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Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel Hardcover – September 8, 2014
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"Many people know my friend David Limbaugh as a bestselling author and political commentator. But he is also a lawyer trained to analyze evidenceand in Jesus on Trial he provides his personal journey to the truth of the Bible. A fantastic book!"
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Jesus is on trial
From popular culture to the halls of academia, Christianity is under attack. The Old Testament's accounts of history are often dismissed as myths, while the gospels are frequently derided as a fairy tale.
But the critics' arguments are far weaker than they first appear.
In Jesus on Trial, #1 New York Times bestselling author David Limbaugh confronts the skeptics head-on. Applying his lawyer's eye to the evidence, he produces powerful arguments demonstrating the Bible’s truthfulness. In this book Limbaugh shows:
- Abundant evidence that the Bible is the most historically reliable text among all ancient writings
- Why the gospels' account of Jesus' resurrection is far more convincing than any other explanation of His fate
- The Bible's astonishing feats of prophecy and the skeptics' feeble attempts to dismiss them
- How the critics' arguments against Christianity are infected with ideological bias
- The increasing archaeological evidence affirming the biblical account of history
- How Christianity is not only compatible with scientific methods, but was instrumental in the birth of modern science
Limbaugh knows the skeptics' arguments wellbecause he used to be a skeptic himself. In these pages he describes his own faith journey to Christianity, explaining in moving detail the arguments, evidence, and biblical passages that caused him to embrace Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
Part personal testimony, part Christian apologetic, part informative evaluation of the facts, and part primer on theology, Jesus on Trial provides Christians with a remarkable reaffirmation of their faithwhile offering a challenge to skeptics that cannot be ignored.
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David is a lawyer, but he doesn’t write like a lawyer. While he’s intellectually precise, he writes as if he’s sitting across the table from you, anticipating your questions and objections. This is rare for a book of Christian evidences (often called Christian apologetics). Such books often read like technical manuals, but not Jesus on Trial. Limbaugh not only does a masterful job of highlighting the abundant evidence that supports Christianity, his insights into what the scriptures actually say will have you marveling at the tapestry of scripture and the Savior who wove it.
From the very beginning, Limbaugh bares his soul, holding nothing back about how his previous doubts were shielded by an embarrassing lack of knowledge. He writes, “I knew, after all, that I hadn’t really given the Bible itself a hearing, much less a fair one. To my surprise— and this is embarrassing to admit—Steve showed me how verses of Scripture, both Old and New Testaments, were tied to others in content and theme with remarkable frequency. Amazingly, I had never looked at a reference Bible before, and I was blown away. My ignorance was on display, but Steve wasn’t remotely judgmental— to help me learn more, he even gave me that Bible. I was genuinely intrigued to discover that the Bible was not simply a mishmash of stories, allegories, alleged historical events, and moral lessons. There was obviously a pattern here, and for the first time in my life the Bible appeared to me to be thematically integrated. The scales on my eyes started peeling away.”
His two chapters called “Aha Moments” reveal the numerous tipping points in Limbaugh’s journey where scale after scale fell away—tipping points that no honest seeker of truth can ignore. Of course, as Limbaugh admits, many who are not interested in truth, or have their own agenda, ignore or remake Christ in their own image.
He writes, “We must not casually remake Jesus in the image in which we prefer to see Him or which conforms to the popular culture’s misperceptions about Him. Our politically correct culture may, presumptuously, choose to recast Jesus as indifferent to sin and saccharine sweet, no matter the circumstances, but this Jesus is God, and God cannot look upon sin. What do these revisionists make of the Jesus Who made a whip of cords and drove the moneychangers out of the Temple (John 2: 15)? … What do the revisionists say about the Jesus Whom Paul describes as “revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus ” (2 Thess. 1: 7– 8)? What of the difficult moral standard Jesus laid down in the Sermon on the Mount? Did He show indifference to sin there?” Limbaugh rightfully concludes: “This idea that Jesus is meek, mild, indifferent, and non-judgmental is the stuff of pure myth.”
In addition to correcting the culture’s emasculated view of Christ, Limbaugh has two fantastic chapters tackling the paradoxes of Christianity. These include: God’s plan of salvation, including the relationship between grace and works; the acknowledgement that we are sinful yet commanded to be perfect; the Trinity, that God is one in essence yet three in persons; that Jesus has two natures, human and divine; that you must give up your life to find it; that Christians are strong when they are weak; that God is sovereign yet humans have free will; that God knows all and is unchangeable, yet we are to pray; that the Bible is inspired yet written by men; and many others. The insights Limbaugh brings to these paradoxes are some of his own, and the best nuggets mined from Christian scholarship that I doubt you’ll find in one place anywhere else.
Limbaugh devotes several chapters to the evidence for the Bible, including its unity and reliability as evidenced through history, archaeology, prophecy and science. He debunks several myths and misunderstandings along the way, and then saves his final chapter for what many think is the atheist’s trump card against God: Evil.
Many years ago David provided me an “Aha Moment” during one of our very many theological discussions. He said, “Evil really bothers me, but only Christianity has a sensible answer to it.” There’s no question he’s correct. We wouldn’t even know what evil was unless good existed, and real objective good could only exist if God exists. As David explains, evil turns out to be a backhanded argument for God. In fact, evil is the very reason God entered human history in the person of Christ. Only his sacrifice can solve the evil in my heart and yours.
David puts it this way: “Don’t be offended by the notion that you must have saving faith in Christ. Don’t assume that God is making you jump through unnecessary hoops. He is the One Who suffered for you. He did this so that you could live. He doesn’t ask you to believe because He is on a divine ego trip, but because He loves you and wants you to latch on to Him in order to be saved from your sins.”
I just can’t recommend Jesus on Trial highly enough. Every thinking person should investigate the claims of Christ, who is unarguably the most influential human being to ever walk the earth. If his claims are true (and Limbaugh shows they are), then we won’t be putting him on trial—he will be putting each of us on trial. Only Christ can secure you a favorable verdict.
He's NOT writing it for people who have already made their minds up:
If you're into middle age or beyond and are a confirmed agnostic you're very likely going to say, "David Limbaugh is a deep-thinking author who masters his points and writes them with clarity. But he didn't convince me that there is a God."
If you're already deep into your life's walk through the Christian Faith you're likely going to say: "David Limbaugh reaffirmed my faith. He educated me to details that will help me to understand my faith more deeply, but on a fundamental plane he didn't tell me anything that I wasn't already convinced of."
Thus, if your mind is already made up, this book won't change it. Those who will find this book revealing are most likely be in their late teens through their late 20's --- young people trying to judge for themselves whether the Bible, and its central tenet that Jesus is the Son of God who died to give us salvation from our sins, is fact or fiction.
David Limbaugh talks to people who have Jesus on Trial in their minds by making these points:
1. The Bible has a self-reinforcing tapestry that is unlikely to have been invented by Man. When considered as a whole it is perceived to be God's blueprint for Creation and Man's role in it. If one reads the Bible carefully, the answers are all there. Mr. Limbaugh demonstrates some specific Bible passages that make this point clear.
2. That our lives are a tapestry of self-reinforcing faith. Believers perceive that when our lives are aligned with faith-based principles then Divine guidance will help us see the optimal path. We're always free to make our own choices of where we're going and what we're going to do, but lives aligned with Christian principles will glean deeper insights into making the right choices.
3. That God's influence is constantly at work in this world to influence men towards doing good over evil. Even the best-intentioned people of faith allow pride and greed to influence us into making dreadful decisions. Divine Power is constantly at work to mitigate those mistakes and draw as much good as possible from them.
4. That the Universe, life, and human consciousness are unlikely to have evolved without intelligent design by God. The human mind has the ability to comprehend every structure of the universe, from the smallest subatomic particles, to mega-galactic structures. Consciousness allows us to understand the full depth of the universe and to frame our moral decisions of doing good or evil within the full depth of understanding right from wrong. Human beings possess consciousness because God created us in His image.
5. David Limbaugh is candid throughout the book about "not having all the answers." I don't have them all either, but I do understand WHY all the answers CAN'T be known during our life on earth. If all the answers WERE known, then we could not be living lives of self-determination. And the ability to freely choose our life's journey according with our own judgment is precisely the point that makes us human beings.
I'm confirmed in my faith, so the book didn't change my mind about anything. However, I was educated to Bible passages that I didn't understand nearly as well as I thought I did. So, even after 50 years of Bible Study I had things to learn. David Limbaugh is a remarkable scholar to dig so deeply into the Bible, and he writes with perfect clarity.
A person already deep into the Christian Walk will find this book to be a confirmation of their faith. The most value will be gleaned by a young adult who doesn't know what to believe. You were taught an idealized faith as a child. Now as an adult you've seen reality, which has its share of incomprehensible brutality and injustice. Now Jesus is on trial in your mind. Read this book as the brief for Jesus, then judge for yourself whether the Bible expresses His truths.