Dr. Gary Habermas is the author or co-author of over 30 books and 100 articles and reviews in journals and magazines. In the last 12 years he has given over 1500 lectures in about 100 universities, seminaries, and colleges. He holds a PhD in History and Philosophy of Religion from Michigan State University as well as an MA in Philosophical Theology from the University of Detroit. He currently acts as 'Distinguished Research Professor and Chair' in the Department of Philosophy and Theology at Liberty University, where he has taught for the past 26 years. His main areas of research include the philosophical study of miracles, near-death experiences, the historical Jesus, and the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus.
A Brief Biography:
Gary R. Habermas was born just outside Detroit, Michigan in 1950. Although he was raised in a Christian home and attended a German Baptist Church, he began having serious doubts about Christianity. For more than ten years, he faced uncertainty about key Christian claims and searched other religious and non-religious systems, especially naturalism. His studies centered chiefly on investigating various world views, occasionally getting close to what he thought might be the proper approach. During this time, as he explains, "The last thing I did at night was recall what I had learned that day to further my search. Early the next morning, it seems that the first thing that came to my mind was, 'Where did I end my studies last night?'" This continued for several agonizing years.
Habermas' interest in the field of apologetics began early in his search when he realized that some religions made claims that could be either verified or falsified. He searched the various religious systems to ascertain if such claims were verifiable. After several years of study, he concluded that very few religious claims could be substantiated. Habermas concluded that even Christianity suffered in this sense. While certainly having more evidential considerations than other religions, there always seemed to be a reason why the argument could not be finalized. While Habermas conducted detailed studies of creation, fulfilled prophecy, archaeological discoveries, and the general reliability of the Old and New Testaments, he constantly asked if there were any "clinching" arguments.
Habermas especially studied the notion that Eastern metaphysics were confirmed by modern physics, as well as the claims made on behalf of various other holy books. He reached the conclusion that, while religious beliefs could be held by faith, they usually lacked great evidence and could not be "proven" to be true.
Habermas' search frequently took the form of debating with various adherents of non-Christian as well as Christian views. He told practitioners from both camps that their beliefs were not as grounded as they would like to believe. He especially recalls one encounter where an exasperated Christian told him that he was filled with demons! Once his mother called to see how he was doing, and he announced that he thought he was close to becoming a Buddhist, his latest research interest.
During this time, one subject began to appeal to Habermas more than any other. He realized that if Jesus had been raised from the dead, this would go a long way toward arguing that Christianity was true.
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