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The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus (Case for ... Series) Paperback – September 6, 2016
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Lee Strobel probes with bulldog-like tenacity the evidence for the truth of biblical Christianity. - - Bruce M. Metzger, PhD, Professor of New Testament, Emeritus, Princeton Theological Seminary --Bruce M. Metzger, PhD --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Lee Strobel was the award-winning legal editor of The Chicago Tribune and is the bestselling author of The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith, The Case for a Creator, and The Case for Grace. With a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale, Lee has won four Gold Medallions for publishing excellence and coauthored the Christian Book of the Year. He serves as Professor of Christian Thought at Houston Baptist University. Visit Lee's website at: leestrobel.com
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The Case for Christ was a critical look at Christianity from the perspective of an atheist. Lee Strobel left no stone unturned. He tackled the historicity of the person Jesus, the resurrection account, miricals and every objection to which I wanted answers.
Before this, he spends 14 chapters in the book looking at common objections some people present for why they do not believe that Jesus is truly God as Christians believe. Strobel--who was once himself a nonbeliever/atheist--refutes the objections and is convinced that the objections are baseless. His arguments convinced me, too, but not all of the chapters were as important to me as the others. We all come to acceptance or rejection of Jesus as God from different places, and unless we are set in our thinking against the truth of Christian revelation, it seems to me that at least some of Strobel's reasons should prove to be persuasive. I have known people, however, who are so set in their opposition to accepting the divinity of Christ that I doubt this book (or any others) will make a difference. (I had a friend in college who was so wounded by life while a child that he turned against God in anger and identified as an atheist. He refused to consider any arguments for Christ and the Church and had build up a wealth of reasons why he was correct.)
This book should also be helpful to those who already believe in Christ because it presents many arguments and reservations by those opposed to belief in Christ. Knowing the arguments and sensible reasons against them can help Christians understand those opposing Christ and gives believers understanding of how to counter those arguments.
I agree with Strobel about the importance of the Spirit revealing the truth to us. While I was somewhat catechized and taught about Christian truths as a child (as much as a post-Vatican II child could be!) and didn't have great objections to belief, my faith was not deep and wasn't really important to me. Confirmation of my belief came to me as I encountered Christ though Scripture, prayer, the Church and sacraments (especially the Eucharist), and the community of believers. My now long pilgrimage in seeking to know Christ and understand him has led to deeper faith and a more joyful experience of it. Over time, indifference and questions I once had melted away. At times the "melting" was quite rapid; at other times, quite slow. But I persevered and my pilgrimage continues and enriches my life more as time passes. And I think that through me, my faith is also enriching the lives of others too. As Sister Pat says, "Thank you, Jesus."
The really great thing about Lee's "investigation" was that he set out to prove that his wife, who became a believer, and all the rest of us, were caught up in a huge scam. Experts in the fields where Lee's questions could be addressed were engaged in this quest. This book is not fiction!
Also, the movie, if you see it, does a great job of summarizing the whole investigation, and you get to "meet" those who were called on to fully answer Lee's questions, and they are not actors.
What I like about this is that while Strobel interviewed people, he condensed them for clarity and to help with the flow. So this reads a bit more like a story than a series of interviews.
I like that Strobel provides questions for reflection group study and resources at the end of each chapter. These resources are not only part of the annotated end notes but also "For Further Evidence" that relate to the chapter.
The fact that this is updated is very good too, because Strobel added some supplemental information that has come out since the book was fist published.
Lee Strobel was not happy when his wife said that she was converting to Christianity. This prompted him to delve deeper into the truth as he saw it - and prove that Jesus was not the son of God, that the Bible is filled with lies.
His work as a legal affairs editor who wrote on some tough cases in the city of Chicago was definitely helpful in this search for truth, causing his own conversion in 1981. Years later, he retraced and expanded on his initial investigations. The interviews (in the 1990s) with leading authorities in various fields are extensive. Strobel brings up random pieces of work I never knew existed, and his arguments are counteracted in ways I never heard of.
I loved learning of the history of the New Testament manuscripts. I'm not one for history, but the information is very interesting, and given in bite sizes so that I'm not overwhelmed by them.
There's a comprehensive understanding of Jewish culture, and knowing that proves that certain critics are so very wrong.
And we learn of things from other religions, ones I've never heard of and even though I looked them up, I still don't understand .
In Chapter 2, Strobel brings up a study that suggested that 10-40% "of any given retelling of sacred tradition could vary from one occasion to the next" (though fixed important aspects remained) and that it was up to members of the community to "intervene and correct the storyteller if he erred on those important aspects of the story."
That is utterly fascinating and is relevant not only to the Gospels but to curret life as well.
It's no wonder that atheists read this and convert.
When we change our biases - no matter the context - the situation reforms and sometimes becomes more clear.
With history, we need to step out of "today" and into the appropriate context.
There are some interesting conspiracy theories out there. Some just make me laugh.
Dr. Gregory Boyd sounds utterly fascinating. His interview was my favorite chapter.
The probability that one person fulfills even only 8 of the Old Testament prophesies is extremely small and mind boggling.
48 is insanely small.
And Jesus fulfilled more than that.
The word "excruciating" is a word that had to be created to describe the pain of crucifixion. That is crazy!
I was almost surprised that he didn't interview critics, but he explains his reasoning at the end - and he does state that the beginning that he needed to talk to theologians and Christians to best disprove the criticisms.
I LOVE the insights and implications in the conclusion as to why he had a shift in thinking - Christianity is based on truth.