The Resurrection Fact: Responding to Modern Critics is a useful volume. Published just in time for the Easter season, this book contains contributions from a number of Lutheran Pastors and scholars seeking to respond to contemporary critics of the Gospel narrative who doubt or deny the resurrection of Christ. The books editors open the book with a stirring quote from Martin Luther:
“He who would preach the Gospel must go directly to preaching the resurrection of Christ. He who does not preach the resurrection is no apostle, for this is the chief part of our faith…The greatest importance attaches to this article of faith. For were there no resurrection, we would have neither comfort nor hope, and everything else Christ did and suffered would be in vain.”
Using this perspective as a starting point the authors carefully set out to defend the fact of the resurrection. This is not an issue that is presented as expendable or negotiable – for the contributors the resurrection is “the Christian assertion” (pg. 1). The book offers many helpful responses to those who would challenge this assertion. The book offers positive content (explaining the historical reliability of the Gospel accounts) and negative content (challenging the faulty scholarship of popularizers such as Bart Ehrman). Each chapter contains meticulous footnotes as well as a Recommended Reading list at the end. The writing isn’t difficult and as a whole the book does a good job of bridging the gap between the pew and the academy. Thoughtful Christians (or non-Christians) will find here a thorough, scholarly, yet accessible explanation for why Christians believe in the fact of the resurrection.
I would like to thank the good folks over at Cross Focused Reviews for providing me with a free review copy of this book. I was not obligated to provide a positive review.