Thursday, March 02, 2006

Get Ready to Rumble: Crossley versus Bird

The current debates about secular versus faith-based scholarship provides the right climate to announce a forthcoming volume by myself and James Crossley called:

Two Views of Christian Origins:
An Evangelical and Secular Conversation

To be published by SPCK around summer 2008.

Here's the concept:

The objective of “Two Views” is to present two contrasting perspectives on the history of early Christianity. The contrast is evidently sharp as one co-author comes from a conservative Christian background (Michael Bird), whilst the other co-author (James Crossley) approaches the matter from a secular standpoint. The volume works sequentially through Christian origins and addresses various topics including the historical Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, the Apostle Paul, the Gospels, and the early church. Each author in turn examines these subjects and lays out his historical arguments concerning their origin and meaning. The volume also includes responses by two other scholars (Maurice Casey and Scot McKnight) to the arguments of Bird and Crossley as to give an even handed and broad evaluation of the arguments and debates that unfold.

Forget Neo versus Agent Smith. Forget Obi-wan versus Anacan Skywalker. Forget Manchester United versus the Dingwall Academy under 14s - this will be the mother-of-all historical debates about Christian Origins. More positively, we hope that the volume will lead to a mutual appreciation of different perspectives New Testament studies.

The outline for the volume runs:

Section One – The Historical Jesus

Crossley: What’s historical about the historical Jesus?
Bird: “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee”

Section Two – The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Bird: “He is risen!” – or is he?
Crossley: Was there really a bodily resurrection?

Section Three – The Apostle Paul

Crossley: The origins of the Pauline mission
Bird: A funny thing happened on the road to Damascus

Section Four – The Gospels

Bird: Four Gospels and one Jesus
Crossley: Four Gospels and the multiple Jesus

Section Five – The Early Church

Crossley: Causal explanations of the early Jesus movement
Bird: Fish, bread, wine and the new empire of the Son

Section Six – Responses

Bird: Response to James Crossley
Crossley: Response to Michael Bird

Scot McKnight: Response to James Crossley
Maurice Casey: Response to Michael Bird

James is a most worthy opponent so it should be a cracking good scuffle and I am sure that Maurice Casey and Scot McKnight will have some learned thoughts to contribute to the debate too.


Jim said...

I require a signed copy from the both of you.

Jim said...

Oh- and which one of you is the secularist?????

Michael Barber said...

This is so exciting. I can't wait to get a copy. I am especially interested in reading the chapter on the historical Jesus. Thanks for doing this book!

Loren Rosson III said...

Exciting news. Can't wait to read this one.

Kyle said...

This looks like a very exciting project. May it be well with you. :0)

David Baird said...

Shades of +Wright and Borg, The Meaning of Jesus.

Anonymous said...

I am excited about your forthcoming book with Crossley.

I definitely want a signed copy from you.

TheBlueRaja said...

This looks fantastic, Mike! I can't wait to add it to a pile of books I don't have time to read! Now a live moderated debate, downloadable on mp3 by way of this blog, THAT I could digest in between sermon and sunday school preparation . . .

TheBlueRaja said...

By the way, I wasn't being sarcastic . . . I would definitely buy this book! Congratulations on the project!

Chris Tilling said...

Well this is fantastic!
I'm really looking forward to this.

steph said...

Congratulations MIke for conceiving this most brilliant and hilarious idea of the century for a worthwhile and necessary project and including my two favourite scholars and literary superstars...

Any proof reading required? I'll be up there in a month or two.


Mowens said...

This project sounds fascinating.

BTW, please check your email:-)

Alan S. Bandy said...

Fantastic mate! Good on ya! I can't wait to read it.