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Did the Resurrection Happen?

David J. Bagget, ed. (InterVarsity Press: Jun 2009), 184 pages.

In 2004 philosopher Antony Flew, one of the world’s most prominent atheists, publicly acknowledged that he had become persuaded of the existence of God. Not long before that, in 2003, Flew and Christian philosopher Gary Habermas debated at a Veritas Forum at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Habermas, perhaps the world’s leading expert on the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, made a case for the reliability of the evidence. Flew argued for alternative understandings of the data presented. For two-and-a-half decades Flew and Habermas have been in friendly dialogue about the plausibility of the resurrection and the existence of God. This book presents the full content of their third and final debate, as well as transcripts of the Q & A session with the audience afterward. Also included are a 2004 conversation between Habermas and Flew shortly after Flew’s much-publicized change of position, as well as editor David Baggett’s assessment and analysis of the full history of Habermas and Flew’s interactions. Listen in on a conversation with two of the greatest thinkers of our era about one of the most pivotal events in human history. Follow the evidence wherever it leads. And decide for yourself whether a man really rose from the dead. ~ Product Description

Table of Contents

    • Preface Daniel Cho 9
    • Acknowledgments 11
    • Introduction: A Man, a Friendship and an Argument David Baggett 13
  • Part 1 2003 Resurrection Debate Between Antony Flew Gary Habermas 21
    • Historical Evidence for the Crucifixion, Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus 22
    • Assessing the Claims of the Resurrection 32
    • Considering the Resurrection Appearances 38
    • What Counts as Evidence? 44
    • Is Belief Justifiable? 49
    • Questions from the Audience 54
    • 1 Did the followers of Jesus move the body? And does Jesus’ divinity depend on the resurrection? 54
    • 2 Are Paul’s sources verifiable? 55
    • 3 What constitutes evidence in ancient documents? 56
    • 4 How does evidence for Jesus compare to evidence for Buddha or the Dalai Lama? 58
    • 5 What was your motivation for arguing against Christianity? 59
    • 6 When we die, we simply cease to exist, right? Why not consider Pascal’s wager? 60
    • 7 If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, what happened to the body? 62
    • 8 If Jesus was the Son of God, should his resurrection be considered a Miracle? 63
    • 9 If God exists, wouldn’t he provide some tangible evidence? And would such evidence contradict the idea of having faith 64
    • 10 What sort of resurrection were the followers of Jesus expecting? 65
    • 11 How much value does ancient evidence carry today? 66
  • Part II Antony Flew’s Journey to Theism
    • My Pilgrimage from Atheism to Theism: A Discussion Between Antony Flew Gary Habermas 69
    • Antony Flew’s Deism Revisited: A Review Essay on There Is a God Gary R. Habermas 90
  • Part III Resurrection Matters: Assessing The Habermas/Flew Discussion David Baggett 107
    • The Historical Evidence 108
    • The Resurrection Inference 122
    • Some Skeptical Challenges 129
    • Ten Philosophical Concerns 135
    • Where Flew Is 149
    • Why Flew Should Become a Christian 154
    • Appendix: Bayes’s Theorem and the Resurrection 167
    • A Select Bibliography 173
    • Index 179