The Case for Christ

The Case for Christ By Lee Strobel, Zondervan Publishing House,
Grand Rapids, MI 49530, 1998, 297 pages

I am trained in the sciences. My background in history is very limited. More and more as I present lectureships on the evidence for the existence of God, I run into people who realize that there is compelling evidence that God exists, but are skeptical about the biblical record concerning Christ. This situation has been compounded by the media's incessant attacks on Christianity by promoting groups like the Jesus Seminar as an attempt to discredit Christianity. I have often wished that a credible scholar would write a book that deals with the challenges of atheists and liberals in a way that I would understand. Lee Strobel has done that .

Lee Strobel was a journalist with the Chicago Tribune for 13 years. He holds a law degree from Yale, but is probably known for his work with the Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. What makes this book strong however is not Mr. Strobel's credentials but the credentials of the people who provide the factual base of this book.

What Strobel has done is to pose questions and challenges to outstanding scholars that atheists and skeptics typically raise about the credibility of the Bible and about Christ. The scholars explain why the challenges are not valid and why they believe the Bible and Christianity are credible. Each section is preceded by a case in criminal court that Strobel is familiar with that demonstrates how evidence should be used and how it is sometimes misapplied. Here is a list of the general questions and the experts who answer them:

Can the biographies of Jesus be trusted? Dr. Craig Blomberg
Do the biographies of Jesus stand up to scrutiny? Dr. Craig Blomberg
Were Jesus' biographies reliably preserved for us? Dr. Bruce Metzger
Is there credible evidence for Jesus outside His biographies? Dr. Edwin Yamauchi
Does archaeology confirm or contradict Jesus' biographies? Dr. John McRay
Is the Jesus of history the same as the Jesus of faith? Dr. Gregory Boyd
Was Jesus really convinced that He was the Son of God? Dr. Ben Witherington III
Was Jesus crazy when He claimed to be the Son of God? Dr. Gary Collins
Did Jesus fulfill the attributes of God? Dr. D. A. Carson
Did Jesus alone match the identity of the Messiah? Louis Lapides
Was Jesus' death a sham and His resurrection a hoax? Dr. Alexander Metherell
Was Jesus' body really absent from His tomb? Dr. William Lane Craig
Was Jesus seen alive after his death on the cross? Dr. Gary Habermas
Are there any supporting facts that point to the resurrection? Dr. J. P. Moreland

A conclusion section discusses what the evidence establishes and what it means today.

Strobel writes the book in a relaxed style, but a lot of good questions are solidly dealt with. He slams the Jesus Seminar strongly and correctly and quotes many well known atheists of our day. We recommend this book very highly, especially to people challenged by the onslaught of challenges by atheists and skeptics to the credibility of Christ and the Bible.

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