Bob's blog – A skeptical lawyer

Should you read The Resurrection Briefs?

Posted on May 16, 2018


You cannot yet read The Resurrection Briefs because I have not finished it. I have not even found the right opposing counsel to write the opposing brief – see my previous post, Finding the best opposing counsel – Who’s the biggest guy? Nonetheless, I am reasonably confident the book will be published, and everyone who reads at or above a high-school level should buy it. I also think it should be translated into every language from Albanian to Zulu so that people worldwide may benefit from its wit, wisdom and deep insights.

But, of course, I am biased. I wouldn’t write a book if I thought no one would read it. I am not trying to save your soul, so why do I think you should read my book? Why do you read any non-fiction book? Because you think it will be interesting and informative.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Why am I writing about legal apologetics?, legal apologetics initially held no interest for me. The idea that Christian lawyers claim they can prove Jesus’ resurrection seemed preposterous, and reading a book on the subject seemed a waste of time. Obviously, I have changed my mind.

I still consider it impossible to prove the resurrection, but I find it fascinating that so many lawyers believe they have done so. On top of that, millions of Evangelical Christians accept as gospel these highly problematic legal proofs.

If you are an Evangelical Christian who has already read Evidentialist apologetics, then you owe it to yourself to consider the other side of the issue. As John Stuart Mill so eloquently explained, if you know only one side of an issue, then you don’t know anything at all. See One-sided assessment – Opie Taylor and John Stuart Mill.

Other than evangelicals, few people consider apologetics or counter apologetics to be of vital importance. In my experience, most non-Evangelical Christians consider proof of the resurrection to be irrelevant to their faith. Perhaps that is why they call it the Christian faith, not the Christian hypothesis.

Nonetheless, I suggest that – whatever your religious beliefs – you may still find The Resurrection Briefs to be an interesting read. Every American should know a few basic facts about the New Testament in order to be culturally literate. Unfortunately, laypersons have a hard time getting the facts straight because biblical scholars disagree on many fundamental issues.  The sharpest divide is probably between conservative and liberal/critical Biblical scholars. I suggest that the best way to learn about these opposing viewpoints is to read arguments by both sides. Let me give you an example.

Did you know that anonymous authors wrote the four canonical Gospels – Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John? If not, you can learn a few things about this subject. Early Christians named the Gospels decades after they were written. Even conservative evangelical scholars agree that no authors signed their names to the four Gospels. Nonetheless, apologists argue that St. Mark, St. Matthew, St. Luke, and St. John wrote the Gospels that now bear their names – a subject I touch upon in another post, Lee Strobel – Former atheist and fake newsman?. The Resurrection Briefs will discuss arguments for and against this claim.