Jesus Under Fire, edited by Michael Wilkins and J.P. Moreland, is a collection of essays from evangelical scholars aimed at defending the reliability of the gospels in general and rebutting the claims of the Jesus Seminar in particular.
– Moreland, a philosopher, was an odd choice for editor, but he found excellent contributors.
– Habermas had a particularly interesting essay showing how important an a priori adoption of naturalism is to the Jesus Seminar. That is, they assume at the outset the miracles cannot occur and then explicitly ‘reconstruct’ Jesus along naturalistic lines, even when their own criteria for historicity militate against this depiction
– Geivett’s essay on the exclusivity of Jesus included a phenomenal section on how Marcus Borg’s own religious beliefs reshaped his analysis of Jesus.
– Solid essays from Blomberg, McKnight, Bock, Evans, and Craig
– Yaumachi’s passing mention of some of the popular books on Jesus was crazy: Jesus the founder of a mushroom-based fertility cult; Jesus the magician; Jesus the Essene. Take-away: learning about Jesus from popular best-sellers is like learning about quantum mechanics from The Uncanny X-Men.
– The boundaries of each essay were not always clearly delineated. There tended to be a fair bit of overlap and repetition
– Related to the above, the book lacked the kind of continuity that a single author would have provided. Better read as individual essays than a single work.
– Intro and conclusion felt somewhat formal and awkward.
Good book. So far, the best response to the Jesus Seminar that I’ve read.