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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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"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
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Given that Craig and Crossan hold diametrically opposed views of Christian origins, this debate could have been an excellent opportunity to learn why each camp rejects the empirical claims of the other. Whereas the conservatives presented arguments for their positions (and point-by-point objections to Crossan's position), the liberals simply did not take the debate very seriously. Not only did Crossan fail to engage Craig on the specifics of his case, Crossan refused to engage in any historical argumentation. Instead, Crossan argued that the New Testament documents--including their accounts of resurrection--should be taken as metaphor. Now, even if that is true--and conservatives will obviously disagree--it was simply poor argumentative strategy on Crossan's part to neglect the empirical claims advanced by Craig. Given that Crossan denies the truth of each of Craig's four historical claims--burial by Joseph of Arimathea, empty tomb, post-resurrection appearances, and the origin of the Christian faith--I think Crossan did a disservice to his audience by failing to defend his objections to each of Craig's four historical claims.
To make matters worse, the two liberal commentators on the debate (Miller and Borg) *also* refused to interact with Craig's arguments for the historicity of the resurrection.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book provides an interesting debate between leading New Testament scholars from the "historical-Jesus school" and the "gospel-based or traditional school. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Ned Netterville
Editor Paul Copan explained in the Introduction to this 1998 book, "In October 1994... a radio-show host ... Read morePublished on June 13, 2013 by Steven H Propp
I highly recommend this book. I enjoyed the debate very much (I heard it as an audio file from the internet first) so I ended up getting this book so I could carry it with me and... Read morePublished on April 23, 2013 by J Chandler Arnett III
This is a very clear presentation of the empirical and traditional interpretations of historical events. While my conclusion is with more recent work by James D. G. Read morePublished on November 21, 2012 by William S Jamison
The first half of the book is a transcript of a debate between Dr. Craig and Dr. Crossan moderated by William F. Buckley. Read morePublished on September 19, 2008 by Bobby Bambino
Crossan's refusal to seriously challenge Craig, and his views like "Did God exist in the times of the dinosaurs" is meaningless make this "debate" have very little common ground... Read morePublished on August 9, 2006 by John D. Lentz Jr.
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. Read morePublished on June 13, 2005 by G. Stucco
This was billed as a debate-It was not-it was, instead an example of the Dumbing Down of Acadamia. Jesus, as later Roman and Jewish historians noted, (Tacitus, Usebius, Herodotus... Read morePublished on January 1, 2005 by JAMES O'GRADY
"Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up" features a debate between liberal and conservative Christians regarding the nature of Jesus. Read morePublished on October 18, 2004 by Reader From Aurora