There are many books that take on the topic of Jesus’ resurrection. Most are written to Christians for apologetic use and are rather academic in tone and style. Raised –written by Jonathan K. Dodson and Brad Watson– approaches the subject of the resurrection with honesty and a conversational tone that make one feel like they are speaking with a well-informed friend rather than reading a textbook. Dodson and Watson point out that even those disciples closest to Jesus doubted the resurrection initially, but were convinced after he physically appeared to them personally. Raised has a patient and understanding tone, and yet does not compromise the truth of Christ’s resurrection. The author’s make a biblical, cultural, and historical case for the resurrection and lays before the reader an opportunity to think about the facts and implications of the resurrection, while inviting the reader to step into a resurrected life through faith in Christ Jesus.
“You and I face life-and-death choices every day. Like a river blocking our way forward, the resurrection is one of those choices – a matter of life and death. It is possible to make it across the river, from unbelief to believe in the resurrection? For some, it seems impossible. But many find their way across. How? The same way the early Christians did, find encounter with the risen Jesus.” (pg37)
If you are looking for a rigorous academic and systematic argument for the resurrection, this is not the book for you. This text is for the curious, the unhardened but doubtful seeker, and even those who have faith in Christ as Lord and savior but would like to see a good general overview of what the bible teaches about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the life his followers are called to live.
Raised is a short read, only 100 pages, split into four sections. Dodson and Watson begin by addressing doubts about the resurrection and move on from there to discuss how the resurrection reshapes history, how a person can partake in the resurrection of Christ, and finally how the resurrection changes everything, both now and in the future. They leave the reader with the challenging choice of living a life of doubt and regret , or to “…take an informed ‘leap of faith’ to believe in the resurrected Christ.” (pg98)
I give this 4/5 stars because, while it was a good read and is inviting to the reader, I think the book suffers a bit in the area of structure. Yes, even though there are only four sections, I think the authors’ argument might have been made a little more stronger and would have flowed better if those sections were in a different order. Yet, I do not think this is a fatal problem to the books narrative and would recommend it for believers in Christ, and especially as a gift for non-believers who seem to be on the edge of the idea of faith in Christ.
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