A wonderful book for anyone from a new Christian burdened with questions to an experienced apologist looking for a way to share the faith to a non-Christian with an academic interest in the Christian perspective. It's clear, written in a language those unfamiliar with Christian terms can understand, unoffensive and catering to those with genuine skepticism and a thirst for information. I'd recommend it for anyone, whatever their religion, as a good resource for understand the Christian worldview and tackling difficult theological questions.
The evidences for Christ and His claims are all there. The only choice is whether to ignore them or not. Strobel brings it all together in a concise, convincing manner to fortify the position that Christianity is not "blind" faith, as some would call it, but instead is a "reasonable" faith, based on solid, unquestionable evidence.
Whether you are simply curious about the Christian faith, or an outright skeptic, this book will give you the facts.
The author of this book was an atheist who set out to prove that Jesus could not possibly be who he claimed, the Son of God. In the process, he not only became convinced of Christ's divinity, he became a Christian. A very carefully thought out presentation of the evidence, both in the Bible and outside, concerning Jesus. Not only that, well written and engaging, too!
This is an excellent book that answers many questions about the validity of the NEW TESTAMENT. Lee Strobel cross-examines a dozen experts in different fields to answer the question \"Is there credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Son of God?\". It will make the skeptic in you believe.
I thought I was getting an impartial account of what we know about the historical Jesus. The author spent 1/2 the book explaining just how impartial he was (because of his training in journalism - gag), and the other half being a transparent advocate of his world view. Lame.
Thought the book was really lame. If you are already a believer in his "sources" then it makes sense. But, if you are looking for new evidence, it's not here. There's nothing new or mind changing in this book.
If you are not a believer before you read this book, and you are unconvinced AFTER you read this book, than I don't know what more I can tell you. A very precise and lucid account of a sceptics journey through the evidence
I enjoyed the book, however I would have liked to have seen some of the other research mentioned in the book by the "experts" he went to visit and to ask his questions. I was not aware of these experts before the book, but again, I wasn't looking for a reason to believe. It was easy to convince me, I believed before I read the book.
It seems like he got the answers that convinced him, and that's wonderful.
I still say a person has to be willing to believe before they will believe.
I caught Lee Stroebel's first "expert" in an outright lie in the first chapter and didn't read any further. The first expert says things about history that have been debunked by reputable scholars in both the secular and religious world. If the first interview contains falsehoods, I can only assume that the rest of the book is full of lies and half-truths as well. Anyone who REALLY knows history knows that dr. Blomburg, the first "expert" (who obviously is a fundamentalist who wants to convert people) is blatantly wrong and probably knows it.
I didn't bother to read further. This book is full of crap.
Excellent. Excellent. A must read. This book gives a very informed and logical approach to the historical pictures given in the Bible, especially the person of Christ. I keep ordering this book because I give so many away. Few things are really important in the daily grind, but how one views this Jesus can impact a persons entire life.
I found this book to be babyish and self-serving. I have a strong belief in God and wanted to read this book to find out more about the evidence out there on Jesus. I think I could have easily read the work of each of the folks he interviewed and found out what he found out. He tries to make it seem like he did all of this investigative interviewing and that he is so much more discriminating in his information gathering than most people but all he did was go and talk to various research professors and write down what they said. Then to make it even more annoying, at the end of each chapter he has several reflective questions for the reader about the information and its results on their belief in God. It didn't leave me with the impression that he tries to set which is that he is writing the book from the perspective of an unbiased reporter/attorney pulling out the truth regardless of his stance on it. I did learn many things that I did not know previously but I found the authors writing style very condescending which made reading it difficult and took me longer than most books to finish.
I found this book unconvincing, and, what's worth, filled with lies, exaggerations, and half truths. For example, the first "expert" gives a statement that has been thoroughly debunked by both secular and religious scholars. It took me five minutes on the internet to find about a dozen reputable places that disagreed with him and cited a great deal more evidence than he did. Either Stroebel is blissfully unaware of actual historic facts and simply didn't do research or he is a "liar for Christ" who doesn't care what untruths he writes just so that he gets people into the Christian fold. For God sakes, if you're going to try and convert people, tell the truth, at least.
This was a very interesting book and I read it in one day. I plan to pass it on to a friend but just have not done it. Sometimes I look back for reference to his investigations. I did not a lot of what was in this but once I read it I wanted to read more.
I'm a Christian and I cannot stand this book. It's filled with fake answers that don't really answer the questions. If an athiest or any Christian asked you these questions and you read him/her the answers from this book, he/she would have no trouble stumping you and pointing out how your answers from this book are "sunday school" answers that only would satisfy an unknowing child. Waste of money.
Instead, read the books written by people challenging the bible, then find your own answers. Like if you read Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus and other books, then go find the truth. The Bible may not be infallible, but that doesn't mean God isn't true. When you read up on Bible/early Christian history, the "pat" Christian answers fail. When you learn Constantine the Great worshipped Apollo and set himself up as god, then you know he was no great Christian leader. But the Bible and "churchianity history" doesn't have to be true. God still is true. These things were done by corrupt, power-hungry man. But God is still real. Find the real God. God beyond human error and human writings.
As a skeptic and self-professed atheist, Lee Strobel had believed that the idea of God was a result of myth and superstitious wishful thinking. On the surface, too many questions in his mind didnt add up to the fact of an all-knowing, loving, sovereign God. And to Strobel, Jesus was nothing more than a colorful, if not self-deceived, historical figure, if he actually existed at all.
"I had read just enough philosophy and history to find support for my skepticismThere was enough proof for me to rest easy with the conclusion that the divinity of Jesus was nothing more than the fanciful invention of superstitious people."
Besides being a skeptic, Strobel was a criminal investigative journalist and legal editor of the Chicago Tribune. When his wife became a Christian in 1979, he decided to set aside his preconceived ideas and do some honest investigative research to see what kind of hard evidence he could dig up on Jesus and the Bible.
In a similar way in which a reporter researches and analyzes evidence to solve a criminal case, Strobel explored every angle and source in order to determine the truth about the person of Jesus. His findings are presented in this book. Strobels investigative process is broken into three phases:
- Examining the record Analyzing the authenticity and reliability of the written accounts
- Analyzing Jesus Learning who He was, based on his character, his words, his actions, and his identity
- Researching the Resurrection Uncovering evidence that supports the fact that Christ rose from the dead
Strobel looks into the authenticity and trustworthiness of eyewitness reports and of Jesus biographers, the Gospel writers, as well as what other historians have written. He asks questions such as:
- Are their stories consistent? Is there a possibility of bias, cover-up, or personal gain on the part of the writers?
- Is it possible the original facts and the intent of the writers could be preserved for all this time?
- Are there other writings from the period that support or discredit the claims of the first century Christians?
- Is the Jesus of history the same as the Jesus of faith?
- Did Jesus really make claims to deity? And if he did, was there any support for those claims, or was he simply a madman?
- Is it possible that the resurrection was merely a hoax or a conspiracy?
In order to answer these questions and more, Strobel sought out thirteen top scholars and authorities on the Bible and other historical documents, archaeology, medicine, the teachings, culture, and traditions of first century Judaism, the life and claims of Christ, and the resurrection itself. The content and information was thorough, well-documented, and useful.
What I didnt care for in this book was Strobels writing style. Each chapter begins with a contemporary criminal case that illustrates the type of evidence that will be examined in that chapter, which was fine. But then Strobel describes his cross-country trips to meet and interview various experts, each of which he introduces by giving their credentials (educational background, position, and books written) and describing irrelevant details such as how they are dressed and how their office is furnished. At first it was alright, but it got tiresome by the third chapter and was information I could do without. Then, in the last chapter, where Strobel comes to the point of drawing his conclusions, we read:
"The date was November 8, 1981. Ispent the afternoon replaying the spiritual journey I had been traveling for twenty-one months. My investigation into Jesus was similar to what youve just read, except that I primarily studied books and other historical research instead of personally interacting with scholars."
So come to find out, these in-person interviews were apparently contrived to fit the format Strobel chose to use. I have a degree in Literature, so I can appreciate the use of literary devices and poetic license, but I personally felt this to be a bit disingenuous.
After two years of (we assume, some) interviews and heavy research, Strobel was forced to re-evaluate his position on Christ:
"I was ambushed by the amount and quality of the evidence that Jesus is the unique Son of GodI had seen defendants carted off to the death chamber on much less convincing proof! The cumulative facts and data pointed unmistakably toward a conclusion that I wasnt entirely comfortable in reachingIn light of the convincing facts I had learned during my investigation, in the face of this overwhelming avalanche of evidence in the case for Christ, the great irony was this: it would require much more faith for me to maintain my atheism than to trust in Jesus of Nazareth!It was finally time to deal with the most pressing question of all: Now what?"
For the person who is already a believer in Jesus Christ, this book is profitable, as it will certainly strengthen your faith and convictions. Additionally, it will familiarize you with topics that often come up in discussions about the historical Jesus, the resurrection, and the authenticity of the Scriptures, such as: the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Gospel of Thomas, the Jesus Seminar, the writings of Josephus, the physical effects of death by crucifixion, and theories on the resurrection. This may also be a useful book to give someone you know who has questions regarding these issues.
To one who has been skeptical of the claims of Jesus or the Bible, I would challenge them to read The Case for Christ and do some of your own honest research. But more importantly, along with Strobels book, read the Bible for yourself. If youre sincere in your desire to know the truth, seek God out in prayer, asking Him to reveal Himself to you.
However, something must be kept in mind. We must remember that no amount of physical evidence, historical proofs, or scholarly research will ultimately be what convinces a skeptic of the truths of God, for as the apostle Paul reminded the Corinthians, But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (I Cor. 2:14). There is nothing wrong with building your knowledge base so that you are prepared to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you (I Peter 3:15), but we are to do that with meekness and fear, having a good conscience. The way we live our lives before men is what will cause them to inquire about our faith more than just what we tell them. But ultimately what will really make the difference as we share the truth with others, is not how much we know or how persuasive our speech is, but the power of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 2:4) who softens hearts of stone and opens darkened minds to accept Christ.
This book was interesting and there were some things I found surprising but I read this book thinking specifically about the people that I know that are set in their belief that God is not real and Jesus was just a man. I already believe in God so I was hoping for something that would be very convincing for someone who doesn't believe, at all. I felt that the fact that many of the experts got their education from faith-based schools would cause those people that don't believe to feel those experts were biased. Also, since this was approached as a "case" being investigated and presented to a jury I was waiting for the cross witness or the other attorney (disbeliever) to ask their questions of the expert witnesses. The author does ask the experts what they think about some things critics have said or written in their books etc., but these things seemed pretty mellow most of the time or completely out there. I know there are some scholars on both sides that have had some intense debates that would be more interesting to witness for me. A lot of the time the experts were giving their opinions and the author seemed to accept them too easily when I know other people would still have doubts and questions. Of course, this book is about the author's personal experience and how he went about this process for himself and each person is encouraged to do their own investigation.
While the works for the individual "interviewees" in this book have merit on their own, the premise of this book is that they are being interviewed by a hard-nosed investigative reporter. The fact is, they are being interviewed by an author who already agrees with their premises before he speaks with them, and postures as asking the hard questions, while really he is lobbing softballs. Additionally, the book fails to live up to the author's claim of investigative reporting, by refraining to interview even one person with counter claims or alternate perspectives. Overall, the book is a failure because it does not live up to the premises it claims for itself.