Book Review: Raised? Finding Jesus by Doubting the Resurrection

Raised? Finding Jesus by Doubting the Resurrection showed up on my doorstep on Good Friday. I had been hoping it would arrive before Easter and the timing was just perfect.

In this short book, Jonathan Dodson and Brad Watson make the case for the plausibility of the resurrection and draw out the implications of the event. Raised is written for skeptics and for those who doubt the claims of Christianity. The book is nicely compact, containing only four manageable chapters. (As an aside, I think more books should be about this length).

In chapter 1, the authors make the case for the resurrection. They do so by demonstrating that both Jews and Greeks would have been incredulous about the resurrection. It would have been seen as either impossible or undesirable or both. Yet, thousands of both Jews and Greeks immediately began professing the risen Lord, in many cases to their own detriment. The most plausible explanation, say the authors, is if Jesus really did rise from the dead.

Chapters 2 outlines how the resurrection fits into God’s cosmic plan of rescue. Chapter 3 gives some nice explanations of faith, sin, and salvation. Chapter 4 draws out personal implications of the resurrection. The authors show how the resurrection gives us a new authority, identity, and mission.

I found Raised? to be a nice book to read through on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It’s short enough to work through in a few sittings. Some others who reviewed the book found it to be a little too academic. For me, this makes it more uplifting than a lot of other Christian “fluff” out there.

Its intended audience, though, is unbelievers or skeptics. The book is apologetic and evangelistic. Chapter 1 is apologetic (and I expected the whole book to be this kind of book) and the rest of the book is really not much more than the basics of the gospel – well presented. I found this book to be very much in the line of the writings of Tim Keller. Specifically, I would describe this book as The Reason for God light. It’s much shorter and more focused but it accomplishes many of the same goals. Keller and these authors share the same vision of the resurrection and the differences between “religion” and gospel.

Keller presents a more compelling case in Reason for God and it’s a better all around apologetics book but Raised? has one big advantage – it’s shorter length. This length makes it a lot more accessible – and easier to hand out. Now to find the right person to give it to…

I received this book free from the publisher through the Book Look Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”