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The Case Against The Case For Christ: A New Testament Scholar Refutes the Reverend Lee Strobel Paperback – February 15, 2010
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About the Author
Robert M. Price was reared a fundamentalist and became president of a chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and for a time was an apologist of the sort he refuted in Beyond born Again, Deconstructing Jesus, The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man, and Jesus Is Dead. He holds a PhD in Systematic Theology and a second PhD in New Testament from Drew University. He has served as Professor of Religion at Mount Olive College in North Carolina and is a member of The Jesus Seminar and The Jesus Project.
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One small criticism. The author and I do not share political views. I have no problem reading views which differ from mine. Here however, they seem to be offered gratuitously and seemingly as a shared joke. "Grumpy" liberals? Benghazi (sp.)? Holder? These references are distractions. They do not belong in a work this good.
Price, a scholar who has devoted his life to passionately studying Christianity, in all of its forms, certainly does not have an axe to grind with Christianity.
Price does, however, have an axe to grind with second rate Apologists like Stroble who butcher everything good and noble about the Christian religion.
Like Price, I share his bitterness toward Apologists that do a hack-job interpretation of the history, theology, and Christian tradition just to suit their own agendas.
In this book Price uses real biblical scholarship and real theology (he has PhDs in BOTH fields) to dismantle Stroble's popular apologetic work and effective show that Stroble doesn't know, let alone understand, the first thing about Christianity.
But don't take my word for it, read this book and find out for yourself!
The one downside I would point out is that if you are familiar with Price's previous works then this book recycles a lot of material. But for the person coming into it with fresh eyes and an open mind, there is more than enough scholarly insights to make you take a step back and really look at the bigger picture.
As usual, like Price's other popular works, the writing and research in The Case Against the Case for Christ is top notch and easily accessible, and no amount of detractors or naysayers will change this fact. But like I said, pick up this book! It deserves a place on your bookshelf.
My experience is closer to Price' than to Strobel's experience. I accept Christ as my Savior at age 17, became more serious about my life by re-committing my life to Christ at age 25, and dropped the optional Lordship doctrine for sanctification. Then, I graduated from a fundamentalist Bible School, and began reading Christian scholars, which lead me to read the Church fathers, and to actually compare the Gospel accounts. By age 39, I was convinced that there were obvious differences in the Gospel accounts. I was not what one would call an orthodox Christian after that. I did not go route of Robert M Price or Bart Ehrman, for that matter, because I'm definitely a monotheist, but I don't believe the main doctrines of Trinitarian Christianity.
Price takes a hard line, but it's no difference than what fundamentalist Evangelical Christians do. In fact, it's not as "in your face" as what one might get from some of the most anti-intellectual of the fundamentalist.
Notice that the Book is not titled "The Case Against Christ", because it criticizes Strobel's book. Price is not usually this hard-hitting, so I believe Price takes issue with how Strobel presents the scholarship, not the belief itself. It is true that Christians I know bought Strobel's book for themselves and to give away as a tool for evangelism. Strobel's book did not sell because lots of non-Christians ran out an bought The Case For Christ, but because lots of Christians bought more than the 1 copy for themselves. Nothing wrong with selling lots of books. But, just because a book sells well does not mean the scholarship is top notch.