CADRE Comments

A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

Some exciting new books on apologetics topics are slated to come out this fall and winter:

-Constructing Jesus by Dale Allison, Jr. Allison is hard to pin down: although he is skeptical of the value of traditional criteria of authenticity for finding the historical Jesus, thinks the latter wrongly expected the Kingdom of God to come with power during his own lifetime and doubts the historical case for the Resurrection, his erudition is vast and marshals a wealth of comparative material for the apologist to ponder. This is supposed to be his final work on the historical Jesus, and by all accounts it is magisterial. Personally I think anything Allison writes about Jesus is worth reading, even to disagree with (see here for a review by James McGrath).

-The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach by Michael Licona. There are hundreds of books by evangelicals defending the resurrection of Jesus, but few of them build a solid historiographical foundation for their argument. In Jesus and the Eyewitness, Richard Bauckham complains that many New Testament scholars do not pay much attention to the methodology of historians working in adjacent fields, such as classical studies. In this book Licona gives a thorough survey of the philosophy of history, and then uses the methodology which emerges to construct a comprehensive historical case for the Resurrection of Jesus, in dialogue with recent skeptical challenges from Pieter Craffert, A.J.M. Wedderburn and others. What I have read from the preview is very impressive. It looks as if Licona has produced a fresh and convincing argument for the historicity of the Resurrection, drawing upon cutting edge historical method. Not to be missed.


Update:

-The Resurrection of the Messiah by Christopher Bryan. Oxford University Press claims that "This is the first study of Jesus' resurrection that includes both a detailed commentary on the relevant canonical texts and a lengthy discussion of various problems and issues, historical and theological, that surround the Christian claim." I don't see how anyone could write that sentence with a straight face. If they can, the condemnation of having to tote around Wright's magnum opus everywhere they go is deserved. Nevertheless, this looks to be a very thorough study by a competent biblical scholar (our own Chris Price has appealed to Bryan's work on ancient genres before) well-versed in both the primary and secondary literature. I'm not sure how apologetic it will be (note the title of Additional Note B: "On Whether the New Testament Narratives Are Useful Sources of Information about Anything that May Actually Have Happened") but I suspect it will be a useful study.

3 comments:

Thanks, JD.

Thanks from me also, JD. These titles sound very interesting.

JD, I agree, Allison's book looks quite good.

So does the new book, Scripting Jesus.

I'd also like to read your review of Thom Stark's new book, The Human Faces of God. If you need a copy, please let me know.

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