Item description for Case for Christ by Lee Strobel...
Outline ReviewThe Case for Christ records Lee Strobel's attempt to "determine if there's credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Son of God." The book consists primarily of interviews between Strobel (a former legal editor at the Chicago Tribune) and biblical scholars such as Bruce Metzger. Each interview is based on a simple question, concerning historical evidence (for example, "Can the Biographies of Jesus Be Trusted?"), scientific evidence, ("Does Archaeology Confirm or Contradict Jesus' Biographies?"), and "psychiatric evidence" ("Was Jesus Crazy When He Claimed to Be the Son of God?"). Together, these interviews compose a case brief defending Jesus' divinity, and urging readers to reach a verdict of their own.
Product Description Using the dramatic scenario of an investigative journalist pursuing his story and leads, Lee Strobel uses his experience as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune to interview experts about the evidence for Christ from the fields of science, philosophy, and history. Winner of the Gold Medallion Book Award and twice nominated for the Christian Book of the Year Award.
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Studio: Zondervan Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 6.9" Width: 4.4" Height: 1.3"
Release Date Mar 31, 2007
Publisher Zondervan Publishing
ISBN 0310609240 ISBN13 9780310609247 UPC 025986609245
Availability 0 units.
More About Lee Strobel
Lee Strobel was the award-winning legal editor of The Chicago Tribune and is the best-selling author of The Case for Faith, The Case for Christ, and The Case for a Creator, all of which have been made into documentaries by Lionsgate. With a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale, Lee wrote 3 Gold Medallion winners and the 2005 Book of the Year with Gary Poole. He and his wife live in Colorado. Visit Lee's website at: www.leestrobel.com.
Lee Strobel currently resides in West Dundee, in the state of Illinois. Lee Strobel was born in 1952.
Lee Strobel has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Case for Christ?
Not bad, but not great either May 22, 2010
I previously read Strobel's "The Case for a Creator" and found that book to be utterly stupid, so I was prepared to dislike this book too. I'm happy to say, however, that it's nowhere near as bad.
"The Case for Christ" follows the same general pattern as "The Case for a Creator." Strobel interviews a variety of people said to be reliable experts in this or that field, in hopes of getting reliable answers to a number of questions that challenge Strobel's religious beliefs. The qualifications of some of the so-called "experts" in "The Case for a Creator" were obviously hyped beyond all recognition, and I don't necessarily trust the apparent puffery in "The Case for Christ" either; but even so, I still thought that Strobel's challenges and the experts' responses to them were generally quite interesting and informative.
The book has three main divisions.
The first part focuses on the Biblical record of Jesus' life and responds to challenges about the reliability of the Biblical biographies of Jesus. In particular, the book offers a good response to the accusation that the Gospels are no more reliable than children playing "Telephone" or "Chinese Whispers;" discusses external evidence, including archaeological evidence, corroborating some aspects of the Biblical biographies; and offers a refutation to the Jesus Seminar's view of Jesus.
The second part of the book responds to challenges claiming that Jesus Himself did not actually claim to be the Son of God, that Jesus may have been crazy, that He did not possess the attributes traditionally associated with God, and that He did not fulfill Biblical prophecies about the Messiah.
The last part of the book focuses on medical evidence indicating that Jesus did in fact die on the cross, the significance of the empty tomb, the evidence of Jesus' post-Resurrection appearances, and other circumstantial evidence corroborating the Resurrection stories.
Each of the above challenges is the focus of a separate interview. In each interview, Strobel tries to approach it as a true skeptic, but it's obvious where his true loyalties lie, so the possibility that the weakness of the skeptical case is at least partly due to Strobel consciously or unconsciously pulling his punches is a real problem. That, plus my strong doubts about Strobel's descriptions of the stature and qualifications of some of the people he cites as experts prevent me from giving TCFC more than 3 stars. But it was interesting and well written.
For laymen with questions about the historical Jesus, Strobel's popular treatment would probably be an enjoyable and useful supplement to reading the Bible itself.
Key Questions and Christian Views about Jesus Being God's Son May 15, 2010
"Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;" -- Titus 1:1-3 (NKJV)
Many born-again Christians are reluctant to discuss their faith with skeptics, despite the Great Commission, and encouragement not to be ashamed of Jesus before men. This book will be a blessing for such uncomfortable believers.
Let me explain. I was working at a homeless shelter one night when I met a fellow volunteer who had lots of questions about independent evidence that Jesus is who is said He is. I listened to all of his questions and asked, "What kind of evidence would you like to study?"
He immediately replied, "Well, it would be great if a reporter looked into questions the way newspapers always do and wrote about what was discovered."
I smiled and replied, "Would you like to read a book that a reporter wrote while he was a skeptic, who later became a Christian?"
A huge smile spread across his face.
I handed him a slip of paper with all the information about this book, and suggested we talk further a month later when we next volunteered. I knew that the Holy Spirit was working overtime to bring this skeptic into the fold.
Before reading The Case for Christ, I had noticed that our church offered free copies to anyone who wanted to learn more about Jesus. I didn't pick the book up though until I heard Lee Strobel speak at a Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale service. I wanted to know more, and this book nicely expanded on what he had to say. It was time well sent in preparing me for more excellent witnessing opportunities. Since then I've also read The Case for the Real Jesus, also by Lee Strobel, and suggest that you read both books. Start with The Case for Christ.
As a legal journalist by profession, Lee Strobel likes to provide a legal context for his chapters and to describe the process he used to obtain the answers. This makes the book feel a little like so-called new journalism. The real meat comes in the questions and answers during interviews with leading Christian scholars.
Here are the key questions raised in the book and the authorities who addressed them:
1. "Can the biographies of Jesus be trusted?" (Dr. Craig Blomberg)
2. "Do the biographies of Jesus stand up to scrutiny?" (Dr. Craig Blomberg)
3. "Were Jesus' biographies reliably preserved for us?" (Dr. Bruce Metzger)
4. "Is there credible evidence for Jesus outside of His biographies?" (Dr. Edwin Yamauchi)
5. "Does archeology confirm or contradict Jesus' biographies?" (Dr. John McRay)
6. "Is the Jesus of history the same as the Jesus of faith?" (Dr. Gregory Boyd)
7. "Was Jesus really convinced that He was the Son of God?" (Dr. Ben Witherington III)
8. "Was Jesus crazy when He claimed to be the Son of God?" (Dr. Gary Collins)
9. "Did Jesus fulfill the attributes of God?" (Dr. D.A. Carson)
10. "Did Jesus--and Jesus alone--match the identity of the Messiah?" (Louis Lapides, M.Div, Th.M)
11. "Was Jesus' death a sham and His resurrection a hoax?" (Dr. Alexander Metherell)
12. "Was Jesus' body really missing from His tomb?" (Dr. William Lane Craig)
13. "Was Jesus seen alive after His death on the cross?" (Dr. Gary Habermas)
14. "Are there any supporting facts that point to the resurrection? (Dr. J.P. Moreland)
If you really want to dig into any of these subjects, you'll probably find the information here to be too superficial to be totally satisfying. You can, however, use the footnotes to find meatier material, and I encourage you to do so.
As a believer, I found myself gaining lots more reasons to believe. What a blessing! Praise God!
fake skepticism, shoddy journalism Apr 16, 2010
If you're not already a Christian nothing this book insists is evidence is even slightly convincing. If you are a Christian don't give this to you're non-Christian friends to try and convert them, you'll just annoy them (and waste your money).
It is obvious to any skeptic reading this book, that for all of Strobel's insistence that he was a hardcore atheist and bristling skeptic he has absolutely no idea what sort of questions and answers matter to skeptics. Nor does his interaction with his all Christian interviewees suggest anything but compliant and soft handling. He appears to be wearing two or three pairs of kid gloves. He'll say that he can't let them off the hook and that he's going to give them a tough question and then lob some sort of crackpot theory no self respecting skeptic would ever take seriously.
The formula it this.
1. Start chapter with an exciting, but irrelevant anecdote about criminal investigation. It's a terrible and transparent gimmick aimed it showing that investigating the Bible is the same as investigating contemporary crime, even though there aren't any witnesses, material evidence, forensics or really any means at all to demonstrate anything concrete whatsoever.
2. Talk about the dude you're going to interview. Spend a page talking about his credentials, but then tell us not to worry about him bein' some unrelatable academic snot. He likes hockey! And has pictures his kids drew! And and he looks like a nice guy! Frankly I'm surprised he never got around to comparing them to lovable pop culture icons.
Reading this ridiculous dribble about why I should like this academic every-man I couldn't help wondering what he would have said about skeptical academics had he actually interviewed any. I doubt that he would talk about them in such sappy heartwarming language. Would he simply omit the gratuitous page of leg-humping (which really didn't need to be there at all) or would he mention the "cold uncomfortable feeling he felt in their presence" and describe the "lack of human touches in their office"? I don't know. It's one more reason I wish he had included interviews from people that weren't all presenting the argument he was selling.
3. Next you dive into the interview. This involves Strobel asking a question involving the theme of the of the chapter and immediately accepting whatever answer is given. Sometime he admits that that was enough to convince him, but asks a few more softball questions anyway to demonstrate his commitment to academic pursuit. Almost all examples of scholarly opinion and evidence is only vaguely referred to and lacking reference. They say things like "every one agrees that..." but fail to say who everyone is, or more importantly why they agree. It is assumed that hearing that some unknown theoretical scholars think it is as good as actual evidence and evaluation. It's not uncommon for them to insist that agreement is unanimous in the academic community regarding an issue when a simple google search shows it isn't. I shouldn't need to point out that conducting a criminal investigation or trial in this manner would be a joke.
4. Having declared the previous claim fact without actually applying any sort of rigorous evaluation or providing any evidence Strobel then uses it to prove more claims. This is basically all the book is. Making a claim, not really investigating it, declaring it inequivocally proven and then using it to prove other claims.
5. Throw in some strawman versions of skeptic arguments and you're good to go.
In a nut shell, this book argues that what the Bible says must be true because the Bible says it. It never addresses any real arguments against religion in general or Christianity in particular and on the occasion Strobel accidentally raises a legitimate objection his subject wasn't prepared for it is dismissed with a wave of the hand rather than actual logic or evidence. Unless you already accept the Bible as fact this is just going to be a lot of self appreciative nonsense and a giant waste of time.
Some of you may be wondering why someone like myself that so clearly didn't like the book felt the need to read it and review it. It was given me by my mother. She was completely convinced it would show me the light and save me from my atheist ways. This is the third book I have read that was given to me to these ends, and while none of them has come even remotely close to addressing the sort of the things that me make an atheist rather than a Christian, this book was by far the worst of the bunch. I don't recommend giving your atheist or agnostic friends religious books or attempting to convert them, it is more likely to strain the relationship than make good Christians of them.
Strobel at his best Apr 5, 2010
With an all star batting order of witnesses, Strobel reminds us that all the issues postulated by skeptics and want-a-be athiests have not just found undeniable answers but exciting testimony to the reality of the Gospel accounts in their great blend of truth concerning the life, ministry, death, burial, empty tomb, resurrection and post resurrection appearances of Christ. Many of those who build this case came, themselves, from a professional life of rationalism and denial to absolute confidence in the evidence of Biblical truth. Add to this Strobel's material is enveloped in a fascinating enjoyable style.
Where's the Justice? The Holy Spirit? Mar 25, 2010
Where's the Holy Spirit in this book or any of his books and sermons? Where's the loving God - yes, He's here. Is the just God here? Hell? ETc.? Soft Gospel.