Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Gary Habermas Interview Transcript

The following transcript is from an Apologetics 315 interview with Gary Habermas. Original audio here. If you enjoy transcripts, please consider supporting, which makes this possible.

BA: Hello, this is Brian Auten of Apologetics 315. Today I am speaking with Dr. Gary Habermas. Dr. Habermas is a well-known Christian philosopher, theologian, and apologist and has written numerous books on the subject of doubt in the historical Jesus, and most notably the resurrection of Jesus. His expertise on the resurrection studies has had considerable influence on Christian apologetics and historical Jesus studies, and his webpage is Now, the purpose of our interview today is to get to know a little bit more about Dr. Habermas, his background, gain some insights from his experience, and to find out what he is currently working on. So, thanks for speaking with me today.

GH: Glad to be with you, Brian.

BA: I know you’re a Michigan man, but tell us a little bit about your educational background and your early influences.

GH: Well, you’re right. I grew up in the Detroit area, almost exclusively. I lived for a year or so in Indiana and I did live in Western Michigan, but almost totally in Detroit in my early years. And my schooling likewise; my Bachelor’s and after degrees are both from Detroit schools, the latter being—well, Greendale college for my bachelor’s and then University of Detroit. And then I was living in Kalamazoo in the west side of the state while I was doing my PhD, and I drove back to the central part of the state – East Lansing – to do PhD at Michigan State University. So I pretty much stayed in Michigan for all my education.

BA: And what was your initial goal in your studies and what did you focus on?

GH: Well, undergrad, it’s kind of unbelievable these days, but I had a lot of hours and I ended up – if I remember correctly – with a… I want to say with a triple major, and I also had two or three minors. So, I graduated with a lot more hours than I needed. But I majored in Bible, Christian Education and I also had a major in Social Science. Undergrad, I studied English and Speech, that was a single minor, Greek and philosophy. So, a lot of areas of concentration.

BA: That’s a good mixture.

GH: Yeah.

BA: What allowed you to gain focus on the particular area you’re working in now?

GH: Well, it’s more like how did I get into it because I went through ten-plus years of doubt, and the ten years were pretty straight and concentrated, with just a couple of breaks, and then more sporadic doubts beyond that. And it was trying to answer my doubts that drove me into apologetics. Now, you noted in the introduction that I kind of singled out areas like doubt and historical Jesus and especially the resurrection – I guess I could add near death experiences too. I’ve done a lot of work in that – but mostly, each of those topics came out of my years of doubt, and when my friends and family found out that I was really experiencing some tough questions they’d say, “Why don’t you read this? Or study this? Or check this out?” And, of all the areas that Christians gave me to think about, I kind of, I either rejected the evidence as not being very strong, or if there was a bit of force to them I kind of put them on a back burner because they didn’t give me everything I hoped for. I’m not suggesting that the resurrection of Jesus is the only evidence for Christianity – it’s not – but at the time I was looking for something that could sort of hold my faith up as the strongest argument, not a bunch of smaller arguments. So I settled pretty early on the resurrection and decided it could bear the weight of my Christian faith if it could be determined that it occurred. And I went through some really, really rocky times on my search and actually quit my research on the resurrection for a little while because I thought I reached an impasse and I believed in my faith, then I couldn’t really answer some of the toughest questions. I mean, after years of actually studying the resurrection I walked away and thought, ‘I won’t get to the bottom of this.’ And then, years later, I came back and found my way through that maze. So in a sense, even my interest in the resurrection was a response to a, ‘Where am I going next?’ kind of doubt question.

BA: Now, with your struggle with doubt, what actually brought that about, and was it the result of your studies that brought you out of that? What was the crucial factor for you going in and coming out?

GH: Well, I came to find out years later – I’ve actually done quite a bit of writing; three books on the subject of doubt, and I’ll just mention to listeners briefly that since you mentioned my website, two of my three doubt books are out of print. But Dealing with Doubt and The Thomas Factor: Using Your Doubts to Draw Closer to God, both of those books are on my website under the book path, they’re free of charge, people can take them, use them, apply them however they want. But, it was when I was studying doubt that I realise that most doubt is not primarily factual by nature. Mine started out that way, but moved to other areas and I’ve theorised that doubt comes in at least three forms; factual, emotional and evolutional – and mine went through all three levels. But two things called me to come to the end of my doubt; one factually was the actual evidence of the resurrection making me able to break this impasse that I mentioned earlier and secondly, was realising that – to use C. S Lewis’ words – “When you’re struggling with doubt, you have to know where to tell your emotions to get off.” I had to learn techniques for handling emotion and divorcing emotion from factual issues. And from what I could tell, working with a clinical psychologist buddy and doing a bunch of testing with doubters, the majority of doubt is emotional, probably even non-Christian doubt is primarily emotional, so you really do need to, again, as Lewis says, “Tell your emotions where to get off,” so it was that one-two punch of coming up with really good arguments for the resurrection – at least I think so – and secondly, combining it with a remedy for our unruly thinking and feeling.

BA: Now, mentioning arguments for the resurrection, your apologetic methodology takes more of an evidential approach and looks at historical data. Can you briefly outline what your methodology is for those who may not already know?

GH: Sure. For those who are more advanced on apologetic methodologies, I have no problems whatsoever with the so-called classical approach that begins with God and moves on, I think that’s even a fuller, more detailed sort of approach. I just don’t think it’s necessary; it’s not 100% necessary. You can start with the miracles for a sort of argument for God’s existence, and in that regard I would say that the resurrection is the best approach. And the method that I developed and wanted to work on and pull for my doctoral dissertation, and in virtually all my publications on the resurrection later – eighteen of my thirty-six books are on this topic, the resurrection that is – but the ones that do evidential studies, start with a list of data which critical scholars allow. In other words, pretty much the scholarly community wherever you’re allegiance lies; liberal, conservative, moderate, even sceptics, they will pretty much allow a certain body of data. There may be some differences, but there’s a lot of agreement as to what’s in this list, and my basic thesis, my basic method, is what I call The Minimal Facts Method and it says, “The bible could very well be inspired, the bible could very well be reliable, or trustworthy,” in fact, I think there’s fantastic arguments that can be brought. But basically, the minimal facts argument says, “Even if you don’t assume the bible is inspired, even if you don’t assume the bible is reliable, in fact, even if the bible is nothing but a book of ancient literature – which undeniably it is – it is at least a book of ancient literature. If that’s all it is, we can use this data on which scholars agree there is still enough of a basis to say that Jesus was raised from the dead.” And the two criteria I use for these minimal facts – the ones people hear me talking about the most, the second ones, they assume it’s my most important one, but it isn’t. The second one – the lesser one, actually – is that the majority of scholars, a high percentage of scholars, will allow these data as facts. But the more important criterion is why scholars allow these as facts; they allow them as facts because they really can’t do anything else, they allow them as facts because the reasons, and the data behind the data, let’s say, are so strong. So, when people across a spectrum, a wide spectrum, on an emotional issue like religion agree to a list of things about Jesus it’s because the information, the evidence is so powerful. And those are the reasons; that’s the main reason for believing the resurrection evidence, because each reason I use is backed up by a lot of different evidences. So that’s the one-two punch. Number one, I use facts that are multiply-reasoned, multiply-evidenced, and secondly that’s why almost all scholars concede them. And so I start there, I don’t just start by saying, “Well, this is God’s word,” or, “Well, this is really reliable,” because you’ll lose half your audience. I mean, I’m not saying that’s not true. If I were pastoring, for example – which I did years ago – I wouldn’t be spending all my time on the minimal facts. So it’s a method, you’re doing what’s best for the people to whom you’re speaking.

BA: What kind of sceptical objections do you find are the most common, or the most misunderstood about your approach?

GH: Oh, now that latter question, misunderstood, that’s an excellent insight. Easily the most misunderstood part of my presentation, even if I’m doing this at the doctoral or masters level, is somehow when I define the minimal facts is those facts that are, A, evidenced on a number of levels, and B, accepted as such by scholars. Students, listeners, others, people at the universities, they seem to say, they seem to think I’m saying something like this, “I’m going to use minimal facts which are attested outside the New Testament.” OK. First of all, most of these facts are attested outside of the New Testament, but that is not my point. They somehow hear my say, “I’m going to use non-Christian recorded material.” OK, that’s not my approach, for this reason, they’ll say to me, “Excuse me, but you’re using the New Testament,” and I’m saying, “What makes you think I’m not going to use the New Testament?” What I said was not that I wouldn’t use the New Testament; I said I wouldn’t assume that the New Testament was inspired or reliable. But I can still have a book, say like First Corinthians that everybody thinks, I mean, everybody thinks Paul wrote. I mean, 99% of all scholars now – not just people kind of talking off their heads – scholars concede that Paul wrote that and there are a lot of good reasons why they concede that Paul wrote First Corinthians. So, if I start with First Corinthians, chapter fifteen, and start talking about Paul, some of them will say, “Um, you’re using the New Testament,” and I’ll say, “Listen, I’m using the New Testament, but so do all the liberals, so do all the moderates, and so do all the conservatives.” So that’s probably the biggest misunderstanding—that while you can get some data from extra-Biblical sources, that’s not the best evidence. The best evidence is from the New Testament, only you simply use the things from the New Testament that are well attested. Obviously, a sceptic would not grant these things from the New Testament unless they were evidenced on solid ground, so ask the sceptic why he uses the New Testament, same reason I do.

BA: It seems to me, as well, that many people just assume that this is a fallacious appeal to authority. Can you explain why it’s not?

GH: Great. That’s a second good question. Most interviewers don’t go to this much depth, but I appreciate your asking me these good questions. They think—Every once in a while they’ll say, “You’re using an argument from an authority which is an illogical fallacy.” To which I have basically two responses, I’ll give the lesser response first. The fallacy of authority, it occurs when you cite a scholar out of their field, or something that they really don’t know anything about, well, that would be out of their field. You know, when you cite them in areas where they haven’t done much work, or when you act like citing them solves the issue because obviously you could cite a scholar on the other side too. So the fallacy of authority is not when you simply say, “Don’t argue with me, the vast majority of scholars concede this point, so unless you have some specific rejections of it don’t get on my case for telling you that virtually every liberal that writes agrees with me.” That’s not the fallacy of authority, that’s not the same thing. So, basically I’m not using the argument fallaciously. I’m not saying this stalls the issue, or I’m not taking dentists or medical doctors about what they say about the resurrection, I’m not going that route. And secondly – this is more importantly – what I said earlier about methodology, the fact that scholars concede this is my second, lesser point of my method. The more important point is why scholars concede this. Sure, I say, “These ten sceptics agree with me,” but that’s just to kind of get us all on the page and considering a certain fact. If you go, “Woah, woah, woah, stop right there, I want to know why these ten guys agree with you.” They’re not going to give an argument. And I do both; I give the argument for the facts as well as saying who agrees with it. So, when you give the argument for the facts you’ve also broken that circle and you’re not arguing fallaciously.

BA: Yeah, and I think also you’re not saying, “This is true because they’ve said this,” or, “It’s true because…” And the other thing is, for myself, I find it helpful to think that this is just a matter of burden of proof; the burden of proof should be carried by the one who’s out of the majority.

GH: Right. That’s thoughtful. One more thing about authority. Again, I did my end notes in my books, many times I’ll say, “Even a lot of sceptics allow this point,” and I’ll give an end note with, say, ten or five very, very sceptical scholars who concede this point. I don’t say it like that solves the issue, I say it like since 95, 98% of scholars agree with this point it’s a good starting point, it’s a good point to start our discussion, why they got this. It does mean, ‘let’s stop talking, since they got this there’s nothing else to say,’ it definitely does not mean that. But I appreciate you bringing that up. Actually, I probably should spend more time on this type of topic because I’d say those are probably the two areas where I’m most misunderstood. If someone does not understand why I take my method and go straight to the New Testament because so does the most liberal critic. And secondly, they wonder if I think it’s solved by appealing to authority. That’s a good question, I appreciate you clarifying that.

BA: I want to ask a few questions about your experience as an apologist. How long have you actually been teaching apologetics?

GH: Oh wow. I guess I have to do some math here. Since 1976 I’ve been teaching full-time, so let’s add, about thirty-five years, I guess, thirty-four years. I pastored before that for about a half dozen years, and then I finished my PhD and I went right into teaching in the Fall of ’76.

BA: Let’s say you’re talking to someone who they’re in their early education and they’re Christian, they really want to serve God, they’ve found apologetics and philosophy, and they think, ‘Wow, you know, this is something I really want to get into.’

GH: Sure.

BA: What should they consider as far as their education and what are the implications of pursuing that? What sort of advice would you give to people coming to you asking that sort of a question?

GH: Yeah, if I were to try to give advice to somebody who said, “Do we need more PhDs? Where would you suggest I take this?” etc. I think a lot of things come into play here, and I don’t think there’s an easy answer to that. For some people, they successfully pastor, and mentor people, disciple people, preach on a different level. But apologetics, let's say they live in a town where there’s a university and they can have a coffee house or some other kind of ministry nearby. They could be a pastor who really gets into theology, who really gets into apologetics. Another guy might want to work on a college campus, and although he keeps up on ministry opportunities, he also keeps up on apologetics, he just doesn’t consider himself a specialist in any area, but he truly is a person who gets in there with students who are really, you know, kind of despairing or at times in life where they got a bad grade, or they’re away from home, or whatever, and they have to kind of mix some people skills with psychology and so on. For me, the guy that decides to go on for a PhD is a person who has the mind to do it. But I often tell my students, having a good mind in necessary, but it’s not sufficient because I think, in addition to having a good mind, you have to have some other skills too. I think you have to, ideally, be a person who sticks with something. It’s a long haul, you know, where you are in your education as a person with a bachelor degree, normally they’re going to get at least one Master’s degree and a PhD, so it’s going to be a long haul. The questions would involve, like, “Do you have a family? Do you have to earn an outside living?” and so on, because it’s going to take a long time to go through this thing unless somebody can, you know, support you. But I also would like to ask the question I raised earlier; since most doubt is of an emotional or volitional nature, I’d like to know a little bit about that person in those terms. I’d like to know a little bit about them emotionally. I’d like to know from what you know about yourself, and unfortunately too many people, they don’t think about what we are emotionally at all – especially men – but I would like to know what the likelihood is that they will fall by the wayside, or even be the kind of person who will be moved by some kind of problem in their life and walk away from the lord, or just have all kinds of issues that they go away to a secular school. I mean, the catch-22 here, Brian, is that you need to pay your dues, so if you want to be hired by a school, generally I think you’re better off with a secular PhD, but the secular PhD is what’s going to push the most, cause guys to drop out of the programme the most, and most of all we hope it doesn’t cause them to drop out with the Lord. So, I think all these other factors – people so often act like this is an academic thing only, and I think it’s probably more about your emotions and your personality and where you are in life, although you do have to be – like I said – relatively smart, that’s just kind of the beginning.

BA: Do you think that there are specific pitfalls that one should watch out for? And, you know, what kind of character traits for being Christ-like should people really be mindful of in their lives?

GH: Well, I’m not psychologist or healthcare worker, but because I’ve done a lot of working with people who have gone through doubts I’ve had hundred of discussions, you know, emails or phone conversations, or face-to-face when I go to universities, or my own students. Because I’ve had hundreds of conversations with doubters – I used to keep notes on all of them, by the way, in a log file and that’s where some of my books come from – but because I’ve seen people respond, I think in a little different angle than some other folks and no matter how much they say the opposite, for them, apologetics equals head trip, equals brilliance, equals powerful debater, speaker, when so many of these other deals like family, personality, come into play. You asked what kind of characteristics, I don’t think this eliminates a person, because so many guys in the field, I can tell you because I talked to them privately when they have issues, but a person who has an anxious type personality, a person who worries a lot, or a person who has obsessive type tendencies – I’m not talking about a psychological diagnosis, I mean, I don’t have the grounds to make that, I don’t have the training to make that – but somebody who tends to obsess a lot, who just keeps going over and over, and no answer seems to be good enough, they’re just going to keep going over, no matter what. I think if they tend to be really obsessive or really anxious, those are things that they can work through and they can be very good at, and sometimes those kind of folks have the most to share with somebody else because there’s so many in this field. And the student population – let’s just pick them for an example as a whole – I mean, there’s so many and they’re often the best students, the reason they obsess and they’re anxious, but they’re anxious about getting A's all the time, or doing everything the right way, or doing it like Dr so-and-so, so they can be very, very good at what they do. I don’t think that eliminates them, I just think we should give more warning to those kind of people and let them realise that they’re getting into a lot more here than, ‘How well do you argue? And can you finish a PhD?’

BA: I want to see if I can ask a question that will sort of distil down some of your advice as far as people dealing with doubt. So, say you only have one minute with someone who says, “Gary, I’m just going through the worst doubt of my life, I’ve got to leave on this train in one minute.” What are you going to say to that person? What would be the most key thing that that person needs to hear at that point?

GH: Well, that depends on which of these three avenues they’re coming from. So, if I find out they’re a factual doubter, probably the most important thing I want to say to them is major on the major. So often I hear people tell me… I mean, here’s an example: I’ve had a couple of people recently say, “I can’t work the creation thing out. I don’t know if I’m a Young Earther, I don’t know if I’m an Old Earther, I don’t know where I am on this, and it’s going to kill me if I don’t get this thing solved.” And I say, “Woah, woah, woah, no matter what view you take on that subject it’s not going to kill you. No matter what view you take on that subject it doesn’t affect your eternal outcome.” If it’s a factual doubter I try to get across one thought. I say, “What do you do with the gospel? What do you do with the death of Jesus Christ? That’s the most important thing for you to center on. Don’t get bothered by periphery questions. And don’t get confused and anxious by telling yourself, ‘there’s a hundred issues and I’ll never get to the bottom of this.’ You don’t have to answer a hundred issues.” That’s what I would tell the factual doubter. To the emotional doubter I would say, “Factual evidences are very nice and they are necessary, but they’re not sufficient to solve your issues. You have to learn how to deal with your emotions.” I would recommend a book, there are a lot of good ones out there; one I frequently recommend is by William Backus, B-A-C-K-U-S, and Louise Chapian, C-H-A-P-I-AN, and the book is called Telling Yourself the Truth and it’s published by Bethany, it’s a bestseller. I saw one in a bookstore a few days ago for five dollars. So, it’s an excellent book and it tells people how to get a handle on their emotions. Now, I’m not a clinical psychologist, I’m not a healthcare person, but these two are, and William Backus in particular is an esteemed psychologist, he also was at the university of Memphis reading theology. But if it’s an emotional doubter, I’d tell them to get hold of a book like that. If I have one minute, I’m assuming we’ve already talked about that, I’ve already told them about the book. So I’d say, “What you need to do, think about what you’re telling yourself because many psychologists have shown that your worst pain is going to come not from what happens to you, contrary to public opinion, not from what happens to you, but from what you tell yourself about what happens to you. In other words, our worst pain often comes from how we download our circumstances. So it’s not the fact that so-and-so was stamping all over us and making us feel like a worm, it’s that we bought the criticism and tell ourselves we’re a worm. Or if they say we’re a loser and we can’t think, we put ourselves down and say, ‘I can’t think and I actually believe I’m a person who can’t think.’ It has to do with where your emotions are, and for the majority of people, perhaps has high as 70%, many, many doubters are emotional doubters. So it’s nice to have the evidences in your back pocket, but you really need to know how to deal with what you say to yourself because that’s where your pain comes from.” That would be my message for the majority of doubters, because the majority are emotional.

BA: Great, well, that’s very helpful. You did mention your work in near death experiences. We don’t have a lot of time but could you tell us, just briefly for those who are listening, why you chose to focus on that work and what sort of apologetic value study of near death experiences has?

GH: Well, to me, near death experiences you could use it as a sort of extension of the resurrection or you can use it as a pre-cursor to resurrection, it can play either role. A lot of people, probably the most common sophisticated objection I get for the resurrection is, ‘That’s just not the way this world is. Come on, tell me the truth, do you think there’s a guy who walked out of a grave in space and time, and it’s only happened once? You know, don’t you think it’s unlikely that a person was raised from the dead?’ Well, I kind of punt for near death experiences at that point. Why I do that is to show them that the afterlife is highly evidenced – there’s other evidence besides NDEs too, for an afterlife. But my argument basically is, if there’s an afterlife, if there’s a category called afterlife then you ought to be really, really open to an event called resurrection. So what I do when I go for NDEs, I don’t take the popular sort of, you know, ‘We did this survey and blank per cent of the people said they went down a dark tunnel and blank per cent said they saw wonderful lights and blank per cent saw their dead loved ones and others thought they were in God’s presence and everybody agrees it was wonderful, they’re not afraid of death now and they know they’re going to be living forever.” That’s not the kind of near death report I’m interested in, I’m interested in dozens of evidential reports where somebody in a near death state reports something that seems unlikely but can either be verified or falsified with a little bit of research. You know, something that happened outside the hospital, on a different floor of the hospital, your family were sitting there waiting for the operation and you talked about what went on in that room, something strange happened and you saw it. Or you reported that, let’s say near where you were near death, let’s say one block away there was a car accident, and you say as you were floating above your body you were able to see this accident. And there’s no one from your house that could have reported this accident, nobody was talking about it, and when you came to you reported it. Things like that, for me, indicate the likelihood that consciousness extends beyond the depth of the physical body. So, you have this evidential factor of NDEs being really strong evidence just in themselves, but it can either be used as a, ‘Oh yeah? You don’t believe in an afterlife? Then what would you do with these things?’ or, it can be used after the resurrection and it shows that there is a category that is very strongly evidenced, and therefore I think the person can’t explain the NDEs has to be more open to the resurrection.

BA: And, at the same time, do you think it’s a good argument against naturalism just on the face of it?

GH: Yeah, I think it’s… I’ve presented lectures before where I think that NDEs, maybe you wouldn’t use them as an argument by themselves, but they’re definitely a nail in the coffin of naturalism. Traditionally, in philosophy and in a couple of other places, for example, certain kinds of literary works, let’s say, Dostoyevsky for example, often times people realise that the most important factors in a religious world view would be God and an afterlife. And what your relationship to those things would be, for example, if you believe in a God should he be worshipped? Does he have a moral code? Is there something I should be doing, such as follow him? Afterlife, you know, should we be praying, preparing in this life for another life? What about the things that I do on a daily basis for others? What’s my rationale for ethics? And if you have a rationale for ethics in there. So God, afterlife and ethics, those are generic religious concerns that almost everybody has who pursue the religious question. You could say, “No, those things don’t happen,” but you still have a concern about them. So I think they’re part of the general revelatory landscape, let’s say, when you’re talking about general religious. Resurrection of course is a special revelatory claim.

BA: Now, speaking about one of your books here, I should say that The Case for The Resurrection of Jesus that you co-authored with Mike Licona, it’s just been a really great book and I know it’s been very useful for so many people. If you could recommend what you would say would be your top two or three books for people to get started to get a feel for what your work is, what you recommend to them?

GH: Well, if it’s historical Jesus in general, like you mentioned earlier, I have a book called Historical Jesus, College Press I think is the publisher, and all of these can be located on Amazon. But, Historical Jesus for all the kind of questions about, ‘Do we believe in Jesus? What do we know about sources outside the New Testament,’ and so on. I’ve got a few things in there too about the reliability of the New Testament, which is one of the only places I do that sort of thing. If someone asks about the resurrection, the book you mentioned The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus with Mike Licona, a follow-up – actually, in time, the book came out a year before – but one of my eighteen books on the resurrection is The Risen Jesus and Future Hope, that’s book three and that’s published by Roman and Littlefield, The Case of the Resurrection is published by Kregel. The Risen Jesus and Future Hope only the first chapter is a severely truncated, severely condensed argument for the resurrection of Jesus and the rest of the book I ask the question, ‘What follows from the resurrection being true?’ Earlier I said I would say to the factual doubter, “Major in the gospel, major in the deity resurrection of Jesus, that’s something you need to know the most.” Well, this book asks, ‘If the resurrection is true what do we know about God? What do we know Jesus? Is he deity? What does he require of us by salvation? What’s the afterlife like? What is he worth aiming at?’ and then a few periphery questions like, ‘Can you handle your worst pain?’ which for me has a lot of relevance. I do a lot of writing on pain and suffering, mostly because in 1995 my wife died of stomach cancer and I had four fairly young children – the oldest was twenty-one, but the youngest was only nine – and I had four children at home, two were pre-teenagers and we just, you know, we went through a rough time and I wanted to ask the question, “Does Christianity have practical answers as well as apologetic answers? Does it have indication that it’s not just true but it can be lived?” So, I would say those two books on the resurrection and near death experiences. I co-authored a book with J.P Moreland called Beyond Death has three pretty lengthy, well documented chapters on near death experiences and was originally published in an earlier form by Thomas Downton, then it was published in its current form by Crossway. And now it’s available through Wipf and Stock publishers in Oregon. So those are some of the main books I would suggest on the topics we’ve discussed here, besides those three doubt books, by the way, and two of them are on the website The last one is a book that just came out, it’s called Why is God Ignoring Me? and it’s a book about the silence of God and it’s a very common and specific question.

BA: Excellent. Well, we’re going to link to all those books on the blog post today, but are you working on anything in particular right now or for the future?

GH: Too many things actually. I’ve had probably seven books come out in the last two or three years, I’ll have to go back and look at the dates, two and half, three and a half years. I’ve just had a book come out a few months ago on the writing of James D.G. Dunn, Bob Stewart and I edited that book. The book Why is God Ignoring Me? just came out. I’m doing two essays this summer. I’m doing a lot of chapters in books that are coming out. I’ve done a debate with a sceptic that’s due. It’s one of many debates in a book to be published by Oxford University Press, I know that by the end of year. I’ve been offered three very large books up too a thousand pages each in a three volume set on the resurrection, can you believe? When you write 50% of your books – eighteen out of thirty-six – on the resurrection, you might be surprised to know that up to three thousand pages in three books, as far as I can tell is 80% material, 70% let’s say, that I’ve never published and as far as I know nobody else either. So it’s pretty much all-new material on the resurrection. And if I can get my act together, I’ve been contemplating doing this set for about a year and a half now; it’s just going to dominate my life. That’s the big thing on my horizon right now, is if I want to stop everything and do that three volume set.

BA: Well, I wish you all the best in that and I really appreciate all the work you’ve done and the impact you’ve made for so many people.

GH: Brian, it’s very kind of you and I appreciate it, and you’ve asked excellent questions. I’ve done hundreds of interviews and I rarely get these sorts of questions. I just really appreciate the thought that you’ve put into this interview.

BA: Well, thanks. Well, we’ve been speaking with Dr Gary Habermas, be sure to visit his webpage at, and as we said, all his books will be linked at today’s blog post at Apologetics 315, including his debates and his audio files. This is Brian Auten of Apologetics 315, and thanks for listening.


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