Monday, February 20, 2017

Licona's Resurrection Masterpiece, Part II - Historical Sources & Bedrock

The Resurrection of Jesus: Miracles, Sources, & Bedrock

Michael R. Licona’s The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach (IVP Academic, 2011), represents a substantive scholarly contribution to the wealth of academic literature on the resurrection.  In this series of 4 blog essays, I am providing an in-depth interaction with Licona’s careful work.  In the first essay (February 16) I covered the book’s overall structure and the first section (on Philosophy of History).  In this post, I will historical inquiry & miracle-claims (Chapter 2), source-material pertaining to the post-mortem fate of Jesus (Chapter 3), and historical bedrock data that historical hypotheses regarding Jesus’ fate must account for (Chapter 4).

Chapter 2 – The Historian and Miracles

Licona’s purpose in discussing horizons is to encourage historical Jesus scholars not to a priori reject certain hypotheses or possibilities due to their worldview presuppositions. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Licona's Resurrection Masterpiece, Part I - Philosophy of History

The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach.  By Michael R. Licona.  Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2010, 718 pp., $40.00. 

The resurrection of Jesus Christ stands at the center of the historic Christian faith, making it a focus of scholarly theological focus.  The Apostle Paul declares that if Christ has not been raised, then Christian faith is in vain (1 Cor. 15).  The resurrection is also the key historical miracle-claim in Christianity, making it a focus of scholarly historical investigation.  Given that the resurrection is a riveting topic of theological and historical investigation, it is no surprise that scholarly articles and books focusing on the resurrection continue to proliferate.  By Gary Habmeras’ count, there were approximately 3400 journals and books written in English, German, and French, on the subject of Jesus’ resurrection between 1975 and 2002 (see particularly his 2005 article on the topic in the Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 3.2).
Michael R. Licona’s The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach (IVP Academic, 2011), represents a substantive scholarly contribution to the wealth of academic literature on the resurrection.  Licona serves as Research Professor at Houston Baptist University, and is a popular apologetic speaker and well-known debater, having engaged (among others) Bart Ehrman, Elaine Pagels, Shabir Ally, and Richard Carrier.  Licona’s Resurrection is an excellent addition to the corpus of literature on the historical core of Christianity, an absolute must-read for resurrection buffs, and a necessary resource for historical Jesus scholars.  In this series of 4 blog essays, I intend to engage in an in-depth examination of Licona’s book.  I will provide a brief summary of the broad structure of Licona’s work.  I will lay out key sections of his dissertation more thoroughly in order to highlight unique contributions he makes to the scholarly discussion.  I will then critically engage key sections of his argument.
Licona’s research began with the observation that studies of Jesus’ resurrection are marked by a lack of consensus,

Monday, February 13, 2017

Imaginative Apologetics VIII - Engaging Contemporary Culture

Apologetics, Imagination, and Imaginative Apologetics


In earlier posts, I set the framework for the core material in Imaginative Apologetics, seeking to provide the lay of the land in contemporary apologetics and the faculty of imagination.  Now we are engaging the individual articles in Andrew Davison’s edited volume, Imaginative Apologetics: Theology, Philosophy and the Catholic Tradition.[1]  In this final post, I look at the 4th and final major section of the work, and make some general comments on the book as a whole.  As a reminder, you can find my full treatment in Trinity Journal.[2]

Situating Christian Apologetics

The fourth and final section of Imaginative Apologetics (“Situating Christian Apologetics”) contains three chapters attempting to place contemporary apologetics in cultural and historical context.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Imaginative Apologetics VII - Being Imaginative about Christian Apologetics

Apologetics, Imagination, and Imaginative Apologetics


In earlier posts, I set the framework for the core material in Imaginative Apologetics, seeking to provide the lay of the land in contemporary apologetics and the faculty of imagination.  Now we are engaging the individual articles in Andrew Davison’s edited volume, Imaginative Apologetics: Theology, Philosophy and the Catholic Tradition.[1]  In the last two posts, we examined the relationship between faith and reason, and apologetics & human imagination.  In this post, on to the third of four major sections of the work.  As a reminder, you can find my full treatment in Trinity Journal.[2]

Being Imaginative about Christian Apologetics

Section three (“Being Imaginative about Christian Apologetics”) of Imaginative Apologetics begins with, in my opinion, the strongest essay of the compilation.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Imaginative Apologetics VI - Christian Apologetics and the Human Imagination

Apologetics, Imagination, and Imaginative Apologetics


In earlier posts, I set the framework for the core material in Imaginative Apologetics, seeking to provide the lay of the land in contemporary apologetics and the faculty of imagination.  Now we are engaging the individual articles in Andrew Davison’s edited volume, Imaginative Apologetics: Theology, Philosophy and the Catholic Tradition.[1]  Last post, I gave in-depth consideration of the two articles considering the relationship between faith and reason.  In this post, on to the second of four major sections of the work.  As a reminder, you can find my full treatment in Trinity Journal.[2]

Christian Apologetics and the Human Imagination

Section two of Imaginative Apologetics (“Christian Apologetics and the Human Imagination”) comprises three strong articles noting the importance of imagination and literature in Christian apologetics.