Yesterday afternoon, I had the chance to talk with the Non-Alchemist and Matthew Hartke about the resurrection of Jesus, cognitive dissonance, Paul’s experience of the risen Christ, and much more. (You can also hear me mispronounce Ralph Fiennes last name. How embarrassing! Though it’s not nearly as embarrassing as the fact that neither of these two were familiar with the 80s classic The Boy Who Could Fly. For shame!) This conversation was a sequel to one we had back in 2020 and it was nice to reconnect with these two gentlemen and talk about these weighty topics.
If you haven’t already, go ahead and subscribe both to the Non-Alchemist’s channel and Hartke’s. Both have produced high quality content that I think sets the standard for how skeptics need to talk about topics related to the philosophy of religion and the historical claims of Christianity. I’m hoping that we will get to have another conversation in the near future. In the meantime, Hartke recommended to me some resources on the subject of cognitive dissonance theory and its relationship to the resurrection of Jesus that I will in turn recommend to you.
- Fernando Bermejo-Rubio, “The Process of Jesus’ Deification and Cognitive Dissonance Theory,” Numen 64 no. 2/3 (2017), 119-152.
- Hugh Jackson, “The Resurrection Belief of the Earliest Church: A Response to the Failure of Prophecy?” The Journal of Religion 55 no. 4 (1975), 415-425.
- Joel Marcus, “The Once and Future Messiah in Early Christianity and Chabad,” New Testament Studies 46 no. 3 (2001), 381-401.
I would also recommend (and Hartke would concur) Dale Allison’s recent work The Resurrection of Jesus: Apologetics, Polemics, History. It is one of those books that is fun to wrestle with since Allison is the sort of scholar who wears his skepticism on his sleeve. Though a Christian, he is more than willing to poke and prod apologetic arguments for the resurrection, contradicting even the rhetoric of the New Testament when it exhibits a lack of historical parsimony or utility.
In any event, I hope you enjoy watching the conversation as much as I did participating in it. And I also hope you learn as much as I did!