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Paul Meets Muhammad: A Christian-Muslim Debate on the Resurrection Paperback – February 1, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In a day of heightened awareness of Islam in the West, it is vitally important that Christians know how to give answer when asked by a Muslim for the hope that is in us." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

The resurrection of Jesus: fact or fiction?

Imagine a crowded arena full of Christians, Muslims, and curious onlookers packed in to hear the outcome of one of the greatest debates in all of history. If Jesus didn't rise from the dead, Christianity is false. But if Jesus was resurrected, Christianity is true and Islam is false. The stakes are high.

Paul Meets Muhammad imagines a futuristic face-off between two religious heavyweights, each speaking on the validity of their doctrines, forming arguments and rebuttals while citing evidence from the Qur'an and the Gospel accounts. Intriguing and entertaining, this page-turner uniquely offers a comprehensive defense of Jesus's resurrection and of Christianity itself.


"Paul Meets Muhammad entertains and educates the reader with an ingeniously crafted debate that is fair to both sides. If you are a Christian looking for a resource on how to share your faith with your Muslim friend, look no further."--D. James Kennedy, chancellor, Knox Theological Seminary

"In a day of heightened awareness of Islam in the West, it is vitally important that Christians know how to give an answer when asked by a Muslim for the hope that is in us."--William Lane Craig, research professor of philosophy, Talbot School of Theology

"Licona has found the most unique manner of approaching Islamic evangelism that I have seen in quite some time. I cannot give this work a higher endorsement. This book can change lives."--Ergun Mehmet Caner, dean, Liberty Theological Seminary; co-author, Unveiling Islam


Michael R. Licona (Ph.D. cand., University of Pretoria) is director of apologetics evangelism at the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and the co-author of The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (February 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801066026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801066023
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #895,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mike Licona has a Ph.D. in New Testament Studies from the University of Pretoria which he completed with distinction. He serves as Associate Professor in Theology at Houston Baptist University and is president of Risen Jesus, Inc. (www.risenjesus.com). From January 2005 through December 2011, Mike served as the Apologetics Coordinator at the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. He was interviewed by Lee Strobel in his book "The Case for the Real Jesus" and appeared in Strobel's video "The Case for Christ." He is the author of numerous books including The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach (IVP Academic, 2011), Paul Meets Muhammad (Baker, 2006), co-author with Gary Habermas of the award-winning book The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus (Kregel, 2004) and co-editor with William Dembski of Evidence for God: 50 Arguments for Faith from the Bible, History, Philosophy, and Science (Baker, 2010). Mike is a member of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, the Institute for Biblical Research, and the Society of Biblical Literature. He is a frequent speaker on university campuses, churches, and has appeared on dozens of radio and television programs.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Bill Muehlenberg VINE VOICE on April 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
There are many differences between Islam and Christianity. One of the major differences concerns what happened to Jesus at Calvary. Did Jesus die on the cross and rise again on the third day, or did he not? Christians of course believe that he did, while Muslims deny it.

One way to compare these claims and counter-claims is to provide a close examination of both what the Bible and the Koran say about the issue. Another way would be to compare Christian scholarship with Muslim scholarship on the issue. Michael Licona combines both elements in a cleverly devised format.

He puts these arguments and counter-argument in the form of a debate between the apostle Paul and Muhammad. Paul of course was one of the greatest apostles of Jesus, while Muhammad was the prophet of Allah. Licona asks the reader to imagine these two heavyweights locked in a major debate about the resurrection.

Arguments are given, responses are made, and the debate goes back and forth. After a series of arguments and rebuttals, a number of issues are tackled in a discussion period, followed by closing statements of each debater. This in turn is followed by the moderator's closing summation.

While the debate is of course fictitious, the issues involved are not. Indeed, they center on the very heart of the Christian gospel, and have to do with monumental truth claims.

Thus the importance of the debate. If one side is speaking truth on this issue, then the other must not be. Both sides cannot simultaneously be speaking truth on this topic, for the one side negates the other. Either Jesus died on the cross and rose again or he did not. If Christianity is right on this point, then Islam is wrong.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Clark D. Goble on March 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book because I thought it would be a great follow-up to the Islamic Survey class I just completed. I was right in my assumption. The book is well-written and a quick read. Essentially, the author creates a fictional debate regarding the resurrection of Christ between the Apostle Paul and Muhammad (regarded as The Prophet in the Islamic faith). I thought this was a great idea, unfortunately, the author felt the need to create an inane little back story that involves scientists creating exact holographic replicas of historic figures ... it should be noted that Mr. Licona will never be an award winning science fiction author. I would of preferred the author just simply ask me to suspend reality for the duration of his book. Once the content of the book delved into the actual debate, however, it was quite entertaining.

Paul basically frames an argument supporting the resurrection based on historical information rather than scripture. His argument seems to be that scripture will better serve the unbeliever if first set in the proper historical context. Muhammad counters with the Quran's view that the resurrection never ocurred. According to Islam, Jesus was either substituted for on the cross by another (thus creating an illusion later that He has been resurrected) or never died on the cross to begin with (this theory asserts that God the Father intervened and prevented Jesus from dying).

The book does a great job of clearly presenting both sides of the debate (Licona, a Christian, consulted Muslim friends to properly present their side). The arguments are "fair and balanced" and Licona makes no attempt to "bully" his readers to believe one way or another. Readers are free to draw their own conclusions from the debate. I am not entirely sure Licona did justice to the great oratory skills of either Paul or Muhammad, but I did enjoy his effort.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By H. L. Nigro on March 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
In this book, the author frames a debate between the Apostle Paul and the Prophet Muhammad on the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus. To accomplish this, he chooses the fictional setting of a debate between two holograms, using arguments created using artificial intelligence drawn from an extensive database of the writings of the two participants. The idea is, with a complete set of their writings, their debate styles, theologies, and responses to questions can be analyzed and replicated using AI, with holograms delivering those arguments in a simulated debate. The fictional debate takes place as part of demonstration of new cutting edge technology developed by MIT.

On one hand, I would much rather have seen the debate take place in a fictional meeting between the two men out in the desert or some other poetic location. On the other hand, this is a creative literary device that drives home the point that the arguments in the book are comprehensive, based on a full analysis of the writings of these men, so that debate is not biased or slanted toward one position or another. The evidence simply is what it is.

Indeed, although the author is a Christian, he went out of his way to not only be fair to the arguments from Islam, but to solicit input from Muslim friends to help strengthen "Muhammad's" arguments. The result, I believe, is a fair, well-balanced debate between the two sides that will be refreshing and informative. It is interesting to note that most of the Muslim arguments are not unique to Islam. They are the same arguments used against Jesus' resurrection by skeptics at large, so the relevance of this debate extends far beyond Christians and Muslims to anyone of any faith (or no faith).
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