It isn’t often that I use this space for a book review but in this case I am happy to make an exception. Recently a friend gave me a copy of The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel, the former newspaperman who now teaches at Willowcreek Community Church. The books subtitle tells the heart of the story: “A Journalists Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus.” For many years Lee Strobel, an avowed atheist, dismissed the gospel accounts as mere fiction. He assumed that either Jesus never existed or if he did, the stories about him had been turned into mythology by the early church. Then he decided to investigate the claims of Christ in the same manner he checked out any news story. He took on the tough questions one by one: Did a man called Jesus really exist? What evidence for his life exists outside the New Testament? How reliable are the gospels? What do we learn from archaeology about the life of Christ? Was Jesus a lunatic? Did he really claim to be the Son of God? Was Jesus really the Messiah? Was Jesus death a sham and his resurrection a hoax? Are there any supporting facts that point to the Resurrection? The final question ties the book together: What does the evidence establishand what does it mean today?
Strobel deals with a single question in each chapter, which makes his investigation easy to follow. Each chapter contains an interview conducted with a leading scholar, including Professors Don Carson, Bruce Metzger, J. P. Moreland, Gary Habermas, and Gary Collins.
I found the book hard to put down. Strobel is an excellent writer who knows how to bring the reader along with him as he patiently checks out the evidence and probes for inconsistencies. The crime vignettes from his reporting days with the Chicago Tribune give the book a very contemporary feel, as if you are reading Tom Clancy or John Grisham and not a book on apologetics.
To my knowledge nothing like this has ever been published before. I recommend it to every member of our congregation. More than that, I recommend that you buy several copies and give them away to friends who are thinking about the Christian faith.
Lee Strobel has performed a great service to the Christian community by writing The Case For Christ. Spend a few bucks and buy this book. It will strengthen your faith and give you solid answers when people ask why you believe in Jesus.