Author : Lee Strobel
I wanted to read another of Strobel’s book as I thoroughly enjoyed his “God’s Outrageous Claims ” book and I wanted to explore a bit more of the evidence and entry level apologetic views to help defend Christianity. While the book is really just an introduction to some of these issues, its also a personal account of a portion of the author’s journey in finding faith in Jesus himself. That is an important aspect of all of Strobel’s books and is one of the main reasons I think he has had so many best sellers. He presents his case and at the same time, attaches his own feelings and impact of what he’s learned along the way. Exactly what I like to do in reviewing a book myself.
This book covers 15 questions that Strobel asks an expert on each subject to explore in detail.
- Can the Biographies of Jesus Be Trusted?
- Do the Biographies of Jesus Stand Up to Scrutiny?
- Were Jesus’ Biographies Reliably Preserved for Us?
- Is There Credible Evidence for Jesus outside His Biographies?
- Does Archaeology Confirm or Contradict Jesus’ Biographies?
- Is the Jesus of History the Same As the Jesus of Faith?
- Was Jesus Really Convinced That He Was the Son of God?
- Was Jesus Crazy When He Claimed to Be the Son of God?
- Did Jesus Fulfill the Attributes of God?
- Did Jesus – And Jesus Along – Math the Identity of the Messiah?
- Was Jesus’ Death a Sham and His Resurrection a Hoax?
- Was Jesus’ Body Really Absent from His Tomb?
- Was Jesus seen Alive after His Death on the Cross?
- Are There Any Supporting Facts That Point to the Resurrections?
- What Does the Evidence Establish – And What Does It Mean Today?
I found the information revealed to be quite informative and for me, largely new as I’ve never researched these areas directly. There is plenty of evidence presented on each topic and Strobel uses each interview to explore a number of angles from the skeptics perspective to ensure he looks for answers to the most common questions that relate to every interview topic. The experts range greatly but are primarily scholars and authors of various books with published content on each relevant topic. They have years of research and study on each area and are well suited to answer Strobel’s questions.
The format of the book is written as a narrative description of these interviews with each expert. I found this part a bit of a stumble as it doesn’t carry much between each topic. There is some reference between the chapters and evidence presented that builds on previous findings but they are large separate individual chapters. This made the book a bit harder for me to really get since aside from the particle topic in each chapter there wasn’t any kind of story and building component to the book. This still worked very well and definitely makes a focus on purpose to address each of the questions, it just took more to keep me interested. I think some of that was due to the historical nature, as I have little to no interest in history and find it quite boring to read about so I got more than my share in one or two chapters. There isn’t too much of this historical componetn though so it didn’t hold me back from continuing through the book and exploring each of the questions with great interest.
Overall, I definitely enjoyed this book and I certainly recommend it to anyone wanting to examine any of these questions that are covered and also for a beginning some study of apologetics or simply general interest or skepticism in Christ. I’m not sure the book on its own will drive too many people to believing in Christ but it can certainly give more evidence and reason to believe. I wouldn’t say its inpiring or motivational, however, it is very informative and great opportunity to learn. I think there could have been a bit more examination of the personal impact on each of the experts lives in study Christ. That leaves a bigger mark on my heart when there is a direct experiencial story around each topic, not just the facts. I’m happy to know more about these areas now and to match them to my own experience in knowing Christ which just helps to strengthen that belief. I hope you may find the same in reading it!
There’s Always Skeptics, Aren’t There?
Now, since every trial or case should have both sides, I just want to point out one more thing. While there are certainly no shortage of skeptics out there about Christianity and some of those towards Strobel’s book, I found the book to be exactly what it titles, a Case FOR Christ. The skeptics argue that he did not interview objectively to get the full debate and views available and while that may be true, the whole point of the book is to build a case that supports the belief in Christ and he does a fine job of building that case and exploring the sides that support this. There are plenty of books available to read the constrasting arguments and they examine the case against Christ so you need to remember that in reading this book. This book is not intended as a debate, its a one sided argument from one perspective. Now I’ve read some skeptical and athiest comparisons of this book (just at a review level) and I don’t find them to provide much other than their opinion either, so I’ll choose the one I want from what I know and live happy with my decision to believe. I’d rather have believed and been wrong than never to have believed in the first place. I think someone a lot smarter than me said that? I can’t think of who right now…
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