Today I’m participating in what Hugh Hewitt has called “The Great God Debate.” For three hours on Hugh’s syndicated radio program I’ll be debating with Christopher Hitchens, author of the recent book: god is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. I don’t know how great the debate will be, but I hope I can honor the greatness of God both through what I say and in how I say it.
Beginning tomorrow, I’ll be blogging on Hitchens’s book and on the issues from our debate. (Yes, I’m going to interrupt my series on the mission of God in order to do this.) One of the first things I’ll do is to put up links to the resources I mention in the debate (books, articles, etc.). Since I haven’t done the debate yet, I can’t put up the links now.
The one resource I expect to mention is my newest book, Can We Trust the Gospels? Investigating the Reliability of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. This book is not out yet, but Amazon promises to be mailing in on Thursday. So we’ll see. You can order a copy of this book from Amazon by clicking here. Ironically, or perhaps providentially, depending on where you’re coming from philosophically, Amazon has paired my book with Hitchens’ god is Not Great, as you’ll see on my Amazon page.
You can get an advance look at the first two chapters of the book from the Crossway Books website. Click here to view the PDF of the first two chapters.
Now, if you’ll pardon a good bit of shameless promotion, I’ll print some of the endorsements I’ve received for Can We Trust the Gospels? Many thanks to those who read this book and offered their kind words.
â??Mark Roberts has produced what has long been needed: a highly read- able and compelling account of why Christians can indeed trust the Gospels. Dr. Roberts is a formidable scholar whose reputation is very high among academics. He is a skilled writer and teacher. He is also an innovative force in the world of Christian apologetics, among the very first to see the potential for blogging as a formidable means of pursuing the Great Commission.
â??I have had Dr. Roberts on my radio show more than any other theolo- gian or pastor, for several reasons. First, he has been a very good friend for a long time. But much more important is his ability to communicate and the knowledge he has accumulated through his three decades of serious and thorough study of the Gospels and the scholarship around them. Whenever a major controversy erupts that touches on the Christian faith, I call on Dr. Roberts.
â??Can We Trust the Gospels? is quite simply the best effort I have ever read by a serious scholar to communicate what scholars know about the Gospels and why that should indeed encourage us to trust them and thus to trust Jesus Christ.â?
â??Hugh Hewitt, radio talk show host, author, blogger, and Professor of Law at Chapman University School of Law
â??There is a crisis of confidence about the Gospels, fueled by sensational claims about supposedly new Gnostic Gospels with a â??revised standardâ?? view of Jesus. With a pastorâ??s insight but a scholarâ??s critical acumen, Mark Roberts provides a readable guide to answering the question, Can we trust the Gospels? As Mark makes clear, the earliest and best evidence we have for the real Jesus is the canonical Gospels, not the much later Gnostic ones.â?
â??Ben Witherington III, Professor of New Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary, author of What Have They Done with Jesus?
â??What F. F. Bruce did for my generation of students, Mark Roberts has done for the current generation. Any student who asks me if our Gospels are reliable will be given this book, and then Iâ??ll buy another copy for the next student!â?
â??Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University
â??Can We Trust The Gospels? caught me completely by surprise. While I knew a scholar of Mark Robertsâ??s caliber could convince skeptics the Gospels are reliable, I never expected to have my own preconceptions uprooted and replaced with a more solid trust in these biblical texts. This book not only makes a compelling case for trusting the Gospels, it illuminates the creative ways in which God worked to bring us His Word. Robertsâ??s brilliant little book deserves to be widely read by both skeptics and believers.â?
â??Joe Carter, blogger (evangelicaloutpost.com) and Director of Communications for the Family Research Council