Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
A good starting place, but there are better books out there
on December 8, 2013
When I sit down to begin writing these reviews, I often find myself wishing that this site offered the ability to do half stars. This time was no exception; I was really torn between the two and three star ratings for these books but ended up going with the three star if only marginally. I felt one of the two books in this larger book deserved two stars while the second was probably more a three star rating but the latter slightly edged out the former. I wasn't wildly crazy about either of the books but they were closer to a three than a two.
Anyway, now that I've covered that on to the actual books. I was curious about these books for a while but hadn't gotten around to them until I heard some reviews from others that I knew that enjoyed them. When I started reading the series, I read it with a friend with a drastically different viewpoint than my own and we had some good discussions as we read through Case for Christ but I wasn't overly impressed with the book. It does have some interesting chapters and some decent insights but I quickly got tired of the repetitive set up of ever chapter. Three or four chapters into the book and you can write an outline for each chapter of how it will be approached as each interview is treated the same way. Does that make it easier to follow? Probably. Does that make it boring and dry? Definitely. Personally, I'm not all that bothered on what the person you interviewed was wearing or how their house is decorated.
I often felt that much of Case for Christ was not what I was expecting it to be. It brushed along the surface of many issues and just kind of wandered through them. For someone seeking, this might be a good resource but I also feel like the author let his journey color some of what he had written. For instance there were comments such as 'this had provided significant proof' or 'solid evidence' which is poorly done if you're attempting to be objective and not lead the reader. Also, there were times when weak arguments were accepted without even a question. There was one argument, I can't remember which it was exactly, but the person being interviewed said 'if you subscribe to the view of X, which most scholars do not, then y makes sense'. If most scholars don't believe that's accurate, why should it be swallowed wholeheartedly without the opposing side being presented?
Case for Christ was a weaker book than Case for Faith in my opinion because much of it just seemed to leave me thinking 'so what?' after I'd finished reading the chapter. Case for Faith deals with the tough issues that most people don't really want to deal with and sometimes the answers really aren't cut and dry as we'd like them to be but it doesn't try to skitter around them and just take the easy path as often as I felt Case for Christ did. That said, I think the book would have been vastly improved had it been approached with two interviews per subject, one pro and one against, to clearly show both sides and the views each holds.
All of that said, the books were okay and somewhat interesting but I would imagine there are books out there that deal with each of the issues in depth that would be better to study and read through than trying to tackle everything at once and only getting a brief preview of each issue.