Review of Lee Strobel's The Case For Christ. My opinions spread throughout
| And The Truth Shall Set You Free
When it comes to understanding truth, the American public is sadly misinformed; it would seem that much of the blame lies with our superciliously sensationalized media. In the midst of the half-crazed ignorance that seems to be so rampant these days, it is always refreshing to hear that there are some people who are still searching for the truth. Thankfully, there are those who recognize that no true peace can come from the ways of this world, even though the road to recognition is not always an easy one. It is people like this, people whose hearts are thirsting for the truth, that end of spreading the light of their discoveries far across the globe.
One such discovery lies in a well-written volume called The Case for Christ. Written over a period of two years, The Case for Christ is a series of interviews conducted by investigative journalist, Lee Strobel. As the title infers, each of the thirteen interviews focused on a specific question relevant to the following issue: Is there really credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth is who he says he is, and can the gospels be trusted? The 272 pages are spent discussing various questions such as, “Do the Biographies of Jesus Stand Up to Scrutiny?”, “Was Jesus Crazy When He Claimed to Be the Son of God?” and “Was Jesus’ Death a Sham and His Resurrection A Hoax?” Each series of questions is based on many different objections to the Christian faith that skeptics have come up with over the centuries, questions that Strobel is determined to discover answers to. For each chapter, Strobel interviewed different professionals in various fields who could answer the questions he raised; of the thirteen interviewees, only one does not hold a PhD, and he has a master of divinity and master of theology (5-6, 173). Strobel manages to grab the reader’s attention with interesting court cases dealing with the issue presented in each chapter. The book is presented in a very straightforward, manageable way, especially considering that over 130 different sources were used (273-279).
It is really impossible to narrow the intriguing parts of The Case for Christ down to just one, or even two. Many aspects of the book intrigued me, as it was really like nothing I have ever read before. One of the most striking things about this book – besides the incredible thoroughness of the research – had to be the bit on page 226, about a debate between Christian Theology professor, Dr. Gary Habermas, and Antony Flew, “one of the leading philosophical atheists in the world.” The question was, “Did Jesus Rise From the Dead?” In Strobel’s own words: “The results were decidedly one-sided. Of the five independent philosophers… who served as judges of the contest, four concluded that Habermas had won. One called the contest a draw. None cast a ballot for Flew.” The fact that Christianity’s truth stands up to such minute criticism far better than any other religion or belief is highly encouraging to me. The only problem is that far too many Christians are not informed, and the atheists and others who are informed tend to make them look like fools.
Of the fourteen chapters, there were three that really stuck with me. Chapter ten, “The Fingerprint Evidence,” was one. Louis Lapides’ testimony, his incredible journey from Judaism to Humanism to Eastern mysticism to Christianity is one that I will never forget (171-187). Chapter eleven, “The Medical Evidence” was also incredibly heart-wrenching. To have the brutality of the Roman soldiers described in such remarkable, horrendous detail certainly made me appreciate even more how much it truly cost Christ to give himself up for my sin (191-204). The third chapter that struck a chord with me was chapter eight, “The Psychological Evidence.” The question of whether or not Jesus was crazy when He claimed to be God is one that has always been of interest to me, especially since the answer seems so difficult to find. After all, how can one diagnose the mental health of a man who lived two thousand years ago? I was pleasantly surprised at the sound rational behind Dr. Gary Collins’ answer. He said that Christ’s emotional stability, lack of huge ego, and deep compassion for people of all walks of life are not indicators of mental illness – rather, they indicate unusual mental health (147).
When reading through this book, I found myself asking questions, only to see that very question raised and answered a few pages in. Strobel’s research was meticulous, and, as mentioned before, took him about twenty-one months to compile. That sort of patience and focus is certainly the mark of a professional journalist. There were no questions or objections that I could raise that were not answered in this book, though that really isn’t saying much. I found the interviews highly informative, and it is good to know that something of this nature exists, and that the wisdom and knowledge of these scholars can be presented to the public in a very readable manner.
As I read the book, I was struck again and again by the resounding truth of what was being said. I felt a true conviction in my heart that the information presented here in such a straightforward manner could not be less than absolute truth. The historical, archeological, medical, and even psychological evidences supporting Christ’s claim to be the Son of God are overwhelming. The fact remains that there is far more hard evidence in favor of Christianity than any other religion, and that is something that I can take great comfort in. In my eyes, the abundance of evidence is only proof of the truth. Christianity is the true religion; God reveals His truth to those whose hearts are ready to hear it, and in this I am free.