What do I think of Justin Bass’s book published by Lexham Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Justin Bass’s book is a book to look at what scholars across the board are saying about the historical Jesus in regard to His resurrection. This is a wonderful book that has great data, humor, and a nice pastoral touch. It is not only short and powerful, but it is also fun to read.
Bass also thankfully starts at the beginning with dealing with mythicism severely. He is familiar with Carrier’s work and does the work to show that this is not a claim that is taken seriously. From there, he goes point by point through the historical Jesus to show what is said.
Each chapter is a good number of pages long and has quotes all throughout to back everything Bass is saying. In the early chapters, Bass makes no argument really about the resurrection of Jesus. He instead saves that for the very end. If you go through the book, you will get a great plethora of quotes that you can use.
The humor in the book is really good. At one point, for example, Bass is making the case about what it means when we say that Paul was zealous for Judaism. He compares it to several zealous figures in the Old Testament, including Jehu who destroyed as much of King Ahab’s family as he could. He ends by saying the life of Jehu is a great bedtime story to read to your children. I found myself wondering what it would be like if he teamed up with Andy Bannister or Michael Bird to write something.
He also gets a pastoral touch. Now in some ways, this isn’t my favorite part because too often if you point to something like this, skeptics of Christianity will just discount everything you say as if the only reason you have for believing in Christianity is emotional. There is nothing wrong with emotional reasons playing a part though in your worldview thinking. We are emotional creatures as well as rational creatures for the most part. The stories are quite powerful thinking about the unique life Jesus lived and how His life has transformed the lives of others.
The appeal at the end is very evangelistic. Bass wants you to at least consider taking the claim seriously. He can accept that if you come to the data and say, “I don’t know what happened” that’s one thing you can say, but he urges you to not stop there. Isn’t it really worth looking into? Isn’t it worth considering?
In the end, he gives an argument for the resurrection based on this and the importance of new creation. Jesus didn’t just come and rise again so we could know Christianity is true. He rose again so that He could bring about the new creation. The new has come. The old has passed away.
In conclusion, Bass’s book is highly accessible and one worth reading by skeptic and Christian alike. I give it a full recommendation.