I have been meaning to post about the second edition of an interesting book by Kris Komarnitsky, Doubting Jesus’ Resurrection: What Happened in the Black Box?, exploring what natural explanation is possible for the rise of Christian belief in the resurrection. I’m kind of glad I waited, because now I can also point to Richard Carrier’s post about the book, in which he refers to me as “the infamous James McGrath”! 🙂
The book is important, not least because it shows that there isn’t a solid and simplistic divide between professional scholars and everyone else. It is possible for an interested layperson to inform themselves sufficiently about a field to discuss it in a manner that even scholars will find it interesting to read and interact with. In a world in which academics are sometimes criticized for engaging in “credentialism,” it is great to be able to say, “No, we do look at qualifications not because they automatically vouchsafe trustworthiness, but because the lack of them usually correlates with expertise – but not always, and a person who takes the time to inform themselves and to contribute meaningfully will will not only be heard but appreciated.”
Komarnitsky spends much of his focus seeking to ask relevant historical questions about the evidence and about the claims of conservative Christian apologists. His treatment of the claims and views of those with whom he disagrees impresses me with its fairness. You can read my review of the first edition which I posted on this blog a number of years ago. I won’t restate my points made there. The second edition expands and improves the book, making it that much more worth reading. There are also reviews by Adam Lee and Chris Hallquist of the second edition.