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Forensic Faith: A Homicide Detective Makes the Case for a More Reasonable, Evidential Christian Faith Paperback – May 1, 2017
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From the Publisher
When police officers become detectives, they learn a set of disciplines, principles and philosophies that eventually change the way they see the world, both on and off duty. In essence, investigative habits become a way of life, changing the very nature of the way they experience and understand truth and the way they communicate this truth to others. Forensic Faith shares Cold Case disciplines and practices with followers of Jesus in order to encourage them to develop a more integrated, robust, certain, and defensible faith. J. Warner has served as both a youth and lead pastor and has seen the importance of 'certainty'. When young people are uncertain, they succumb to the doubts and challenges they face in college. Many leave the faith.
When adults are uncertain, they succumb to apathy and indifference. Many fail to live their lives as passionate, committed believers. Case Making Christians, however, are engaged, inspired and energized by 'evidential certainty'. They understand that their faith is more than wishful thinking and they have the ability to examine and re-communicate the evidence for Christianity. Forensic Faith will help followers of Jesus to embrace the disciplines and practices of detectives so they will have the certainty required to live a passionate and engaged Christian life.
Defend Your Faith Like Never Before
- 5 Evidential Examples to Help You Embrace Your Calling as a Christian Case Maker
- 5 Steps toward Preparing Yourself to Protect and Serve as a First Responder
- 5 Practices to Help You Examine the Claims of Christianity Like a Good Detective
- 5 Principles to Help You Share What You Believe Like a Good Prosecutor
More Great Resources from J. Warner Wallace
God's Crime Scene
A former atheist and seasoned cold-case detective invites readers to sit on the jury as he makes a compelling case for God’s existence with eight critical pieces of evidence found in the crime scene of our universe.
A cold-case homicide detective takes the lessons he has learned from years of investigation and uses them to examine the evidence, eyewitnesses, and records of the New Testament. Can the Gospels be trusted despite the evidence or because of it?
Are you ready to start a new journey as a follower of Christ? Are you ready to have greater impact on your culture? Forensic Faith provides you with the strategies and the tools needed to become an effective Christian case maker.
"Now more than ever it's important to know what you believe and why you believe it. As a Christian in an increasingly skeptical world, we must do more than tell people what the Bible teaches; we must help them understand why they can trust what it says about Jesus. Are you ready to make the case? Forensic Faith will help you develop a faith that's dedicated, inquisitive and prepared to answer the tough questions." - Andy Stanley, Senior Pastor of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia,
"Today, too many evangelical Christians would rather 'feel' their faith than actually understand and defend it. With biblical precision,solid evidence and masterful reasoning, Jim Wallace challenges believers to both embrace and make a thoughtful and intellectually robust case for historic Christianity. Forensic Faith is exactly what the church needs today!" - Janet Mefferd, Nationally syndicated Christian radio personality and host of Janet Mefferd Today
"Charles Malik, famed ambassador to the U.S., rightly quipped, 'If you win the whole world and lose the mind of the world, you will soon discover that you have not won the world. Indeed, it may turn out that you have actually lost the world.' In Forensic Faith, Christian apologist J. Warner Wallace underscores the danger of anti-intellectualism and equips you to do something about it." - Hank Hanegraaff, The Bible Answer Man, bestselling author and president of the ChristianResearch Institute
"J. Warner Wallace's Forensic Faith completes the trilogy of wonderful books making the evidentiary case for the historicity and veracity of the Christian faith in language that twenty-first Americans can clearly and readily understand. I have seldom seen an approach to verifying the truth claims of the Christian faith that is more effective than the one taken by 'God's police detective,' J. Warner Wallace.Buy two copies of this book. Read one and keep it, and share one with a lost friend." - Dr. Richard Land, President, Southern Evangelical Seminary
"Few professions better prepare a person to follow the evidence than being a detective. And few detectives are better prepared Christians to be apologists than J. Warner Wallace. This book is a classic in how to be a more effective defender of the Christian Faith. I highly recommend it for every Christian, even for those who have given no thought to being an apologist." - Dr. Norm Geisler, Chancellor of Veritas Evangelical Seminary, and author of over 100 books,including Conversational Evangelism
"Unless you're one of the three people in America who believe the church is successfully making disciples and winning over the culture, Forensic Faith is a book that you must read and heed NOW!Detective Wallace shows you how to make a persuasive case for Christianity and why it's absolutely necessary to do so. The third book in a brilliant series (Cold Case Christianity, God's Crime Scene),Forensic Faith is not only insightful and practical, it is beautifully illustrated.So join the growing movement of case makers to help advance God's Kingdom by putting this book into practice NOW!" - Dr. Frank Turek, Christian apologist, President of CrossExamined Ministries, and author of I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be An Atheist and Stealing From God
"Jim Wallace has done us all a service with Forensic Faith. In these pages, Jim not only makes a great case for the importance of apologetics, but also gives us a thorough and thoughtful method for how to use apologetics in discussing the credibility of the Christian Faith. As a trained trial attorney and evangelist, I highly recommend Forensic Faith." - Abdu Murray, North American Director of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and author of Grand Central Question: Answering the Critical Concerns of the Major Worldviews
"Perhaps, more today than ever, Christians need to be able to defend what they believe and why they believe it, and to do so with passion and proof. In this book, J. Warner Wallace reminds us that the truth is fearless and so should be every true believer." - Jack Hibbs,
Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills and host of Real Life with Jack Hibbs
"Whether you are an individual looking for where to start answering doubts about Christianity or you are a church community looking to better train and equip your people, Forensic Faith is the practical guide you need. J. Warner Wallace has brought together his intriguing detective stories with practical help for the beginning case-maker. It's like a reader 'ride-along' in a police cruiser, learning the ropes on how to thoughtfully investigate the truth." - Mary Jo Sharp, Assistant Professor of Apologetics, Houston Baptist University and author of Resilient Faith and Why Do You Believe That? A Faith Conversation
"'What is truth?' Pontius Pilot's question reverberates through the ages to our own skeptical day. J. Warner Wallace challenges you to answer the 'Pilots 'of your day with Jesus words, 'I have come into the world to bear witness to the truth' and then he equips you to make the case for that truth. More than anyone I have read, Jim trains you to think, prepares you to practice, and encourages you to step out with Forensic Faith." - Bill Parkinson, Founding and "Sageworks" Pastor of Fellowship Bible Church, Little Rock,Arkansas
"This book connects.It is one of the most accessible books addressing the foundational issues in apologetics I have ever seen.Superb material--that every Christian student and leader needs to master--presented in a way that is enormously thoughtful and engaging. My hope is that churches around the globe read it, study it, and apply it. It will turn the Church, and then the world, upside down." - Craig J. Hazen, Ph.D., Founder and Director, Graduate Program in Christian Apologetics, and author of Five Sacred Crossings: A Novel
"Most apologetics texts introduce the major evidences favoring Christianity. Having completed that task already in two previous volumes, Jim Wallace's third book in his trilogy, Forensic Faith, is one of only a handful of books that wades into the turbulent waters among the sharks and shows readers how actually to apply the evidences. And why not? As a cold-case homicide detective in Los Angeles for many years and a passionate atheist aswell, Jim's job was to emphasize real-life applications of evidence in the toughest situations. But while applying the same rules used in solving murders,he realized after a long search that Christianity was absolutely true! Who better to learn apologetic strategies from than one who has spent decades in the trenches? This volume comes highly recommended! - Gary R. Habermas, Distinguished Research Professor & Chair, Philosophy Dept., Liberty University & Theological Seminary and author of The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus
"Forensic Faith has the kind of unique insight we have come to expect from cold-case detective, J. Warner Wallace. Drawing from skills learned from decades of successfully investigating cold-case homicides, Wallace shows exactly how to go about making a compelling case to Christianity's critics. This isn't the "what," but the "how" - the part most Christians are missing. If you want a practical guide to being a more effective Christian case-maker, Forensic Faith is the book you're looking for." - Melinda Penner, Executive Director of Stand to Reason, and STR's senior blogger
"I didn't think J. Warner Wallace could top his masterpiece Cold Case Christianity. I was wrong. In Forensic Faith, Wallace gets right to the point. It's not enough for Christians to believe accidentally; they must know their faith evidentially. But there's a problem: Many Christians don't know how to defend the faith. Worse still, many don't want to know. Their ignorance is sustained by denial. Wallace graciously, but firmly, says we must do better. Then he masterfully shows us how. Whether you work at Starbucks, drive truck, or attend school, we are all apologists now. You may be a prosecutor or a defender, but either way, you have a case to make. There is no finer book for getting started." - Scott Klusendorf, President of Life Training Institute and author of The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture
"Our Summit students love J. Warner Wallace for the same reason criminals hate him. As one of America's most well-known cold-case detectives his proven tactics have helped bring the guilty to justice even decades after their crimes. Now Wallace shows how those same detective skill scan help you confidently share Christianity's truth. Forensic Faith is a faith-building page-turner." - Jeff Myers, Ph.D., President, Summit Ministries
"In Forensic Faith,Jim Wallace continues his relentless pursuit to transform millions of complacent,unprepared Christians into competent advocates for the truth of the Gospel.This book is for those who are serious about accepting this challenge and doing the hard work necessary to become informed, inspired and involved." - Rice Broocks, Pastor, Founder of Every Nation worldwide family of churches, and author of God's Not Dead
"As a former atheist and a police officer, J Warner Wallace understands the importance of evidence -- whether it's the evidence needed toconvict a criminal, or the evidence needed to change the heart of a skeptic. In this important new book, Jim offers an impassioned plea for Christians to get a hold of biblical faith--which isn't blind faith but faith based on evidence: in other words, Forensic Faith. In the increasingly secular and skeptical age we live in, with many (especially young adults) abandoning the Church, it's vital that Christians don't just know what we believe, but why we believe it--for there's only one good reason to believe in Christianity, and that's if it's true. Forensic Faith is designed to wake up slumbering Christians, encourage them to get to grips with the life of mind and the reasons why we can be sure Christianity is true--and then, with confidence and conviction, engage their friends and colleagues with the gospel. This is a much needed message in many parts of the Church--and thus I hope that Forensic Faith will help many become passionate Christian case-makers." - Andy Bannister, Christian Apologist at Ravi Zacharias Ministries, and author of The Atheist Who Didn't Exist: Or the Dreadful Consequences of Bad Arguments
"I have been waiting for this book for some time. Wallace practically and succinctly makes the case for why every Christian can be a"case maker" for Christ. As a pastor, I know many in my congregation who want to share their faith with non-Christians, but they don't simply because they do not feel equipped. This is why every church leader needs Forensic Faith. In it,I have found the textbook I have needed for years to help people make the evidential case for the truth of the Christian faith." - Scott Luck, Lead Pastor, Stones Crossing Church, Greenwood, Indiana
"J. Warner brings renewed energy and duty back to knowing how to give an answer for what we believe. His practical and challenging detective approach challenges every disciple of Jesus to no longer be the"accidental Christian" but to have and a clear and compelling answer. This book will be a great tool for any Christ follower that desires to make a evidential case for why they believe. It's a call to action for all of us. - Troy A Murphy, Pastor of Green Bay Community Church and Chaplain for the Green Bay Packers
"There are many excellent apologetics books available today,but most Christians still aren't interested enough in learning to make a case for and defend their faith to read those books--a tragic fact for the church in an increasingly hostile secular world. Forensic Faith is the urgently needed book that boldly speaks to the church at large about this dangerous disconnect. In the same captivating style as Cold-Case Christianity and God's Crime Scene, Det. Wallace makes the ultimate case for apologetics itself and masterfully lays out a practical guide to help every Christian embrace their calling as a case maker. It's compelling, concise, and extremely accessible. Forensic Faith is the book I wish I could hand to every Christian today." - Natasha Crain, Blogger, Speaker, and Author of Keeping Your Kids on God's Side: 40Conversations to Help Them Build a Lasting Faith
"In Forensic Faith award winning cold-case detective and bestselling author J. Warner Wallace makes a compelling case for becoming a Christian case maker. Filled with practical advice and powerful evidence, this innovative approach will help everyday Christians learn why they believe and how to share the reason for their hope with others." - Dr. Jonathan Morrow, Director of Creative Strategies at Impact 360 Institute, popular speaker and author of Welcome to College
From the Author
What would you say if someone asked you: "Why are you a Christian?" Christianity can be defended evidentially,but most of us aren't ready to do so. In Forensic Faith, I will provide you with the strategies and tools necessary to make the case.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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By J.Warner Wallace
J.Warner Wallace is a retired cold case homicide detective who has applied his unique experience to Christianity in his books Cold Case Christianity and God’s Crime Scene. In Forensic Faith, Wallace makes the case for case-making. We are not all called to be detectives, but Wallace notes we are called to be case-makers, and offers his insights as to how we can effectively make the case for Christianity.
While apologetics has been making a comeback in recent years, there is still a lot of resistance to the idea within the church. As noted here, there are still leaders in the church who think faith that is not grounded in reasons and evidence is somehow more “pure.” Wallace’s book is part of a growing effort to correct this misconception.
The book is only 224 pages, but there is a lot of insight and information in a small package. In his preface, Wallace distinguishes between belief that happens to be right and knowledge grounded in reasons. He notes that many, if not most Christians hold a true belief, but are not prepared to defend that belief. In chapter 1, Wallace lays out an argument for why Christians ought to be able to defend the faith, giving five examples. In chapter 2, training is emphasized over teaching, noting that training is what prepares you for action. Five steps for training are laid out. In chapter 3, Wallace explains the necessity for research and continuing preparation and offers five things we can do to apply this. Chapter 4 then offers five ways you can make you case like a good prosecutor. These chapters are followed by notes for further study and links to more resources.
Forensic Faith is yet another example of Wallace’s gift for communication. He supplements the text with useful illustrations (which he draws himself) and examples from his extensive experience as a detective. What I found especially helpful was his response to those who claim “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. For one, he notes how extraordinary the claim is when he accuses someone of murder, and how they are convicted by ordinary evidence. Moreover, the alternative claims skeptics offer are no less “extraordinary” yet they do not offer extraordinary evidence for them.
One issue I would approach a little differently than Wallace is in his description of the answers he gets when he asks Christians why they believe what they do. I agree with him that they are unable to defend what they believe. However, I would not characterize this as belief without evidence or reasons. As Wallace himself points out, almost anything counts as evidence. When someone comes to faith, typically it is (on a human level) after they have heard the Gospel from someone they trust. If their parents, or their pastor tell them Christianity is true, and they have reasons to trust their parents and/or their pastor, then this trustworthiness counts and evidence. I realize that if this is all they have, it is of very limited value when it comes to defending their beliefs, but it is still evidence. As such, I would offer this to those skeptics who claim such people have no evidence. I would also offer it to those who think they need no evidence.
The structure of the book, each with an alliterated title (and the Baptists rejoiced) and five points of application (and all the apologists rejoiced) is easy to follow. This book is accessible for readers from middle school through graduate school. It is a must-read for all Christians. Did I mention it’s a good book?
Most recent customer reviews
A must read.
If wvoeryone in my church read it then we could be making a bigger impact.