Although I am not qualified to comment on many of Evans' assertions, there are a few points that seem obviously false. For example, Evans claims that many liberal scholars' ignorance of "the Semitic background of the New Testament" causes them to misconstrue Jesus' use of the phrase "Son of Man." "They didn't know how it was linked to the Son of Man figure in Daniel 7, where there are divine implications. Instead they pursued a bizarre Greco-Roman understanding, translating 'Son of Man' as 'Son of Adam,' which doesn't clarify anything." (TCFTRJ p. 35)
"For crying out loud," does Evans really mean to assert that it takes a doctorate in biblical languages to spot a connection that is footnoted in almost every Bible printed? I know for a fact that John Dominic Crossan and Geza Vermes understand the link because I have read books in which they discuss it and I know that Bart Ehrman understands it because I have heard him discuss it. Contrary to Evans, the liberal scholars seem to be sophisticated enough to consider the possibility that the phrase might be used differently at different times in different gospels. Geza Vermes notes that John seems to use "Son of Man" almost exclusively as a title referring to a "heavenly being temporarily exiled on earth," but concludes that [i]n contrast, the bulk of the 'son of Man' instances in the Synoptics can best be interpreted in a nontitular sense." (The Changing Faces of Jesus p.188) It is not through ignorance of the issues that he reaches a different conclusion than Evans.
Evans' claim about liberal ignorance concerning Jesus' use of the phrase "the kingdom of God" strikes me as an even bigger shovelful of manure. "It's not complicated if you have the Semetic context: Jesus was basically proclaiming the 'rule of God.'" (TCFTRJ p. 35) Oh really? Isn't the apostles' failure to understand what Jesus really meant by the "kingdom of God" a significant theme in the Gospels? Did the apostles lack the "Semetic context" that Evans' possesses? "Come on."
Another argument that strikes me as more than a little bizarre is Evan' assertion that the anonymity of the canonical gospels helps proves their authenticity. Commenting on the practice of second century writers attribuing their works to Mary Magdalene or Judas, Evans says "by the way, that's what Gnostics would do. In contrast, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke circulated anonymously. Their authority and truth were apparent. Everyone knew this was what Jesus taught, so there wasn't much concern over who wrote it down." (TCFTRJ p. 46) So not knowing the source of a document makes it more trustworthy rather than less? "Oh yeah, what a brilliant argument."
Coming back to whether Evans is respected by liberals, I did find a review by Stephen Patterson of Evans' 2006 book Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels.
My real difference with Evans is that I do not share his evangelical stipulations about the text. This is a divide that we must increasingly deal with in biblical studies. Competently trained scholars now operate on both sides of this great divide. How we handle that difference honestly and respectfully is our unique challenge. On that score this book fails miserably and can best serve as a counterexample of how not to engage one’s colleagues in discussion and debate.