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Gods Outrageous Claims [Hardcover]

Lee Strobel
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 6 2005 Strobel, Lee
This book by Gold Medallion award-winning author Lee Strobel helps you discover how to grow in virtue, relate to others with authenticity, and make a real difference in the midst of a culture that's unraveling at the seams.

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In this extended tract, Strobel effectively cites instances of tragedy and depravity from the years he was a hard-bitten, atheistic Chicago Tribune reporter. He is now a Christian and a teaching pastor at that paragon of contemporary congregation-building success, Willow Creek Community Church, and he doesn't let the anecdotes distract from his main thrust: presenting Christian principles programmatically, in the manner of self-improvement how-to's on health, psychology, and business development. Besides the "discoveries" announced by the chapter titles ("There's Freedom in Forgiving Your Enemies," "A Dose of Doubt May Strengthen Your Faith," "Jesus Is the Only Path to God," and other propositions that arise out of basic Christian doctrine), in several chapters, Strobel suggests smaller programs for integrating the discoveries into personal behavior and belief. He is best when he sticks to matters of the spirit and interpersonal relations and to the Bible, Willow Creek's ministry, and other evangelical writers for authority. When he goes afield in the chapter on sexual morality to matters of criminology and psychology, he fails to adequately bolster his assertions with citations from those disciplines. Most winningly, however, he completely avoids the political advocacy that turns so many away from similar proselytizing books. Ray Olson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

A former spiritual skeptic explores 13 of Gods phenomenal claims that can transform any life. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
Associated Press reporter Terry Anderson was held hostage in Lebanon for nearly seven years. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback
Many people, especially people that did not grow up in a church (myself included), have all sorts of notions about God that are partly fantasy and partly the way we would like God to be. What Lee Strobel presents in his book is that God has prescriptions for our daily living that is counter-intuitive, and not what we imagined. Jesus tells us to love our enemies, to pray for those who despitefully use us. These are not just platitudes, but actually benefit us. Strobel demonstrates through illustrations and examples, how doing the counter-intuitive things God's way actually helps us in the situation. Forgiveness of enemies, giving and sacrificing for others, putting others first, asking God and leaning on Him for strength, all are extremely liberating if one is able to actually believe and practice (easier said than done). This is where Strobel's book comes in, giving examples, pointing out Scripture, and inspiring us to look more deeply into God's way. And this includes God's only way of salvation for us, which is His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. If you get to that chapter, you'll discover that God has reserved blessings for you beyond what you would have imagined.
This book is highly recommended for skeptics, people who have not been raised Christian, and people who came to the Faith late in their lives.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely terrific book! May 17 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is a wonderful, insightful, and well-written book for both Christians and spiritual seekers. The author explores several controversial topics -- including sexuality, doubt, business ethics, and forgiveness -- from a biblical perspective. He explores the "why" behind Christian teachings, showing the relevance and wisdom of Jesus' instructions. And he talks about the "how" -- how to forgive those who've wronged you; how to maintain integrity in the business world; how to overcome loneliness; and how to deal with the doubts that pester everyone. His chapter on Jesus' most controversial claim -- that He's the one and only Son of God -- is worth the price of the book! I highly recommend this creative and powerful book to everyone who's investigating the most outlandish assertions of Jesus of Nazareth. This book will make a difference in every aspect of your world.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
93 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely terrific book! May 17 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a wonderful, insightful, and well-written book for both Christians and spiritual seekers. The author explores several controversial topics -- including sexuality, doubt, business ethics, and forgiveness -- from a biblical perspective. He explores the "why" behind Christian teachings, showing the relevance and wisdom of Jesus' instructions. And he talks about the "how" -- how to forgive those who've wronged you; how to maintain integrity in the business world; how to overcome loneliness; and how to deal with the doubts that pester everyone. His chapter on Jesus' most controversial claim -- that He's the one and only Son of God -- is worth the price of the book! I highly recommend this creative and powerful book to everyone who's investigating the most outlandish assertions of Jesus of Nazareth. This book will make a difference in every aspect of your world.
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What God says in the Bible contradicts popular culture July 21 2003
By Clare Chu - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Many people, especially people that did not grow up in a church (myself included), have all sorts of notions about God that are partly fantasy and partly the way we would like God to be. What Lee Strobel presents in his book is that God has prescriptions for our daily living that is counter-intuitive, and not what we imagined. Jesus tells us to love our enemies, to pray for those who despitefully use us. These are not just platitudes, but actually benefit us. Strobel demonstrates through illustrations and examples, how doing the counter-intuitive things God's way actually helps us in the situation. Forgiveness of enemies, giving and sacrificing for others, putting others first, asking God and leaning on Him for strength, all are extremely liberating if one is able to actually believe and practice (easier said than done). This is where Strobel's book comes in, giving examples, pointing out Scripture, and inspiring us to look more deeply into God's way. And this includes God's only way of salvation for us, which is His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. If you get to that chapter, you'll discover that God has reserved blessings for you beyond what you would have imagined.
This book is highly recommended for skeptics, people who have not been raised Christian, and people who came to the Faith late in their lives.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Helpful though political May 31 2008
By Irish Critic - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
At times Lee Strobel can be focussed and lucid. At other times he's inclined to rant. There's encouragement in this book, distorted statistics too. I've something to say on all 13 chapters. However just as very short reviews are the least helpful, so very long ones are the least read! Instead I'll expand on just four...

#3 RAT RACE: Jam packed with useful advice on business ethics and approaching one's work-life with Biblical principles. The talented (atheist) novelist Thomas Hardy wrote about those who "at church profess so much and believe so little". Strobel deals well the topic. He asserts, "for many faith is a weekend proposition not a weekday reality". Good chapter.

#9 SEX: Contains some insightful and helpful arguments, especially on the subject of pornography. But the chapter's too political. I agree that Hollywood trivialises sex. However, quotes like "the more pre-marital sex you have...the more likely that you'll cheat after you're wed" insult my intelligence. Countries that sell a large number of umbrellas also tend to get a lot of rain!! Selfishness and a bad attitude to commitment are what cause infidelity - not living with your fiancee. A loving commitment doesn't become 'valid' the day it's celebrated publicly. You can't squeeze the Almighty into a Registry Office and you won't find phrases like "with this ring I thee wed" in the Bible! Weak chapter in my view.

#11 HEAVEN & #12 THE ONLY PATH: If these are the only two chapters you read, they're worth the book's price! They systematically, clearly and intelligently explain the core Christian message and the significance of the Resurrection. They also emphasise that redemption is found in a PERSON rather than a religious system, and how only one person in history was qualified to pay the penalty for sin.

Strobel is a committed Christian who's sincere in his faith. What's more he's been gifted with a profound understanding of important Biblical principles - in particular the nature of Grace. He presents most of his arguments intelligently and persuasively. However, IMHO his black & white views on sex only reinforce a secular world's stereotype of us Christians; ie. Prudes riddled with neuroses on one particular subject. You cannot contract AIDS by having "pre-marital" sex (Page 53). Viruses are biological; marital stati a matter of civic record. It's also unfortunate that Strobel cites 'Mother' Theresa as model of Christian virtue - someone who went into the poorest, most over-populated city in the world and actively campaigned against family planning.

All book are written (and reviewed!) by fallible humans. If you buy this book don't be put off by the author's political tone. Much of the content is helpful and encouraging, so "don't throw out the baby with the bathwater"!
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting look at how Bible truths affect life and relationships Dec 1 2005
By FaithfulReader.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Lee Strobel, author of the bestselling THE CASE FOR CHRIST, THE CASE FOR THE CREATOR and THE CASE FOR FAITH, is back with an updated edition of GOD'S OUTRAGEOUS CLAIMS. The book takes a look at thirteen claims that the Bible makes and why they're believable. He describes the ways Jesus invites us to live as "outrageous." The ideas of rejoicing in persecution, praying for your enemies or losing your life to save it are outlandish and astonishing. Strobel believes that by looking at God's promises and what they mean today, there are lessons to be learned about living with conviction and courage in the modern world.

The book begins with the chapter and claim that "There's Freedom in Forgiving Your Enemies." It recounts the story of Associated Press reporter Terry Anderson who was held hostage and tortured in Lebanon for seven years. On release, he was asked "Can you forgive your captors?" His reply is memorable: "Yes, as a Christian I am required to forgive --- no matter how hard it may be." Launching from this powerful story, Strobel explores the rivals that surround us, as well as the physical, relational, psychological and spiritual benefits we receive through forgiveness. In addition to providing a Biblical framework for his arguments, Strobel pulls from modern research as well as from the experiences of others. The result is a compelling, fast-moving read.

Other notable claims in the book include "Random Acts of Kindness Aren't Enough" and "God's Rules on Sex Can Liberate Us." In "A Dose of Doubt May Strengthen Your Faith," he writes, "Let me offer some words of encouragement: you can have a strong faith and still have some doubts. You can be heaven-bound and nevertheless express uncertainty over some theological issues. You can be a full-fledged Christian without absolutely settling every single question of life once and for all. In fact, it has been said that struggling with God over the issues of life doesn't show a lack of faith --- that is faith. If you don't believe me, just peruse the Psalms!"

In many regards, this is a well-packaged book of apologetics that builds its cases not just from a rational standpoint but from a more holistic approach. Strobel goes beyond the believe-it-because-the-Bible-says-it approach to examine how core Biblical truths affect the way life is lived as well as our relationships with others. He provides practical insight and guidance on how to respond to others who may have hurt you and how to overcome loneliness. The advice is simple but will undoubtedly have a profound impact on those who follow it.

Throughout the book, the author draws from stories and encounters from his own life, including his experiences as a tough journalist with the Chicago Tribune. His stories are vulnerable, honest and revealing. The result is a well-written, well-thought out book that anyone can learn and grow from.

--- Reviewed by Margaret Feinberg ([...]
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God's Outrageous Claims July 5 2005
By AK - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
***** For the last few years now, Lee Strobel has been at the forefront of apologetics, presenting the case for the truths contained in the Bible with flawless logic. He's still doing it, however, this time, he argument does appeal more to the emotional practicality of life, showing how to apply that wisdom in your day to day existence, and why it will make your life work better. Forgive others, have a few good, deep relationships, make God a priority, be ethical, your life matters, are just a few of the highlights of this intriguing book. This is as intriguing to read as any work of fiction. Whether you are Christian or not, Mr. Strobel has again penned something that is very useful and can help you change your life. Though it does have much in common with the bestselling Purpose Driven Life, God's Outrageous Claims surpasses that book. *****

Reviewed by Amanda Killgore, Freelance Reviewer.
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