ISBN 10: 1-55635-931-4
Web Price: $18.40
ISBN 13: 978-1-55635-931-6
Publication Date: 09/15/2008
Street Date: 09/15/2008
Division: Wipf and Stock
Category: Church history
Which “Real” Jesus?
Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, and the Early American Roots of the Current Debate
By Steve Bateman
_ Are the gospels reliable accounts of Jesus?
_ Did Jesus claim to be God?
_ Was Jesus bodily raised from the dead?
_ Is Jesus the only way to salvation?
_ Are Christianity and Islam basically the same?
_ Were the Founding Fathers orthodox Christians?
Christians in America are routinely confronted with news of archaeological discoveries or new scholarship claiming to present the "real" Jesus. These challenges have a long tradition in America and can be traced to some of the best-known founders of our nation. In pre-Revolutionary America, the formidable Jonathan Edwards directly confronted the challenge, providing an enduring model for Christians today who desire to articulate and defend the historic, orthodox doctrine of Christ.
While Edwards sought to prove the historic Jesus, Benjamin Franklin attempted to improve on the original, offering a Jesus of more practical use to his social and civic purposes. Franklin's approach, inspired by Deist thinkers and refined by Thomas Jefferson, has found new life in the advocates of the Jesus Seminar and of other alternative Christianities. Even the ambassadors of strident atheism-Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris-are resurrecting Deist arguments in their best-selling books. These skeptics notably follow the Deist tactic of using the rise of Islam to undermine the uniqueness of Jesus. As a result, there is a widespread erosion of confidence among professing Christians in the supremacy of Jesus Christ. Which "Real" Jesus? reveals that these new views of the "real Jesus" are, in fact, old news.