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Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Cold-Case Christianity is a fantastic book. I wish I had this resource when I first examined the Christian faith. It would have answered many of my questions and helped set me on the track to truth." (Josh McDowell, Speaker and author of Evidence that Demands A Verdict)

"Cold Case Christianity is simply the most clever and compelling defense I've ever read for the reliability of the New Testament record. Case closed." (Gregory Koukl, President Stand to Reason, Speaker and author of Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing your Christian Convictions)

"It's a fascinating process, with Jim drawing on his quarter century of police experience to explain how and why the evidence of history decisively tips the scales in favor of Christianity." (Lee Strobel, Author of The Case for Christ and The Case For Faith)

"The moment I heard of J. Warner Wallace's idea for a book, I thought it was one of the freshest ideas I'd heard in a long time. And now seeing the book in hand, he totally delivers." (Craig J. Hazen, Founder and Director of the Christian Apologetics Program, Biola University, author of the novel Five Sacred Crossings)

“My friend Jim Wallace was an angry atheist for 35 years until he walked through the doors of Saddleback Church. There his life was radically changed by Jesus. Today, Jim is one of the most thoughtful and winsome apologists for the Gospel I know. Cold Case Christianity is literally packed with insights to share with the skeptics in your life and this book will give you the confidence to share it!”
Dr. Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life and pastor of Saddleback Church

From the Author

I wrote Cold-Case Christianity because the historic truth claims of Christianity are under attack from every direction. If ever there was a time to study the case for the eyewitness reliability of the gospels, the time is now:
  • Anti-Christian Books Are Increasingly Influential: Books like Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion, Christopher Hitchens' God is Not Great, Sam Harris' Letter To A Christian Nation, and Bart Ehrman's Forged: Writing in the Name of God - Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are have influenced millions of readers and challenged the essential truth claims of the gospel accounts.
  • Fewer People Identify Themselves As Christians: The number of people who identify themselves as Christians in America, for example, has decreased by over 10% in the past 20 years (American Religious Identification Survey 1990-2008)
  • Young People Are Leaving the Church in Record Numbers: As many as 70% of those who identify themselves as Christians entering college will walk away from their faith by the time they are seniors and only about a third of these young people will ever return to the Church (LifeWay Research Study 2007)
  • Intellectual Skepticism Is a Growing Problem: When young ex-Christians are asked about their reasons for leaving, the largest percentage identify intellectual skepticism or doubt as the culprit (Smith and Denton, Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers, 2005)
  • The Claims of the Gospels Are Under Attack: When surveyed, young members of the church are less and less convinced that the gospel accounts are reliable. 63% don't believe that Jesus is the Son of the one true God. 51% don't believe that Jesus rose from the dead (Josh McDowell, The Last Christian Generation, 2006
It's time for a "Cold-Case" approach to the Gospels. Cold-Case Detectives investigate specific types of criminal events:
  1. Events that occurred in the distant past
  2. For which there are typically no living eyewitnesses
  3. And little or no direct physical evidence
These cases are made by examining the nature of circumstantial evidence and assembling a convincing, cumulative circumstantial case. The claims of the New Testament Gospels can be similarly investigated:
  1. The gospels record events that occurred in the distant past
  2. For which there are no living eyewitnesses
  3. And no direct physical evidence
The tools used by Cold-Case Investigators can be applied to the New Testament gospels to determine if the facts they represent are a true record of the life of Jesus.
 
I want to teach you how to be a good detective. Cold-Case Christianity will:
  • Provide you with ten principles of cold-case investigations and equip you to use these concepts as you consider the claims of the New Testament gospel authors. These simple principles will give you new insight into the historic evidence for Christianity.
  • Provide you with a four step template to evaluate the claims of the gospel writers. Cold-Case Christianity will teach you how to evaluate eyewitnesses to determine if they are reliable. You'll then be able to employ this template as you examine the claims of the gospel eyewitnesses.
  • Provide you with the confidence and encouragement necessary to make an impact on your world. As your evidential certainty grows, so too will your desire to share the truth with others. Cold-Case Christianity will equip you to reach others with the truth. 
Cold-Case Christianity will help you understand the power of circumstantial evidence, drawing on 25 years of law enforcement experience (15 years spent working Cold-Case Homicides). I'll share my personal journey from atheism to Christian certainty while describing the essential components of eyewitness reliability, abductive reasoning and the rules of evidence. You'll come away with fresh insight and the ability to articulate what you already intuitively understand from your cultural familiarity with homicide investigations. You'll also be able to apply this renewed understanding to the case for Christianity.

Product Details

  • File Size: 18433 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook (January 1, 2013)
  • Publication Date: January 1, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A71Y7I8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,278 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

J. Warner Wallace is a cold-case homicide detective, adjunct professor of apologetics at Biola University, Christian case maker and author. J. Warner was a conscientious and vocal atheist through his undergraduate and graduate work in Design and Architecture (CSULB and UCLA); he always considered himself to be an "evidentialist". His experience in law enforcement only served to strengthen his conviction that truth is tied directly to evidence. But at the age of thirty-five, J. Warner took a serious and expansive look at the evidence for the Christian Worldview and determined that Christianity was demonstrably true. After becoming a Christ follower in 1996, Jim continued to take an evidential approach to truth as he examined the Christian worldview. He eventually earned a Master's Degree in Theological Studies from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.

J. Warner served as a Youth Pastor for several years, then planted a church in 2006. Along the way, he created and built the Cold-Case Christianity website, blog and podcast as a place to post and talk about what he discovered related to the evidence supporting Christianity. Jim has appeared on television and radio, explaining the role that evidence plays in the Christian definition of "faith" and defending the historicity of Jesus, the reliability of the Bible and the truth of the Christian worldview. Jim also speaks at churches, retreats and camps as he seeks to help people become confident Christian case makers.

J. Warner's professional investigative work has received national recognition; his cases have been featured repeatedly on NBC's Dateline, and he's been awarded the Police and Fire Medal of Valor "Sustained Superiority" Award. Relying on over two decades of investigative experience, J. Warner provides his readers with the tools they will need to investigate the claims of Christianity and make a convincing case for the truth of the Christian worldview.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

367 of 392 people found the following review helpful By Lyndon Unger on January 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Christian apologetics is a constantly growing and changing scene and although it's the one career path that will absolutely guarantee that you'll never be rich, but there's definitely no shortage of "C-list/B-list" apologists out there. These folks are usually uneducated "discernment ministry" types running their own basement/blog "ministries" and defending the faith against the attacks of skeptics, academics, heretics and YouTube atheists. But, there are also a few "A-List" folks who have respectable education, write books, teach at Christian Colleges/Seminaries, debate Bart Ehrman or Richard Dawkins (two resume-making debaters for Christian apologists) and put on Alaskan cruises devoted to apologetics and worship via buffet. Of the "A-List" apologists, William Lane Craig is one of the biggest, so it's no surprise that several in his circle, the newest of which is J. Warner Wallace, are climbing onto the "A-List" and getting exposure (and plenty of endorsements from the staff and friends of Biola).

All that being said, when I started reading "Cold Case Christianity" by J. Warner Wallace, I already had an idea what to expect: Card-carrying evidentialist apologetics, mainly philosophical defense of Christianity, plenty of party-line towing with regards to the evidentialist apologists (i.e. Craig, Licona, Geisler, Habermas, Strobel, McDowell, Koukl, etc.), and a bit of theological inconsistency. I was not disappointed on that front; the book was what I expected.

There was also a lot that I didn't expect, and that is why this book has climbed high on my ladder of apologetics texts. I'll throw down the Pros and Cons of the book:

PROS:

1. The book is wonderfully written and organized. J.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By J.W. Wartick on January 3, 2013
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I'll forego the preliminaries here and just say it: this is the best introductory apologetics book in regards to the historicity of the Gospels I have ever read. If you are looking for a book in that area, get it now. If you are not looking for a book in that area, get it anyway because it is that good. Now, on to the details.

The book maps out an investigative journey through Christian history. How did we get the Gospels? Can we trust them? Who was Jesus? Do we know anything about Him? Yet the way that Wallace approaches this question will draw even those who do not care about these topics into the mystery. As a cold-case homicide detective, Wallace approaches these questions with a detective's eye, utilizing his extensive knowledge of the gathering and evaluation of evidence to investigate Christianity forensically.

He begins the work with a section on method. He argues that we must learn to acknowledge our presuppositions and be aware of them when we begin an investigation. Like the detective who walks into a crime scene with a preconceived notion of how the murder played out, we can easily fall into the trap of using our expectations about a truth claim to color our investigation of the evidence for that claim. Learning to infer is another vastly important piece of the investigation. People must learn to distinguish between the "possible" and the "reasonable" (34ff). This introduction to "abductive reasoning" is presented in such a way as to make it understandable for those unfamiliar with even the term, while also serving as great training on how to teach others to reason for those involved in apologetics.

Chapter 3, "Think Circumstantially" is perhaps the central chapter for the whole book.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Steven Pridgen on December 26, 2012
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I just finished this book and I really enjoyed it. This book is going to be one of the most influential books for skeptics and Christians beginning to get into apologetics. It is really accessible, while still being academically rigorous. I actually enjoyed it more (and think it is a better training tool) than On Guard, and I love Dr. Craig's work. The crime-scene investigator approach is a refreshing remodel of the often dry and books which are not very engaging for those new to the field. My younger brother is currently in the same Criminal Justice program I graduated from and I am going to get this book for him for his birthday, for sure. Really, I can't emphasize enough how much I enjoyed this book. If I had to choose one book to give to a non-Christian interested in examining the evidence for Christianity or a Christian wanting to begin learning how to defend his or he faith, this book would be my choice.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Peter S. Bradley on January 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
J. Warner Wallace - the author of Cold Case Christianity - structures his book around the basic conceit of adopting the role of a detective in order to apply the same critical and logical tools to the claims of Christianity as a detective might use to investigate a "cold case" file. Since Wallace actually is a cold case detective, and since he reasons and communicates very clearly, this device works incredibly well. He begins every chapter by analogizing the subject of the chapter - whether it is deciding whether to trust circumstantial evidence or examining a chain of custody - to some story from his detective career and then extending the principles he has learned from pragmatic experience to the more rarified air of history.

Warner's approach in this book suggests that his greatest gift is the practice of "common sense." "Common sense" not meaning "someone who agrees with the popular prejudices and attitudes of his culture," but "common sense" meaning "practical reasoning," namely approaching a practical, intellectual problem in a pragmatic, non-biased, logical way grounded in lived experience. This may not be a particularly flashy style, but it worked for Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas, and Warner suggests that it can work for the rest of us.

As a trial attorney, I found Wallace's reflections on the ins and outs of evidence and defense lawyer arguments to be as engaging and informative as his theological/historical discussion. Lay people who have extensive experience as witnesses - whether they be expert witnesses in civil practice or police officers in criminal cases - often come up with some fairly "off the wall" explanations of why lawyers do the things they do.
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