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The Resurrection of Jesus: John Dominic Crossan And N.T. Wright in Dialogue Paperback – January 1, 2006
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About the Author
Robert B. Stewart is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Theology at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he directs the Greer-Heard Point-Counterpoint Program.
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A case is thoughtfully made by Bishop N.T. Wright for the historicity that Jesus was probably bodily raised. The empty tomb and the post-crucifixion appearances argue in its favor. The unexpected turnaround among Jesus' demoralized disciples after Easter is another, but less critical, development that supports a bodily resurrection.
Against this, Catholic-trained scholar John Dominic Crossan argues that what is more important than historicity is meaning, whether Christians today also experience Jesus' resurrection. Resurrection is not just about Jesus, but about all of us being raised. Crossan finds in Jesus' message and acts, especially his resurrection, God's outreach to us with lessons about love, justice, worship, and the essential role of humanity in God's new creation.
Several historicist scholars critique Crossan's latitude and willingness in accepting the validity of the resurrection either as fact or metaphor, or some ground in between those poles. Their viewpoint insists that Christianity and God's future action are theologically meaningless without the underpinning of a bodily resurrection.
Questions remain but one is not back where one began. While a tough slog, one comes away from this volume with an appreciation of how much we can still unearth about Jesus, his times and message. Ultimately, neither historicity nor metaphor are sufficient alone. To paraphrase Crossan, faith in God's incarnation in Jesus would not be any easier even if it were caught on camera by a secular CNN or a literalist FOX News.
What made this a 4-star review rather than a 3-star one was the contributing articles. Some did not add much but others like Habermas' article on mapping the recent trends in NT scholarship concerning the resurrection were fascinating. Alan Segal also writes a good article (though one I disagree with vehemently) against Wright's argument for the resurrection. In fact, Segal came out so strongly against Wright's position that perhaps a dialogue between the two would have made a better book. The other contributors tended to further illuminate the positions of Wright and Crossan as New Testament scholars.
Taking the allegorical approach, Crossan notes many of the challenges associated with a fleshly resurrection, as well as scriptural and cultural support for an allegorical reading of the resurrection event. Wright, on the other hand, offers persuasive arguments for a literal interpretation of the resurrection. Both scholars provide well reasoned positions, and the supporting papers by other scholars will get you thinking.
This is a scholarly work, and reads like one. There are lots of footnotes and terms that aren't typical conversational English. If you have interest in the subject, you will find the book extremely interesting.
agreement on the subject of Jesus and his resurrection.