Wednesday, 10 February 2016

The Case for the Resurrection, by Gary Habermas and Michael Licona

There are plenty of Evangelical apologetic books that present the evidential case for the Resurrection, but this one is certainly one of the strongest and most tightly presented. The authors argue from a minimal facts approach, which grounds the argument in basic facts that can be agreed upon by historians without acknowledging the inspiration or infallibility of the Gospel accounts. This is really thorough, particularly in it's handling of objections.

Presenting this evidence can be tricky in practice. No matter how overwhelming it may seem to the believer, your typical unbeliever will be resistant. Habermans and Licona offers some useful advice about exactly how this evidence should be presented to unbelievers. They emphasise staying focused and sticking to the subject.

Classic Apologists would contend that the evidence for the Resurrection cannot easily be accepted by unbelievers without acceptance of the theistic worldview. The authors seem to make some concession to this point of view and provide a chapter that offers arguments for the existence of God.

A point of interest to Catholics; the authors say that James, the brother of the Lord was an unbeliever until after the Resurrection. They therefore assume that he was a different James to the apostle James, Son of Alphaeus. They presumably hold, contrary to Catholics, that brother can only mean a sibling and not a cousin. There are some Protestants who identify this James with James, the Son of Alphaeus, while still denying the perpetual virginity of the Mother of Our Lord and holding she had other children by Joseph.

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