Peter S. Williams brings a philosophers perspective to the quest for the historical Jesus and argues that understanding the spirituality of Jesus is the path to our own spiritual enlightenment. Williams takes issue with new-atheist discussions of faith and historical Jesus studies before guiding readers through a cumulative case for the Christian understanding of Jesus.
A free sample chapter is available here.
Praise for Understanding Jesus
“Peter Williams gives five powerful reasons for thinking that God revealed himself in Jesus Christ… If you think there just might be something in Christianity, you need to read this book.” – Dr. Angus J.L. Menuge, Professor of Philosophy, Concordia University
“Williams gathers diverse strands of apologetic argument to present them afresh in contemporary context. With an eye to the alternatives, he drives his cumulative case home with intellectual verve. This book is a challenge to disbelief, and encourages renewed confidence in understanding the reality of Jesus today.” – Anna Robbins, Vice Principle and Senior Lecturer in Theology and Contemporary Culture, London School of Theology
“Peter S. Williams [marshalls] a huge amount of extant data and insight, into a conceptual framework which makes it easy to engage with. One of the real strengths of his writing is that he manages to take his own high-level familiarity with the academic issues and source texts, and translate this material into a format which is immediately accessible to the rest of us… delivering solid food for those who really want to understand who Jesus actually is… This is an excellent contribution to this core challenge of Christian belief: who was/is Jesus? Williams’ background helps him to interact thoughtfully with the key philosophies which frequently drive the suppositions and worldviews of atheism. You’ll find a helpful consideration of Hume’s arguments against miracles, for example… There’s some really useful interaction with the philosophical engines driving liberal theology and higher criticism. There are extensive quotations from the writings of leading atheists, demonstrating the range of opinions and conflicts between them when it comes to how they deal with the historical Christ. Each chapter is helpfully structured, and at the end of each there is a list of additional reading resources, many of them online… Overall, the book is a delight. The prose is unpretentious but utterly clear and unambiguous… This work is an invaluable tool for ordinary Christians, in helping to reinforce the intellectual underpinnings of biblical faith in Christ – and I will certainly be recommending it to those who are active in their local churches, especially any who are involved in communicating the Gospel. It will also be a challenging read for agnostics who are prepared to interact with the historic data with an enquiring mind.” – Kevin Moss
(Audio) Who was the historical Jesus? Seminar on ‘Understanding Jesus: Five Ways to Spiritual Enlightenment’ (2018)
(Audio) Understanding Jesus Seminar (ELF 2012)
(Audio) Understanding Jesus interview (ELF 2012)