You have most likely heard the name Bart Ehrman. For those who have not heard of him, he is a New Testament scholar, a New York Times bestselling author, and one of the most influential voices attacking foundational truth claims of Christianity. It’s not easy for scholars to have mass, popular-level appeal. Yet Ehrman has done it. That’s why even if you don’t know his name you’ve most likely encountered ideas that he has popularized.
But Ehrman is especially influential in the university context; after all, he is a religion professor. Like I wrote recently, during my undergraduate studies at Case Western Reserve University (a secular university) one of Ehrman’s books was used in the New Testament and Christian origins course that I took. At a session with Darrell Bock at Cross Conference this past December, a poll was taken that revealed that everyone who had taken a New Testament/Christian origins course at a secular university had used a text by Ehrman. Most Christian students take such a course for an elective, probably thinking that it will be like the college version of Sunday school. Or maybe thinking it will be like a seminary class. They’re completely unprepared for a course that will threaten to tear their faith to shreds. And this isn’t exclusive to religion classes where Ehrman’s books are used; I’ve also seen and heard of philosophy and general humanities professors shooting at their Christian students with Ehrman bullets, aiming to de-convert as many as they can.
That is part of the reason why I am so excited about a new book coming out on March 25 (available for pre-order): How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature – A Response to Bart Ehrman. I think this book will be very valuable from an apologetics standpoint. The other reason why I’ve been excited about it is because of the debate surrounding whether there was a high Christology in the church very early on, or whether it took some time to develop. I’m eager to learn from this team of world-class Christian scholars(Michael Bird, Craig Evans, Simon Gathercole, Charles Hill, and Chris Tilling), and to have my confidence in an early high Christology bolstered by the historically responsible work of these experts. Anyone who is interested in early church history and especially early Christology will find this book to be a treat.
I received a review copy a few days ago and wanted to post the table of contents since Amazon does not yet have the “look inside” feature for this book. I will link to an interview with Michael Bird as soon as it is published. And in a few weeks I’ll be posting a review at Grace For Sinners (and subsequently here on my blog). Stay tuned.
Oh, and look at the cute and clever trinket that was sent along with the book! Hand sanitizer with the book’s cover art and text that says “Wash Your Hands of Bad History.” Kudos to the marketing team!