Michael Licona Refuses to Debate Me

Michael Licona is a Christian friend of mine. I have met Mike and had pleasant conversations with him. He moderated the debate I had with David Wood on whether God exists, seen here. The first time I met him was at the 2009 Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting where I was on a panel discussing Bill Maher's movie Religulous. My talk can be read here.

Michael Licona's scholarly expertise is on the resurrection of Jesus where he wrote a massive book on the topic.

But he refuses to debate me on the resurrection.

Here is our recent email exchange:

John: Hi Mike, I was wondering if you would like to debate me on the resurrection.

Mike: Thanks, John. But I'll pass.

John: For what reason(s)?

[Crickets chirping]
My purpose in this post is to inquire as to his reasons since he offers none. No one can answer for him. Only he can really respond.

Surely he doesn't fear me. Surely as a debater Mike doesn't think he'll have trouble trouncing me on a topic of his expertise. After all he's debated Bart Ehrman, Stephen Patterson, Elaine Pagels and my friends Richard Carrier and Dan Barker on this same topic.

But like his good friend William Lane Craig before him, Mike refuses to debate me. Again, I'm being singled out, first by Craig and now by Licona.

Keep in mind Mike Licona cannot say I don't have the credentials to debate him, for he debated Steve Yothment, president of the Atlanta Freethought Society, who apparently does not have any scholarly expertise in the arguments against the resurrection, and he debated Shane Puckett, who likewise has no scholarly expertise in these arguments. [No offense Steve or Shane].

Perhaps Craig and Licona will change their minds, I don't know. It doesn't much matter to me though, since so long as they refuse I can point out something important. They both fear me. They do not fear the debate itself. They fear introducing me to a wider audience. That's what I think. There is no other consistent non-hypocritical reason for their refusal to debate me.

I think this is the reason he doesn't want to debate me. <--- read reviews of my book.

At least Dr. Randal Rauser isn't afraid of me, since he and I finished co-writing a book to be published this year by Baker Books, a major Christian publisher, titled God or Godless.

Hey Mike, why won't you debate me? I think you're even scared of providing reasons for your refusal, because none of your reasons will stand up to scrutiny.

In the meantime, Licona can try to answer several of the things I've written about his arguments:

Michael Licona's Book is Delusional on a Grand Scale.

Assessing The Minimal Facts Approach of Habermas, Licona, and Craig.

Does a Religious Context Increase the Odds of a Miracle?

Here's some music while we wait.