The Case for Christ

The Case for Christ

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....

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Title:The Case for Christ
Author:Lee Strobel
Rating:
ISBN:0310226058
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:367 pages

The Case for Christ Reviews

  • Ancient
    Jun 07, 2007

    Rated 1 star for false advertising, poor journalism, poor investigation, poor argumentation, and poor scholarship.

    There's not enough room here to critique all the specifics of this book, so I'll get right to the heart of things (if you're interested in a more detailed critique, check out Robert M. Price's excellent

    . Or check out

    ).

    At the beginning of

    Strobel presents himself as a journalist and a former athe

    Rated 1 star for false advertising, poor journalism, poor investigation, poor argumentation, and poor scholarship.

    There's not enough room here to critique all the specifics of this book, so I'll get right to the heart of things (if you're interested in a more detailed critique, check out Robert M. Price's excellent

    . Or check out

    ).

    At the beginning of

    Strobel presents himself as a journalist and a former atheist/skeptic who is about to conduct a serious investigative search into whether or not Jesus is exactly what orthodox/fundamentalist Christian churches teach him to be - the God Man with miraculous powers born of a virgin to die for the sins of the world, etc., etc.

    But here's the problem - the contents of this book are nothing resembling serious investigative journalism. They are a collection of arguments, quotes, and information almost 100% of which are supplied by a small group of like-minded, Evangelical Christian apologists. Strobel never interviews any of the many, many other scholars with views that differ from that of this small, very conservative Evangelical group. (And there are plenty of scholars just as, if not more, qualified and respected who would disagree with what the members of Stobel's clique have to say.)

    I rate

    at 1 star not because I disagree with the arguments presented in it (which I do), but because it's so dishonest. It claims to be investigative reporting when it presents only a mass of one-sided, biased apologetical material. After having spent years as an investigate journalist, Strobel is either clueless as to what constitutes investigative journalism (possible, but unlikely), or he began this project already possessing a set of strong religious convictions, proceeded to gather only those arguments, interviews, and info which support these particular convictions, and then combined that material into a book dishonestly marketed as investigative journalism (the more likely case).

    Strobel is free to write whatever kind of books he wants, but he isn't free to make false claims without expecting to be called out on them.

    The true intended audience for

    are Christians who are looking for somebody to tell them exactly what they want to hear, that all the traditional (and overly-simplistic) beliefs they were taught about Jesus in Sunday School are true and proven.

    is not a book written for critical thinkers looking for an honest exploration of well-researched and well-supported scholarship and arguments concerning who Jesus was.

    If you are interested in a more honest discussion of opposing viewpoints about Jesus written for the average reader where different sides get to present their own views in their own words (although one that is still quite slanted in it's presentation), check out

    edited by Paul Copan.

  • Joanna
    Sep 18, 2007

    is a collection of interviews that retraces journalist

    's journey from skepticism to faith. Not content to merely take someone's word for it, Strobel used his journalism and law training to track down and agressively interview experts on Christ and the Christian faith. Because Strobel is willing to ask taboo questions and attempts to poke irreparable holes in his own faith, the answers he finds from various professors and clergy are both compelling and intellectu

    is a collection of interviews that retraces journalist

    's journey from skepticism to faith. Not content to merely take someone's word for it, Strobel used his journalism and law training to track down and agressively interview experts on Christ and the Christian faith. Because Strobel is willing to ask taboo questions and attempts to poke irreparable holes in his own faith, the answers he finds from various professors and clergy are both compelling and intellectually sound. This book is an excellent resource for apologetics looking for ammunition against attacks on the reliability of the Gospels, the nature and identity of Christ and the Ressurection. For those who haven't yet made up their minds, this book could be the tipping point. Strobel's case is both concise and compelling, but the personal testimony of some of the interviewees resonates at the personal level, giving a final human touch to a book that is engaging, challenging and moving all at the same time.

  • Mark Conwell
    Dec 10, 2007

    This book thoroughly investigates Jesus claim of being the one and only son of God. Lee Strobel took the time to seek out and question scholars who provide overwhelming evidence for Jesus as the Messiah. I have seen several criticisms of this book that say Lee did not talk to scholars who refute Jesus life, death, and resurrection. However, as a former atheist Lee gives due attention to the opposite side of the argument. As a Christian, I would recommend this book to anyone and challenge people

    This book thoroughly investigates Jesus claim of being the one and only son of God. Lee Strobel took the time to seek out and question scholars who provide overwhelming evidence for Jesus as the Messiah. I have seen several criticisms of this book that say Lee did not talk to scholars who refute Jesus life, death, and resurrection. However, as a former atheist Lee gives due attention to the opposite side of the argument. As a Christian, I would recommend this book to anyone and challenge people to provide proof to the contrary of Lee Strobel's investigation. A person could spend a lifetime reviewing and reading information from his list of sources. After reading this book I have started looking at his source's and their life's work. The amount of information is simply overwhelming.

  • Michael
    Jan 29, 2008

    This book will not persuade anyone who doesn't believe in his heart already.

    Strobel claims to have been a serious skeptic about Jesus and to have done these interviews in the style of a serious journalist in order to decide for himself whether Christians are right.

    I don't believe him. As an actual skeptic who is very familiar with the Bible, I find that Strobel consistently avoids the obvious problems with the arguments put forward. He interviews only Christians and blindly accepts everything t

    This book will not persuade anyone who doesn't believe in his heart already.

    Strobel claims to have been a serious skeptic about Jesus and to have done these interviews in the style of a serious journalist in order to decide for himself whether Christians are right.

    I don't believe him. As an actual skeptic who is very familiar with the Bible, I find that Strobel consistently avoids the obvious problems with the arguments put forward. He interviews only Christians and blindly accepts everything they say. These are not the actions of a skeptic.

    The fallacious logic at work here is shocking. At one point the reasoning goes exactly like this:

    We know the New Testament is true because the early Christians who produced it were good people and so wouldn't have lied. We know the early Christians were good people because the New Testament says so.

    I wish I were joking.

    Christians: I am in some ways sympathetic to your cause, but you must understand that using the kind of reasoning that goes into this book or into the Intelligent Design nonsense only makes you look dumb to anyone who knows what he's talking about. Find a different angle. Alternatively, maybe you should think long and hard about the fact that people practicing apologetics for your faith consistently make errors in logic that an 8 year old could spot. Why exactly would that be?

    [Now that I think about it, maybe this stuff isn't really meant to convert people, but only to prevent apostasy. It won't persuade anyone, but maybe it will reassure someone who isn't really questioning very hard but wants to make sure there's some reasoning behind his religion.]

  • Yvonne
    Feb 22, 2008

    Although this is not on the 'approved' LDS missionary library, I read it anyway because of friend of mine asked me to. It was very interesting to see the archeological and historical proof that Strobel had for the life of Jesus Christ. It was also good to understand what kind of proof many Evangelicals want to see before they accept the Book of Mormon as true. However, just because there is historical or archeological evidence supporting the existence of Jesus Christ doesn't prove that he is the

    Although this is not on the 'approved' LDS missionary library, I read it anyway because of friend of mine asked me to. It was very interesting to see the archeological and historical proof that Strobel had for the life of Jesus Christ. It was also good to understand what kind of proof many Evangelicals want to see before they accept the Book of Mormon as true. However, just because there is historical or archeological evidence supporting the existence of Jesus Christ doesn't prove that he is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. In Matthew 16: 13-17 (KJV) the Savior asks his apostles, "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?" and they tell him that people have said he is John the Baptist or Elias or Jeremiah or any of the other prophets. Then Christ asks them, "But whom say ye that I am?" and Peter answers, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." to which the Savior replies, "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." Likewise it is with us, we might learn history that he did in deed live in Galilee, but until we have had it revealed to us by the power of the Holy Ghost that he is indeed the Son of God and our personal Savior, then knowing he lived 2000 years ago won't do anything to persuade us that he indeed gave up his life on the cross AND took it up again on the third day, thus making it possible for each of our spirits to be reunited with our bodies after death, living forever.

  • Nicole
    Apr 05, 2008

    AWESOME!

    The 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 J

    AWESOME!

    The 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.

  • Jeremiah
    Apr 21, 2008

    This book is quite possibly the most readable and engaging book to ever hit the field of apologetics; I recommend it to every Christian. The book chronicles Strobel's inquisitive journey as he questions some of the most astute thinkers alive today about some of the most pressing questions a Christian can ask. Read it for no other reason than to ground yourself more deeply in the True faith, to stand strong and to live a life of bold confidence.

    P.S. Buy and watch the DVD (by the same title) that

    This book is quite possibly the most readable and engaging book to ever hit the field of apologetics; I recommend it to every Christian. The book chronicles Strobel's inquisitive journey as he questions some of the most astute thinkers alive today about some of the most pressing questions a Christian can ask. Read it for no other reason than to ground yourself more deeply in the True faith, to stand strong and to live a life of bold confidence.

    P.S. Buy and watch the DVD (by the same title) that has recently come out based on this book. It incorporates more of Strobel's wife's journey as Lee spent years searching out the answers to the questions he had, which ultimately led to his conversion. It's intellectually engaging and emotionally dramatic.

  • Brooke
    Jul 26, 2008

    My review for this book and

    are the same, since I read them at the same time five years ago and can't remember which topics were in which books. I managed to forget I ever read them, and only when I saw them on this site did remember.

    These books were given to me by a guy I was dating at the time who decided I'd only be an acceptable wife if I converted to Christianity (I'm currently single, if you're wondering how well that went over). It's a shame he chose these books as hi

    My review for this book and

    are the same, since I read them at the same time five years ago and can't remember which topics were in which books. I managed to forget I ever read them, and only when I saw them on this site did remember.

    These books were given to me by a guy I was dating at the time who decided I'd only be an acceptable wife if I converted to Christianity (I'm currently single, if you're wondering how well that went over). It's a shame he chose these books as his main plan of attack, because they're terrible.

    Lee Strobel's first mistake is that he tries to answer everything with a pat, definitive response. The tone he uses is one that says, "AH! This is so simple, now that you've explained it! How does anyone not understand?" As most people realize, religion is complicated and often requires you to just believe in things that you take on faith, rather than because it's been proven by evidence. Trying to argue for faith makes faith a moot point.

    When answering the question, "If there's a God, why does he allow such suffering in this world?" Strobel trots out the tired response, "Because God gave us free will." For a book that's supposed to help convert people, that answer isn't going to reassure someone who had strong objections in the first place. It also fails to acknowledge that we really just don't know, and that we tell ourselves this to try to make sense of things, not because we know for sure.

    Strobel also tried to address deep questions with anecdotes - one that sticks out in my mind to this day was a response to a question about how people who never heard of Jesus could be saved, and isn't it a flaw of the religion if it only applied to people who happened to live in a place where Jesus was brought to their attention? Strobel somehow thought that a story about a Muslim girl in a Muslim country who one day randomly thought "I need Jesus's help" and secretly became Christian answered it sufficiently and proved that we will just know Jesus in our hearts.

    Other answers required a preexisting belief in order to make sense. They reminded me of the circular argument the aforementioned ex-boyfriend would give for Jesus's divinity - Jesus is God, so since he says he's God, if I don't believe he's God, I'm calling God a liar.

    The kicker for me was a chapter about the prediction of the Messiah in the Jewish bible - Strobel managed to find an ignorant Jew who must have never done even the minimal Torah study. With his help, Strobel spins a conspiracy where Rabbis hide the fact that the Jewish bible prophesied the arrival of the Messiah. The ignorant Jew tells Strobel all about how he didn't know such a thing was foretold, and it was such a revelation to him that he converted to Christianity. I want to find this guy and smack him up the side of the head with my Tanakh and suggest he look up that little thing about the descendant of King David.

    Strobel would have done far better to admit that these are complicated questions for which we don't have all the answers, if we have any at all. The fact that he has an answer for everything just makes him look silly and arrogant. If religion were this easy, we wouldn't have the Talmud and Midrash.

  •  Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
    Mar 27, 2009

    This review is probably not as well-crafted as I would have hoped, since I am very swamped right now, and unable to do better. However, I wanted to write my thoughts on the book to the best of my ability as soon after I finished the audio version as possible so I wouldn't forget too much. I hope to reread it and analyze it more at a later date.

    When I finished this book, I felt that Mr. Strobel tackled the tough questions about Christ that one might ask if they were skeptical about the faith and

    This review is probably not as well-crafted as I would have hoped, since I am very swamped right now, and unable to do better. However, I wanted to write my thoughts on the book to the best of my ability as soon after I finished the audio version as possible so I wouldn't forget too much. I hope to reread it and analyze it more at a later date.

    When I finished this book, I felt that Mr. Strobel tackled the tough questions about Christ that one might ask if they were skeptical about the faith and the person of Jesus Christ. I grew up in a Christian home and I have been a personal confessor of faith in Jesus for well over twenty years. However, it was good to take a hard look at the questions I didn't have the answers for from a scholarly standpoint. And I believe that Jesus wants anyone who chooses to follow him to count the cost and look hard at who he is. He is honest and righteous and doesn't want anyone to be misled about who he is. So I would say that anyone of my bent is encouraged to do the same.

    I felt that Mr. Strobel showed his investigative journalism chops in addressing those important aspects of Christ's identity and the reliability of the evidence of his claim as the Son of God who died for the sins of every person who ever lived, and rose again from the grave, and the areas that one might use to discount his message and the affirming power of faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Ultimately, those who choose not to believe will probably continue to not believe (and they have that choice), but those who want to take that step to believe in him and have some factual proof about him and what faith in him offers, they will find enough here to further confirm that faith in Jesus is not blind faith, but a reasonable, eyes open step of faith. What I do not propose here is that this book takes the place of the Holy Bible, but instead, Strobel's investigation shows that the Bible is a reputable historical document and what it says about God and Jesus Christ is historically accurate. And for those who seek further inquiry, one will find a very good bibliographical source of reputable scholars who can offer even more sound information about Jesus Christ, the historicity of his persona, and the proven historical accuracy of the New Testament Gospels and how they relate to the Old Testament. In fact, this was one of strongest elements of the book for me, since it gave me even more books to read as I get the opportunity.

    While I have seen plenty of 1 star reviews for this book, I personally feel justified in giving it 5 stars. One might argue that I like it because it justifies what I believe. That's not completely untrue. It does justify what I believe. I'm glad that I walked into this book with my brain prepared to take a hard look at the evidence and that scholarship was rewarded in Strobel's methodical and thorough investigative process. Let me add that I would have believed what I did anyway based on the process of my individual faith walk. Instead, this book just provides more solid evidence to underpin what I already believe.

    I am a rational person. Very analytical, and I have never felt that having faith in God requires throwing out the thought processes and rational inquiry. After all, God gave us brains and he expects us to use them. So for me, this book takes a thinking person who values factual evidence and solid inquiry on a logical investigation into the identity of Jesus of Nazareth, who has proven he is the Son of God in so many ways that those who believe in him will not find themselves disappointed with that decision in the long run.

    I would recommend this book.

  • Malcolm
    Sep 26, 2011

    As with any religious book, objectivity is impossible (since religion, by loose definition, is subjective experience of that which is unproven); so here's my subjective opinion as a Christian.

    If you are a

    , you're going to fall into one of three general groups:

    (and that fourth most special group made up of all the people who just refuse to be grouped by a small-minded Christian, dammit :) ).

    If you are actually a member of that fourth g

    As with any religious book, objectivity is impossible (since religion, by loose definition, is subjective experience of that which is unproven); so here's my subjective opinion as a Christian.

    If you are a

    , you're going to fall into one of three general groups:

    (and that fourth most special group made up of all the people who just refuse to be grouped by a small-minded Christian, dammit :) ).

    If you are actually a member of that fourth group, I'm gonna call you an

    (basically, someone who

    and wants it all snuffed out). If you are a member of this group, please don't read this book or the rest of this review. The book will just make you angry because it's completely biased against everything that makes sense in the world. If you read it, or my review, you'll just be confirmed in your anger, which serves no purpose. So go home, you're right, it's a book written by a man who used to hate Jesus before we tricked him into believing, and this review is by another blank-eyed drone as well.

    If you are an

    , then this is not a book that will entertain you, because it is biased FOR Christ. I have one (ONE) friend who is an ACTUAL atheist ... a person who has no relationship with the question of God (a-theist as opposed to anti-theist) ... she just

    and she wouldn't be bothered to read this book any more than I would be bothered to read a treatise on corduroy pants (I'm an a-corduroyist, I just don't care). Go read the phone book or something, it will interest you just as much.

    If you're an

    , this book could actually interest you. It is written by a relatively well-educated (Yale, I believe) and erudite (Legal Editor of the Chicago Tribune) man who was investigating his relationship with God and used the tools and training of legal forensics to challenge the authenticity of Christ. As you can guess from the title, you know how that investigation turned out; but the journey is enlightening in regards to many of the fallacious suppositions presented by disbelievers -- and I promise you that this book won't "strike you Christian" if you read it. I'd suggest reviewing the chapter headings and see if that whets your appetite. If so, enjoy it, it's short and interesting. If not, God be with you, thanks for reading my review.

    If you are a

    , by which I mean someone who is beginning to realize that, whoa, this Jesus topic has legs of its own and I'm not sure what's happening in my life but it might be cool (is He like

    real?) -- I'd suggest that you read this book with a Christian friend, perhaps even a Pastor or Youth Pastor. It's got a lot of great conversation starters, and it doesn't propose any ideas that are dramatically challenging if reviewed with an open and willing heart. If you can't find anyone else, then maybe you're reading this review for a reason - ping me and maybe we'll read it together.

    If you are a

    , TCFC is a good book to offer a concise list of rebuttals for common arguments against Christ's authenticity (it's the case FOR Christ, as in the legal DEFENSE). It can be used as a conversation facilitator with folks who are seeking something Spiritual, and often as a decent structural underpinning for the initial process of coming to the Lord.

    Most Christians who love this book tend to love it because it represents a good set of responses to some of the tougher questions raised by "arguers." It helps avoid personal conflict and gives a Christian the opportunity to say "here, read this book", thus taking the heat off of the way you dress, or how you voted in last year's election. It allows Christians to show some desire to share the Spiritual Love of God that we all enjoy without having to debate and argue directly with the very person with whom we were originally trying to share our Joy (presumably a friend).

    That's its purpose. It is not a goad to trick smart people into believing mythology, or an attack on "the left" from a sneaky author -- it's overtly titled the case FOR Christ, and it's that -- one side of a limited debate based upon a FEW questions that often confound Christians and Spiritual seekers about Christ.

    Everything else is noise. This is a book that, like religion, involves personal opinion -- and just as no amount of yelling or screaming is going to change whether you do or don't like chocolate ice-cream, no amount of screaming or yelling is going to make people change their feelings about this book or its Topic.

    Changing subjective opinions can only be a shared process of Love based on trust, and website reviews are a stark medium for sharing words of Love on any subject, wouldn't you say?