Before Anthony Flew, one the world's most prominent atheists, confessed to having been persuaded of the existence of God he debated the Resurrection with Christian philosopher Gary Habermas at Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. Although their first public debate, it certainly was not the first time the two had squared off. They have been in conversation for over 20 years, exchanging ideas on the existence of God and the Resurrection. Their public debate, now published as Did the Resurrection Happen: A Conversation with Gary Habermas and Anthony Flew is a rich, intelligent, and exceptionally insightfuldebate between friends who stick to the topic, never pull punches, and yet, never devolve into ad hominem attacks. As J.P. Morelan has noted, this debate is "All meat" and is a "model of civility".
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Customer Reviews for Did the Resurrection Happen? A Conversation with Gary Habermas and Antony Flew
Review 1 for Did the Resurrection Happen? A Conversation with Gary Habermas and Antony Flew
Date:February 25, 2010
Steve R. Bierly
The public conversation transcribed in this book is fascinating, though Habermas gets the most "air time" and Flew seems willing to give it to him. Habermas' approach is basically, "Let's boil down all we know about the end of Jesus' life and the beginning of the Christian Church to a set of facts that the vast majority of reputable scholars - Conservative or Liberal, Christian or atheist-can agree to and then see that the Resurrection is the best, and only explanation, of those facts." Flew's approach is basically, "A resurrection is so far outside of our experience that we can infer nothing from it. It may have been caused by God or by something else, who knows? And because it is so far outside our experience, we certainly can't draw any meaning from it." For me, Parts II and III of the book are the best. Part II contains a great interview that Habermas conducted with Flew which spells out exactly what Flew has, and has not, converted to since their last public discussion on the Resurrection. Flew is no longer an atheist. But he's not a Christian either. Flew has personal, intellectual, moral, and philosophical respect for Jesus, Paul, and the Bible as a whole. Part III is a masterful presentation in a short number of pages of ideas hinted at during, and underlying the whole of, the Habermas/Flew discussion. Baggett enumerates and explains objections that scholarly atheists raise to the Resurrection. He then gives Christian responses and answers to those objections. He even tries to give reasoned answers to The Problem Of Evil, which seems to be Flew's main hang-up to accepting a personal God and to Christianity. I don't agree with him, though, that Calvinism is part of the problem and that a rejection of it is part of the answer.