A superb resource on the resurrection!" (Paul Copan, professor and Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics, Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, Florida)

"This work brings together the chief contemporary defender of the resurrection and the foremost atheist of the 20th century. While the style is warm and conversational, this book is all meat and no fluff. Baggett's assessment of the debate alone is worth the price of the book. I highly recommend this to all who wish to defend the historical credibility of the resurrection of Jesus. The debate is a model of civility." (J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Talbot School of Theology, and coauthor of In Search of a Confident Faith)

"This book is a dialogue between the leading expert on Jesus' resurrection and the most influential atheist philosopher of the late twentieth century. No fluff. No insults. This is an intelligent and friendly exchange of ideas among two giants in their field who have arrived at radically different views of what happened to Jesus 2,000 years ago." (Michael R. Licona, director of apologetics, North American Mission Board)

"As a reader of Did the Resurrection Happen? A Conversation with Gary Habermas and Antony Flew, I experienced the rare pleasure of eavesdropping on a rigorous discussion between close friends. While they persist in their strong disagreement over a variety of substantive issues, Habermas and Flew never fail to argue with charity and humor. This posture gives the book a warm and congenial flavor. It is a great read for anyone interested in philosophy, in the resurrection or in how best to engage in significant debate." (Gregory E. Ganssle, Rivendell Institute, department of philosophy, Yale University)

Review

"This book is a dialogue between the leading expert on Jesus' resurrection and the most influential atheist philosopher of the late twentieth century. No fluff. No insults. This is an intelligent and friendly exchange of ideas among two giants in their field who have arrived at radically different views of what happened to Jesus 2,000 years ago."

More About the Author

www.GaryHabermas.com

Dr. Gary R. Habermas is Distinguished Research Professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy at Liberty University. He also teaches in the Ph.D. program in theology and apologetics at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He earned the Ph.D. at Michigan State University and the M.A. from the University of Detroit.

He has authored, coauthored, or edited thirty-nine books and contributed more than sixty-five chapters or articles to other books. He has also written well over one hundred articles and reviews for journals and other publications. While his chief areas of research (and the topic of twenty of his books) are issues related to Jesus' resurrection, he has also published frequently on the afterlife, near death experiences, as well as the subjects of suffering and religious doubt.

Over the past fourteen years, he has often been a visiting or adjunct professor, having taught courses at some fifteen different graduate schools and seminaries in the United States and abroad. He and his wife, Eileen, have seven children and thirteen grandchildren, all of whom live in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Visit Gary Habermas' website (www.GaryHabermas.com) to access many publications as well as video and audio presentations.

Customer Reviews

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The content moves along and is well written.
Arthur D. Hartwig
In my opinion, I believe Christians will find their faith strengthened and non-Christian readers will find answers to valid arguments on the subject.
O. Doyle
I strongly recommend this book to anybody interested in the topic.
Michael Hellum

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Mark Foreman on May 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book covers the third and probably final debate between the (now former) atheist Antony Flew and Gary Habermas, the well-recognized expert on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. By this point in their relationship Habermas and Flew have become good friends and the debate possesses the atmosphere of a casual conversation between two colleagues.

Habermas presses the historical argument which Flew acknowledges is very strong. However, Flew is not convinced that the historical argument by itself is sufficient to argue for something as extraordinary as a resurrection and raises the point that it may still be more likely that an event like a mass hullucination may be the cause for the appearances than an actual resurrection. Habermas is in his prime and Flew is perhaps not at the top of his game in this exchange as is evident when they get to the closing statements.

The book also contains two chapters about Flews conversion to theism (not Christianity). One is a dialogue between Flew and Habermas that recounts his journey from atheism to theism. The other is review of Flew's book "There is a God" by Habermas. These are reprints from other sources but are a welcome addition to this volume rounding out the relationship between these two thinkers that is a model of what philosophical dialogue should be.

The real gem of the volume is Baggett's analysis of the debate and general argument for the resurrection. Baggett rightly divides the question into two parts: the historical evidence and the inferential issue. Baggett assesses that Habermas has successfully made the historical case, but that an inference to resurrection is another question. He points out that many non-believers may not find the historical case compelling due to worldview commitments.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By George P. Wood TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
"Did Jesus of Nazareth rise from the dead?"

In 2003, Gary Habermas and Antony Flew met at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, to debate that very question. Habermas is a Christian philosopher widely known for his evidentialist argument for the resurrection. Flew was an atheist philosopher, perhaps the most famous such philosopher in the 20th Century. In 2004, he announced to a somewhat stunned philosophical world that he had abandoned atheism for deism. He does not believe in the resurrection, however, nor in any religions based on personal revelation.

Habermas and Flew's 2003 debate was not their first. Their first debate occurred in 1985 and was published as Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?, edited by Terry L. Miethe. Their second occurred in 2000 and was published as Resurrected? An Atheist and Theist Dialogue, edited by John F. Ankerberg. Did the Resurrection Happen? contains a transcript of their 2003 debate and is edited by Christian philosopher David Baggett. Over the years since their first debate, Habermas and Flew have become friends, and that friendship no doubt explains the very cordial tone of their interactions at the 2003 event.

In addition to a transcript of the 2003 debate, Did the Resurrection Happen? includes the transcript of an interview of Flew by Habermas about the reasons why he abandoned atheism for deism. Despite the rise of an impressive philosophical defense of theism in the late twentieth century, Flew's "conversion," if that's the appropriate term, was driven by more scientific arguments: Big Bang cosmology, cosmological fine-tuning, and intelligent design. Some atheists disappointed at Flew's abandonment of them have claimed that he is an old man rooked into deism by friendly Christians.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By O. Doyle on September 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books I have ever read on the subject of the resurrection. Since the first part is basically a transcript of an actual conversation between two of the most learned and influential people in their respective fields (one from a Christian perspective, the other from an atheist perspective), it is easy to read and extremely engaging. Because the basic context is one of historical evidence rather than a debate over interpretations of the bible, the information is thought provoking for Christian and atheist/agnostic alike. In my opinion, I believe Christians will find their faith strengthened and non-Christian readers will find answers to valid arguments on the subject. Most important, I found that even though some parts of the book (especially the final chapters) are highly intellectual in nature and use an extensive vocabulary, nevertheless the text flowed well, making the relative points easy to understand and follow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There really was not much of a conversation. Poor Tony could hardly get in a word between the Moderator and the bombastic preaching of Habermas, who clearly knew much more about the New Testament than did Flew. The primary purpose of the book seems to be an opportunity for Habermas to reaffirm his belief in Christianity to fellow believers than an honest debate on the historicity of the resurrection.

I believe I could have made a better argument for Flew’s case than he did. Nothing was said about the huge discrepancies in the post resurrection activities of Jesus reported in the Gospels. The original Mark simply leaves us with an empty tomb. Matthew has the disciples go to Galilee where he appears to them on a mountain. In Luke he appears only to the two men on the road to Emmaus and the to the Eleven disciples before he ascends into Heaven. Although the same author states in Acts that Jesus stayed on Earth for forty days and gave proof to many that he was alive before he was taken up to Heaven. In John Jesus appears to his disciples who were hiding behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities and then he later appears to them to while they were fishing by the Sea of Tiberius. Jesus appeared to Paul in a vision, yet Paul believed enough to commit his life to preaching the Gospel of Christ. Then who’s to say the other disciples did not have similar visions? There have been many reports of appearances of the Virgin Mary and in 1968 thousands (including Egyptian President Nasser) witnessed Marian apparitions over the Coptic Orthodox Church of Saint Mary in the Zeitoun district of Cairo. So the appearance of Jesus to the 500 as reported by Paul would not seem unreasonable. No one can say for certain what happened on that Easter morning but the important thing is that, for whatever reasons, his disciples believed that Jesus had been resurrected and carried that message to the World.
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