Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Review: Raised?

Raised? Finding Jesus by Doubting the Resurrection
By Jonathan K Dodson and Brad Watson
Zondervan, 2014
English, 112 pgs

A unique twist on understanding the resurrection-doubt it first! Pastors Jonathan Dodson and Brad Watson write for religious skeptics and clearly explain the fantastic importance of the resurrection of Jesus, even while welcoming doubt as an inroad to faith.

To the modern mind, the notion of someone rising from the dead is utterly implausible. While many people believe in the historical Jesus, most find it incredibly difficult to believe in a resurrected Jesus. They are filled with doubt.

Raised? grapples with the believability of the resurrection and with the questions that accompany it. Was it a mass delusion? If it's true, does it make sense of our world? If it is plausible and appealing, how should we respond? What do sin, faith, and Christ really mean? Finally, what difference does the resurrection make?

Written for skeptics, doubters, and those who want to better articulate their faith, Raised? doesn't shy away from the hard questions or settle for easy answers. Ultimately, Jonathan Dodson and Brad Watson present a compelling case that claims Jesus came to show us a God who compassionately dives deep into our doubts and has the power to raise the dead.

I fully believe in the power of doubt. If you never doubt, you never seek. When you seek, you find answers. Therefore, doubt leads you to finding answers. For that reason, I was very intrigued by the title alone on this book.

As I began reading it I thought it read a lot like someone's Masters thesis. It's very well researched, well documented and filled with scripture. However, it gets a bit studious and can potentially be off-putting to someone who isn't looking for an academic read.

Another is fantastic. It is not hard to grasp the passion with which the authors write about the subject of the resurrection of Jesus. I love that they take historical and present day objections and logically dismantle them. I learned a lot about the Greek and Hebrew culture and ideas in Biblical times. I learned about WHY their belief in the resurrection was so radical at the time.

I am thinking again about Thomas, the Disciple. I am thinking more about the subject of the resurrection in whole, not just because it's coming up to Easter time, but it's just something that I've always believed but have never been able to logically explain why I believe it. This is helping me form that response. I don't meet a lot of people who doubt and are skeptical about Jesus, but I feel better informed as a result of reading this book.

If I could come up with a criticism of the book it's that it focuses a lot on what we "get" as a result of the resurrection. It focuses a lot on what will happen (theoretically) in the new Heaven and earth, after Jesus returns. Honestly, it's not about whether or not there will be art and culture on the new earth. I get Jesus. I get a new heart and grace and forgiveness and mercy and love and acceptance and I could go on....We get Jesus. We get restored to a relationship with God. We get to escape the horrors of eternal separation from God in Hell.

I received a copy of the book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.

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