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Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?: A Debate between William Lane Craig and John Dominic Crossan [Paperback]

By Paul Copan (Editor)
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Item description for Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?: A Debate between William Lane Craig and John Dominic Crossan by Paul Copan...

Get right to the heart of the hottest topic in American religion---the historical Jesus! In this unprecedented event, an evangelical apologist (Craig) and Jesus Seminar leader (Crossan) debate whether the biblical account of the four Gospels is historically accurate. Responses by Ben Witherington III, Marcus Borg, and other scholars offer added commentary.

Publishers Description
Based on a debate between John Dominic Crossan and William Lane Craig, this book provides a forum for evangelicals and members of the Jesus Seminar to dialogue.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?: A Debate between William Lane Craig and John Dominic Crossan by Paul Copan has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Booklist - 12/01/1998 page 623
  • Library Journal - 01/01/1999 page 109

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Baker Academic
Pages   186
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 5.52" Height: 0.54"
Weight:   0.59 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 5, 2012
Publisher   Baker Academic
Age  18
Edition  Reprinted  
ISBN  0801021758  
ISBN13  9780801021756  

Availability  135 units.
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More About Paul Copan

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Paul Copan (PhD, Marquette University) is the Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics at Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida. He is the author of several popular apologetics books, including Is God a Moral Monster? and lives with his wife and five children in Florida.
Matthew Flannagan (PhD, University of Otago) is a researcher and a teaching pastor at Takanini Community Church in Auckland, New Zealand. He is also a contributing author to several books.

Paul Copan currently resides in the state of Wisconsin. Paul Copan has an academic affiliation as follows - Palm Beach Atlantic University Palm Beach Atlantic University, USA Pal.

Paul Copan has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Rzim Critical Questions Discussion Guides

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Jesus > Historical Jesus
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Criticism & Interpretation
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Christology
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
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Reviews - What do customers think about Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?: A Debate between William Lane Craig and John Dominic Crossan?

Not much of a "debate"  Aug 10, 2006
Crossan's refusal to seriously challenge Craig, and his views like "Did God exist in the times of the dinosaurs" is meaningless make this "debate" have very little common ground for Craig and Crossan to discuss. Crossan fails to make any kind of case whatsover, much less a convincing one, and strikes me as someone who presupposes much of what he concludes.

I would not recommend buying this book, but it does contain good responses by other scholars. This is one to borrow from a professor or a library, but not to own unless you have a very special reason.
What a Gret Debate!  Jun 13, 2005
Craig rightly reproves Crossan for what he regards his vague and mythological belief. If Jesus is not risen, we are wasting our time when we worship him. Crossan believes that Jesus' resurrection is a symbolical way to say that he empowers our lives; however he justly corrects Craig when the latter claims that the "majority" of scholars believe that Jesus claimed to be God. The beauty of the debate also lies in the contributions given by the other scholars. Surprisingly the two Christians, Blomberg and Whitherington, criticized Craig several times. Craig, however, was able to rebuff these criticisms and to keep the pressure on Crossan in his closing remarks. I liked Miller's argument that evidentialist apologetics works best for "insiders," (people who are already believers) though Craig was able to mention how several dozen people, in his last debates, came to Christ as a result of his arguments. It would have probably been better to say, which Miller didn't, that apologetics works best for undecided people (plenty of those out there!) and that therefore we still need it and will for a long time.
Craig's 4 contentions never refuted by Crossan:
1) Jesus was buried
2) His tomb was found empty
3) His disciples claimed to have seen the risen Jesus
4) The resurrection best explains the nature of these visions.
By the way, Craig is Not saying that it is irrational NOT to believe in the Resurrection!!! He is saying that Jesus' resurrection is the MOST plausible and logical explanation of the events surrounding that famous Passover about 2000 years ago.
I also recommend Pinchas Lapide's The Resurrection of Jesus: A Jewish Perspective
This was billed as a debate-It was not-it was, instead an example of the Dumbing Down of Acadamia. Jesus, as later Roman and Jewish historians noted, (Tacitus, Usebius, Herodotus and others) was viewed by the Conservative, and Brutal Romans and the Priestly Hierarchy as a rebellious, seditious, radical, liberal, leftist. Conservative Governments, supported by conservative businesses want no interference with their greedy plans from those with a sense of justice. Recall that Republican President general D. D. Eisenhower and general Douglas McArthur warned that the conservative Japanese and German arms manufacturers-the military industrial complex instigated WW II. In Rome and Judea the wealthy Conservative senators, Generals, Royal Families, Herodian Kings and priests controlled the economy and Jesus' protection of the disenfranchised was seen as a threat to the wealth producing policies of Rome and Judea. Jesus knew that the Priests were stealing from the people by owning land a thing banned
Now comes Jesus. Who was he? A revolutionary? Simply a toleranct and liberal man seeking social justice, or a genuine prophet, Messiah, or Man-God? Did Jesus really say and do all of the things the evangelists, (who were not the apostles) writing some 35-90 years after Jesus' death, say he said and did? Why did the early church after Constantine try to destroy sacred books rediscovered in 1945-1947-the Nag Hammadi Codex's and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Crossan and Craig disagree on virtually everything in their books, but the real difference is that Craig's positions are the result not of deep synectical research and knowledge, but of his preconceived religious beliefs. Faith is a great thing but academic debates are about science not belief. Academic debates are based on hard evidence-what can be proven, not what is, through faith, believed! Debates are an intellectual exercise.
John Dominick Crossan, with whom I seldom agree, but respect as a researcher, is a solidly grounded research oriented Theologian. The debate, unfortunately, was rigged because Wm F. Buckley who was to serve as "moderator" was actually a third debater on Craig's side. Both of them must fear Crossan deeply to stoop to such a strategem. It is not just the stock market which lacks character.
A lot has been made of the attitude of Crossan and Borg in ignoring most of Craig's so-called "evidence". They did so, however, because the only evidence Craig produced were the gospels, themselves, which were in the things in question. Such tactics are unworthy of use in an academic debate environment or in a court room. Jesus may have been all the things the evangelists say he was, but using the very gospels in question as proof is not in the least valid evidence because they are the materials under scrutiny.
It is great to believe that Jesus is God. That is a matter of faith, but bringing one's faith to a scientific debate is ludicrous. I believe in God, but I would not attempt to prove that He exists because there is no scientific way to do that right now, so because I am secure in my belief, I do not need to prove it to anyone. Those who truly believe do not need public proof and those who do not believe cannot be convinced sans scientific evidence and it appears that God does not, at least at this juncture, wish for there to be any "Proof". In a true academic debate Buckley and Craig would have been dismissed, and lost.
As for the personal attacks on the men of the Jesus Seminar, they are unwarranted and egregious. They, as a body, do not do not hate Christianity, several of them are religious professionals-ministers, priests, etc.) and they are not evil men, nor are they all atheists, but they are researchers who are trying to get at the truth. Would you rather be taught by Dark Ages alchemists than scientific researchers? Judging from much of the response, few understand the nature of academic debating. Debates are one means of teaching and learning I was disappointed in this book because instead of trying to get at the truth Buckley and Craig were evangelizing and conspiring-not a good roll-model for young students to witness-corruption in academia. The book's most interesting reading was the commentary by Borg and other theologians. The rest of the debate and the response to is was more like the rantings of immature and moronically ill-informed people who do not want to know or hear truth.
Should Have Been a Classic  Oct 18, 2004
"Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up" features a debate between liberal and conservative Christians regarding the nature of Jesus. The participants are Dominic Crossan a prolific liberal New Testament scholar and the leading contemporary apologist for mainstream Christianity William Craig. William Buckley moderated the debate. The debate transcript is followed by comments from both liberal and conservative scholars regarding the debate and issues raised within it.

High profile debates such as these between liberal and conservative Christians are few and far between. Given that Craig and Crossan are the best known and arguably most capable representatives of the respective camps this should have been a classic. Although Craig was engaging, Crossan for the most part appeared evasive and refused to participate in any substantive discussion. Crossan is well known for making many controversial statements regarding the historic Jesus, however, when Craig raised some of these claims, Crossan largely failed to acknowledge or support them.

I found Crossan's performance disappointing. Although I do not often agree with him, I do think some of Crossan's ideas are interesting and would have enjoyed a discussion of them. Crossan's weak showing made many of his more grandiose claims - and by association those of the Jesus Seminar - appear somewhat vacuous. Though from my perspective, the objective of these types of discussions is not necessarily to win, I think all but the most ardent Crossan supporters will concede that he was intellectually and rhetorically overwhelmed by Craig.

Despite the debate's flaws the book is still a worthwhile read for those interested in Christian apologetics or the historic Jesus. Readers seeking some background for the debate can refer to "The Five Gospels" by the Jesus Seminar and "Jesus under Fire" a response by mainstream/conservative Christians. Readers seeking an overview of contemporary scholarship regarding the historic Jesus should see "Jesus, The Victory of God" by N.T. Wright and "The Jesus Quest" by Ben Witherington.
Puts the "Jesus Seminar" in proper perspective  Nov 27, 2002
This was a great book and I agree with the general observations of the vast majority of the reviewers. That is, Craig won hands down. Crossan didn't really even enter the debate which surprised and disappointed some reviewers. But it's really not surprising at all. Crossan's arguments (or lack there of) come directly from the work of the Jesus Seminar. And Crossan's utter defeat illustrates that the Seminar's work is of little value in disproving the Gospels and the mainstream Christian interpetation of them as largely accurate, HISTORICAL accounts of Jesus' life.
Rather, the Jesus Seminar must be looked upon as an experiment in liberal theological thought. It was a chance for liberal scholars to come together and develop a consensus unburdened by critical peer review from their more conservative, and for the most part more mainstream, more distinguished peers.
The result was a new pardigm for interperting the NT. Briefly, the consensus was that it is all symbolism and metaphor. This new paradigm is a logical outcome based on the assumptions, membership, and methods of the seminar. But when brought out into the light of day, it is very awkward and even ridiculous.
The seminar serves a worthwhile purpose as an experiment and "anchor" at the extreme liberal end of the spectrum. But not much else.

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