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The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus Paperback – September 25, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Habermas, who has written several apologetic works on the resurrection, and Licona, a speaker and budding New Testament scholar who was once Habermas's student, offer a comprehensive and far-reaching argument for the historical veracity of Christ's resurrection. In fact, at times it is too far-reaching, as when the authors digress into refutations of Mormonism, alien activity and Elvis sightings; this book would be much improved if it had been trimmed by about a third. Many evangelicals will appreciate the authors' broad evidentiary claims and marshalling of historical, theological, archaeological, biomedical and literary data to support their belief in the resurrection. Yet despite its strong content, the book is poorly written, and is organized in a workmanlike outline format that seems more appropriate for a seminary lecture than a seamless book. A closing chapter offers practical tips for evangelical Christians who wish to share their faith with others.
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Carolyn Keefe Church and Synagogue Library Association : "This outstanding teaching tool has multiple uses for church congregants: individual or small group study, visitation and evangelism preparation, church school elective courses, and theological fortification of secular university students. In addition, it provides stimulating study for pastors who have not taken an apologetics course in seminary or who need a refresher."
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
I used this book to reverse engineer what good ancient history looks like (yes, I am a chemical engineer) - I now have some sense of what I call "historical ways of knowing" aka epistemology. I really had to struggle with some of the evidence, and think through what counted as enough evidence. Of course that couldn't just be my preference, it had to be compared with the level of evidence available for other known people like Roman emperors of Jesus' day...
The organization and covering all the combinations and permutations and objections were great!
As I said above, this is a great introductory work. Someone who wants to delve further should read N.T. Wright's The Resurrection of the Son of God, and works by William Lane Craig on the subject. Read the other side as well both online at Internet Infidels and through books by Christian deconverts. Both authors quote other prominent New Testament scholars to back up their points while citing the original sources behind their alleged facts, ensuring that one who is earnestly seeking can check their work and investigate the matter for herself. The book also contains charts that visually summarize the points being made in the text which makes the material easier to remember. The book deals with alternative theories and then discusses the philosophy of Naturalism. I have read better critiques of Naturalism but this book does a good job of refuting pop-Naturalism I suppose.
The next part contains brief chapters defending the bodily resurrection view against the heavenly appearance view and that Jesus claimed divinity. I think these sparse chapters could have been lengthened, especially the chapter on Jesus' self-understanding to make a stronger case. The next chapter on Intelligent Design is really out of place in this book and should have been left out. If the authors wanted to give props to ID they should have done so in an Afterward or an appendix. The book is mainly about Jesus, what he was about and what happened to him, not about ID.
Lastly, the book has many endnotes which I much appreciate along with an extensive bibliography which I appreciate even more. Overall this was a very edifying read and can help you when someone challenges you about the evidential basis for your faith.