New Book on the Resurrection

6 years ago, one of my favorite books on defending the historical resurrection of Jesus was published: “The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus” by Gary Habermas and Mike Licona. I’m indebted to both of these authors for a lot of my knowledge in this area. Ever attended one of my workshops on Jesus’ resurrection? Behind my in-class Pictionary games and weird mnemonic devices is the stuff I learned from these guys!

Today, apologetics bloggers are drawing attention to Mike Licona’s new book on the resurrection “The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach.” If you’re ready to go deeper, you need to check this out. Gary Habermas calls this an original work and says:

This is simply required reading for anyone who wants to master this subject.

Resurrection of JesusFrom the publisher: Could there be any new and promising approach to the question of the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection? Yes, answers Michael Licona. And he convincingly points us to a significant deficiency in approaching this question: our historiographical orientation and practice. He then carefully and effectively applies his principles and methods to the question of Jesus’ resurrection.

Mike Licona is the Apologetics Coordinator at the North American Mission Board and a Research Professor of New Testament at Southern Evangelical Seminary.

Browse sample sections of his new book here: The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach.

[Update: Check out my top picks for preparing for Easter conversations: 7 Books on the Resurrection]



4 Responses to “New Book on the Resurrection”

  1. Eric Burton November 4, 2010 11:56 AM

    I used to teach an apologetics class on the historicity of the resurrection, and used Habermas’ “The Historical Jesus,” along with the content of his debate on this subject with (then atheist) Antony Flew on the John Ankerberg show. The 2004 book was not out yet, if I remember correctly. I often conversed with Dr. Habermas via email about the details of his argument, and I found it quite convincing and intellectually satisfying. As a result, the belief in the resurrection was essentially the last of the core christian beliefs I held onto. I no longer find it as convincing, and no longer believe in god, but at the time it was great.

  2. Mikel November 4, 2010 10:04 PM

    Hi, Eric.

    What an honor to converse with Gary Habermas about this on a regular basis! He does present a very good historical case. I really appreciate his work in this area.

    Did you reject your theism because you discovered new data that tipped the scales for you on the resurrection? Or did you reject the resurrection because you discovered new data that tipped the scales for you on theism? Just curious.

    Thanks for the comment, Eric!

  3. Eric Burton November 5, 2010 2:11 AM

    Mikel –

    I can’t say enough nice things about Dr. Habermas. He was willing to take the time to chat with some kid from Roseville, CA. We talked about Antony Flew, when he gave up his atheism a few years back, as they have a strong friendship. Those guys were like rock stars to me :)

    To answer your question, I would say it was closer to the latter. It was my fading belief in theism that led me to finally question the resurrection (and all miracles, for that matter). But it is more complicated than that.

    I was raised a christian, and so I believed in the resurrection (of course). After I graduated high school, I started to really want to know why I should believe in it, along with all of the other tenets of christianity. So I found a passion in apologetics. My heroes were Dr. Habermas, Hank Hanegraaff, J.P. Moreland, Norman Geisler, Michael Behe, Philip Johnson, C.S. Lewis, Alvin Plantinga, Francis Schaeffer, Bruce Metzger, James Sire and of course, William Lane Craig. There are likely a lot more to mention that I forget at the moment. I read whatever I could from all of them.

    I taught some apologetics classes at Bridgeway (before it was Bridgeway, though) because I was sick of the cliche that christians had to check their brains at the door when they went to church. I wanted people to know the difficulties that unbelievers faced when coming to Christ so they could help clear the path for the Holy Spirit. Plus I didn’t want everyone to come off stupid!

    As time went on, I began to get the feeling that I was not digging deep enough. I was not really searching for the truth, and letting it lead me to whatever end it may. Instead, I was seeking reasons to justify my already deeply-held beliefs. I knew in my heart that this was shaky ground. My intellectual honesty was at stake. The more I was honest with myself, the more skeptical I became about the whole idea of christianity. As I thought about it, over time, certain beliefs that I could no longer genuinely believe in but seemed to not be “core” issues, were let go. Eventually I became a sort of agnostic christian. I believed that god existed, and Jesus was his son, but that was basically it. I thought that god exists, but I doubted it was the god that christians believed in – in fact, I figured that every religion probably had it wrong. I could not convince myself of much more than that. But eventually even those core beliefs faded away.

    Essentially, when I was able to truly get an outside perspective of what I believed (as much as one possibly can), instead of looking for evidence to justify what I already was taught to believe, the search for the truth led me elsewhere. Only then (and now) do I feel truly free to think how I want. And that’s why I stopped believing in the supernatural in general. The naturalistic view just makes more sense to me, and try as I might, I cannot find an ulterior motive in my thinking this way.

    There is much more, and sometimes I write about it on my blog, but this comment has already gotten too long! :)


  4. Mikel November 5, 2010 10:14 AM

    Hi Eric,

    You’re local and used to teach at Bridgeway? Small world! Some of the guys you listed are my former professors and apologetics heroes.

    I have a lot of respect for people who are honestly seeking and aren’t afraid to follow the evidence where it leads. For example, Flew’s conculsion that naturalism is false. My friend, Holly Ordway, reached the same conclusion on naturalism but then decided to worship Jesus.

    Interesting that you went the other way. But I think I understand where you’re coming from and get what you’re saying. If naturalism is true, then yeah, every alleged supernatural claim’s a total lie. Again, I appreciate your comments in here. I’ll be checking out your blog for sure.

    Thanks, Eric!