I sent the following email challenge to NT scholar Michael Licona today. Last December, on Bart Ehrman’s blog, Dr. Licona and I had a discussion regarding his belief in the evangelical Christian teaching called “the testimony of the Holy Spirit” or stated another way, the evangelical Christian belief that one must “ask Jesus into your heart” to be a true Christian believer. Does Dr. Licona believe this teaching? His answers at that time on this issue appeared to me to be evasive. Let’s see if he will respond and give a clear, concise answer:
Dear Dr. Licona,
I hope you and yours are well during this difficult time.
I have a challenge for you: Would you be willing to come back onto the Bart Ehrman blog and clearly state whether or not you believe in the evangelical teaching of the testimony of the Holy Spirit, specifically answering this question:
Dr. Licona: Do you perceive the presence of the spirit of Jesus within you?
Whether you believe that this belief does or does not affect your scholarship on the Resurrection is irrelevant. The relevant question is: Do you believe in the evangelical teaching of the real and perceptible presence of Jesus within you or not?
End of post.