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Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?: A Debate between William Lane Craig and John Dominic Crossan Paperback – February 1, 1999


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Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?: A Debate between William Lane Craig and John Dominic Crossan + Introducing Christian Doctrine(2nd Edition) + Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic (February 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801021758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801021756
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #392,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This book, which presents a recent debate between a former co-chair of the Jesus Seminar and an Evangelical scholar, as well as follow-up responses by four other New Testament scholars, brings the reader effectively and movingly into the heart of the contemporary fideist-evidentialist debate about the reality and meaning of Jesus' life and teachings. Editor Copan (Who Was Jesus?, Word Pub., 1996) gives Craig's conservatism the last word, but readers of many different convictions will find ample food for thought here.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? gathers together an unprecedented range of persons involved in the contemporary study of Jesus. Placing these key voices on the stage together, so to speak, gives us a feel for the texture of the discussion that belies typical us-and-them, black-and-white categories. The result for the reader is unparalleled access into how historical assumptions, faith commitments, and philosophical premises shape how we read 'the historical Jesus'." -- Joel B. Green, Asbury Theological Seminary

"Genuine dialogue between evangelicals and members of the Jesus Seminar is very rare. This book is notable for the fairness of its format, and the forthright nature of the exchange, which is candid yet always civil in character. One could hardly find a better representative of the Jesus Seminar than John Dominic Crossan, and William Craig may be the best apologist for orthodox Christian faith at work today. The additional commentators and the final summaries of Craig and Crossan are extremely helpful. What the debate format may cost in clarity and precision is more than made up for by the liveliness of the exchange. An exciting, helpful book." -- C. Stephen Evans, Professor of Philosophy and Dean for Research and Scholarship, Calvin College; author of The Historical Christ and the Jesus of Faith

"Much current discussion of Jesus seems to be a dialogue of the deaf. In this book the different positions start listening to each other, probing, challenging, explaining, exploring. The informal setting of the dialogue is far more revealing, and truly interesting than the average scholarly monograph. This book will help people to get to grips with what is really going on, and what is really at stake, in the contemporary debate." -- N. T. Wright, Dean of Lichfield, author of Jesus and the Victory of God

"The debate by William Lane Craig, a leading evangelical apologist, and John Dominic Crossan, a founder of the Jesus Seminar, found in Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? provides a helpful introduction to the issues involved in the modern discussion of the historical Jesus. The additional articles by four representative scholars responding to the debate help raise the key issue of whether 'the resurrection of Jesus' refers to something that happened to Jesus (Craig) or to his followers (Crossan)." -- Robert H. Stein, Ernest and Mildred Hogan Professor of N.T. Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author of Jesus the Messiah

"Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? offers readers a clarifying and insightful comparison and contrast between the Jesus Seminar, on the one hand, and evangelical theologians, on the other. This book brings into sharp relief the contours of the debate and should serve well the Christian community-conservative and non conservative alike." -- Craig A. Evans, Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Biblical Studies, Trinity Western University, British Columbia, Canada; author of Jesus, Studying the Historical Jesus, and Jesus in Context

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Customer Reviews

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Crossan says, "I reject absolutely the naturalist position that Dr. Craig attributed to me."
Steven H. Propp
This book was very interesting and worth a reading, though the liberals put forth very disapointing arguments.
cout hey
I liken this book to an "all-star game" -- neat concept, but not to be taken too seriously.
isaac

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By David Marshall on June 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
It is true that Crossan did not substantially engage many of Craig's arguments for the ressurection. Instead, he offered orthodox Christians (who presumably have been sheltered from such ideas) a paradigm shift: "It's metaphorical, the Gospel writers didn't really mean it that way." True, the debate and essays following do create more of an all-star, rather than world series, atmosphere. Yet the book does bring together some real stars, and they do put on a good display, in my opinion, baring on the most important spiritual questions we can ask.
Not all of the complaints below need to be taken seriously. "Buckley was biased. He called Crossan a puff of smoke." Who were you expecting, Barbara Walters? The man calls his show Firing Line: where there's fire, there's bound to be smoke. Crossan is a big scholar; he can take care of himself. "Craig got to go first, and last, too." Life is indeed unfair. Still, what you get here is three top scholars on both sides, each given time to develop their ideas. Not exactly a kangaroo court. "They spoke past each other. Crossan said the Gospels are metaphor, and Craig failed to reply." Not so. Crossan advanced his argument explicitly, and Craig even more explicitly refuted it. Not that it took much refuting. With the Gospels, it is obvious we're not dealing with Homer or Bunyan: precisely why they continue to cause such a fuss.
Miller wrote an interesting essay on how different an apologetic appears to those "inside" a group as opposed to those "outside." I did not find the particular example he gave, of Islamic apologetics, that strong, for the simple reason that from earliest times Islam has held that conversion "out" ws deserving of death.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Kevin L. Stewart on September 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
First off, let me say that I listened to the orriginal tapes, and haven't read the book so I missed the additional comments that some are mentioning.
I agreee with other reviews that it was fairly one-sided but that is largely due to the fact that Crossan didn't seem to take the debate serious. It was obvious that Craig had read up and studied Crossan's works and came prepared. Crossan on the otherhand was woefully unequiped. (I'm told that it is common in bebates between liberals and conservatives that the liberal won't have read up on the conservative, but the conservative will do his/her homework on the liberal's position.) In his after-debate interview, Crossan claimed that he wasn't their to debate but just to present his case, but personally I think that was damage control after a sound beating.
Crossan made many dogmatic statements, but when questioned on them, was unable/unwilling to defend them. All he was say is that "credible scholars" back his statements. When pressed he didn't give any names. (It seems the "'credible' scholars" he is refering to are his fellows on the "Jesus Seminar".) He never did adequately address Craig's challenge of his bias towards Naturalism. He responce seemed to me merely playing with terms. Eccentually "I'm not a Naturalist, though I believe that the supernatural only ever works through the natural." (Not a direct quote, but the idea of his response.)
Craig, on the other hand, came ready to debate. He set up his arguement well and stated his case clearly. Also, he soundly challenged Crossan's points (though seldom if ever answered by Crossan). Craig definately did his research into Crossan's ideas and came prepared.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By isaac on April 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
Though thought-provoking at times, this exchange ultimately falls flat on the unwillingness (which many will interpret as inability) of the liberals to give more than a cursory, self-satisfied justification of their views. One would assume from their half-hearted effort that the liberals have no "facts" to back themselves up, but that is not my understanding of their position. The few factual arguments they did raise were ruthlessly shot down by Craig. And they barely tried refuting Craig's own factual assertions, so Craig could only point out their omissions and could not develop the debate any further.
There are some illuminating thoughts here, especially from the responses and Craig's concluding reflections -- thus, three stars. But those looking for "meat" should look elsewhere. I liken this book to an "all-star game" -- neat concept, but not to be taken too seriously.
One concluding note: even to this "conservative" reader Buckley's partisan "mediating" was inappropriate and distracting. His smug comments about Jesus making Crossan disappear "in a puff of smoke" and his attack-dog questioning of Crossan made the "debate" look like a 2-on-1 mugging. Craig would have done just fine by himself.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By G. Stucco on June 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
Craig rightly reproves Crossan for what he regards his vague and mythological belief. If Jesus is not risen, we are wasting our time when we worship him. Crossan believes that Jesus' resurrection is a symbolical way to say that he empowers our lives; however he justly corrects Craig when the latter claims that the "majority" of scholars believe that Jesus claimed to be God. The beauty of the debate also lies in the contributions given by the other scholars. Surprisingly the two Christians, Blomberg and Whitherington, criticized Craig several times. Craig, however, was able to rebuff these criticisms and to keep the pressure on Crossan in his closing remarks. I liked Miller's argument that evidentialist apologetics works best for "insiders," (people who are already believers) though Craig was able to mention how several dozen people, in his last debates, came to Christ as a result of his arguments. It would have probably been better to say, which Miller didn't, that apologetics works best for undecided people (plenty of those out there!) and that therefore we still need it and will for a long time.

Craig's 4 contentions never refuted by Crossan:

1) Jesus was buried

2) His tomb was found empty

3) His disciples claimed to have seen the risen Jesus

4) The resurrection best explains the nature of these visions.

By the way, Craig is Not saying that it is irrational NOT to believe in the Resurrection!!! He is saying that Jesus' resurrection is the MOST plausible and logical explanation of the events surrounding that famous Passover about 2000 years ago.

I also recommend Pinchas Lapide's The Resurrection of Jesus: A Jewish Perspective
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