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The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus Paperback – September 25, 2004
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L.R.K. Church Libraries : You will find this book to be the most practical and reader-friendly book in defense of Jesus' resurrection on the market today.
Top Customer Reviews
This book effectively equips Christians to witness to their friends, neighbors, and families using the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. Habermas and Licona begin with a discussion about the importance of the resurrection of Jesus to Christianity. Though this seems obvious, the discussion is helpful because it wisely recommends focusing on the resurrection without getting bogged down in, presumably, issues such as inerrancy and a complete harmonization of the resurrection narratives. This is a common failing of Christians trying to share their faith. The authors' emphasis on keeping the eye on the ball extends throughout the book.
After the opening chapter, the book turns to the core of the issue, the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. The strength of this section is that it distills down, accurately, a high level of scholarship on the issue. Habermas and Licona present five "minimal facts." That is, they focus on five historical facts that are accepted by most scholars:
1) Jesus' death by crucifixion;
2) Jesus' disciples believed that he rose and appeared to them;
3) Paul, a persecutor of the church, has suddenly changed to faith in Jesus;
4) James, skeptical of Jesus during his ministry, was suddenly changed to faith in Jesus; and,
5) The tomb of Jesus was empty.
No. 4 is perhaps more disputed than Habermas and Licona discuss (and by far the least important of the five), but the rest of the discussion accurately represents the state of historical scholarship. Although their discussion will not supplant the more probing discussions of N.T. Wright or William L. Craig, it will equip the reader to accurately present to their friends, neighbors, and family the persuasive historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. They fit their "minimal facts" together effectively to present a strong case for the resurrection of Jesus.
Most of the rest of the book deals with various objections to the resurrection. This includes the usual suspects, such as the hallucination theory or the forgotten grave site. But it also includes others that scholars tend to ignore but which actually pop up in real conversation, such as whether Jesus could have been an alien (don't laugh, I've heard that one) and how do we know that even if there was a resurrection that God had anything to do with it. Their response effectively focuses on the context of Jesus' ministry and claims about himself.
There are a few sections that appear out of place, such as the discussion of near death experiences and even the section about the existence of God. But the book closes with its strength, a helpful discussion of how to take the knowledge conveyed by the book and convince others about the resurrection of Jesus.
Christians wishing to share effectively the core of their faith with those they care about will find this book very helpful. And for that reason, I recommend it.
This book takes several arguments disputing the resurrection of Christ and tears them to shreds. It demonstrates that the very sources used against the resurrection are biased and partial. The amount of information and biblical knowledge contained within is astounding. It includes a CD-ROM which is pure genius, educating the public about the resurrection.
Habermas dissects common questions that argue against Jesus' resurrection, making it an easy reference for the future. For example, say the person you are witnessing to says, "The disciples stole the body;" it is easy to find the information to refute that false belief. Every known argument for why the resurrection didn't happen is accounted for in this book, and proven wrong.
This book is an excellent learning tool for every Christian. I recommend it for pastors as a reference tool and a study guide, regardless of where they are in their walk with the Lord. All of life is a time to learn, and learning never stops. We can never know too much about God.
With the inclusion of a detailed outline of the arguments contained in this book, the notes taken to write the book ( listed by individual chapter),and the bibliography of other reference books used in this one, there is an limitless supply of Bible studies and/or sermons. What pastor could not use this book? This book is by far one of the most useful books on the Christian faith. -- Tammy Hornbeck, Christian Book Previews.com
The book is well-written and well-organized, with many charts and an interactive CD that tests the reader's knowledge of the material. Basic issues of the nature of historical evidence and evidence for the existence of God and the supernatural in general are addressed, so the reader will be knowledgeable of more than just the resurrection itself.
People who are already highly informed on these issues should still find the book helpful. It does contain some significant new material, such as the results of Gary Habermas' recent survey of modern scholarship on the resurrection and excerpts from the authors' personal correspondence with other scholars. Although the main body of the text is easy to follow and is aimed primarily at laymen, the notes go into more depth (more than 80 pages) and have a goldmine of information and sources.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you are looking for a laymen’s guide on the arguments for the resurrection of Jesus, from every conceivable angle, then this...Read more