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on December 27, 2008
This book does an excellent job of building up a case for Christ and Christianity. The book is divided into three parts: an examination of the Bible's accuracy, an analysis of the character of Jesus, and an analysis of the resurrection. Each part is divided into several chapters and for each chapter, Strobel interviews a different biblical scholar in the given subject. So, basically this book is a collection of some of the best ideas from the best defenders of the Christian faith.

The first part shows some amazing evidence regarding the authenticity of the Bible. This section clearly shows that the Bible is the most authentic piece of ancient literature ever (which many atheistic scholars agree on). For example, Homer's Illiad (which is usually considered to be the second most reliable ancient document, next to the Bible) was written in 800BC and its oldest surviving manuscripts are from the 2nd and 3rd centuries. On the other hand, the New Testament was written in the first century and the oldest surviving manuscripts are from the 2nd century. So, 1,000 year gap for the Illiad, and 200 year gap for the New Testament. Also, the Illiad has 650 surviving manuscripts, whereas the Bible has over 24,000. Lots of other types of evidence are presented in this section, such the Bible's style of writing, sources from outside the Bible, and archeology.

The second part examines Jesus character and answers questions like: Did Jesus actually consider himself to be the messiah?, Was Jesus insane when he claimed to be the messiah?, Does he fit the Old Testament's description of the messiah, and Did he fulfill the Old Testament prophecies? Once again, Strobel and his interviewees present some amazing evidence here.

The third section goes into the details of Jesus' resurrection. Questions that are posed here are: Was Jesus' resurrection a hoax?, Was Jesus' tomb actually empty?, Did Jesus appear to people after his crucifixion?, and What is the circumstantial evidence for the resurrection?

Overall I found the evidence in this book to be very convincing. I admit that I was already Catholic before reading the book, but when reading books regarding religion, politics, or controversial issues I make sure that I keep an objective and open mind.

Of course, there are many negative reviews about this book on Amazon, but I'm not too surprised because this book has a very wide audience: Christians, other religions, agnostics, atheists, pretty much anyone. This is because many people recommend this book to non-Christians, which is because it covers pretty much all the basic points in Christianity. So, with many atheists reading the book it's natural to have many negative reviews. Also, this book only covers the basics; it doesn't give long answers to all the questions (like some other, larger apologetics books do), so many people will come up counter-arguments. And, the book is in an interview format, so the interviewees might have forgotten a few arguments when being interviewed.

But, the point of this book is not to cover every possible counter-argument to Christianity. It covers many, but not all. If you want more evidence for Christianity then Strobel has many other amazing books, and at the end of each chapter in this book he gives lots of references.

And of course, the main thing to do when reading a book about religion (or any other controversial topic) is to not be biased! If you're biased or have a preconceived position on the topic then no matter how much evidence you are given, chances are that you will not be swayed. It's really too bad how much our emotions or bias get in the way of important issues like religion.
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on May 31, 2004
The Case for Christ was a very interesting novel about a journalist's (Lee Strobel) search for the truth about the figure of Jesus Christ. In order to do this in a fashion in which most people would accept, he interviewed several experts in the subject he was investigating. He went to scholars and professors at several different universities and study groups to find facts about the prophecies of Christ, His resurrection, His crucifixion, objections to the life of Christ, and several other key factors to dispute, about the man of Christ.
Though Strobel investigates in a new and interesting manner, there are flaws to his method. The first flaw is the fact that before every interview, Strobel must take two to four paragraphs to show the credibility of each interviewee. Though this is a necessary section of each interview there are so many different interviewees that it is difficult because credibility facts interrupt the arguments for each point. These facts may be necessary to establish the credibility of the witness, but I think it would have been wise to give us all the credibility facts either at the end or the beginning of the book.
Even though there are ways to improve the style of writing for this particular purpose I believe Strobel's "interrogation" of each individual expert results in several points that can no longer be disputed. One example of this is the interview with Dr. Alexander Metherell, which brought about the scientific evidence that Jesus did in fact die in the cross, which refutes the swoon theory of Jesus' resurrection. Not only does Strobel present evidence well in The Case for Christ, but he also does it in such a manner that each interview compliments the previous to give the book a smooth rhythm or flow.
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on February 24, 2004
This is a wonderful book that gives a very short overview of very large fields of study. It samples the evidence briefly from different disciplines, hopefully enough to show that there is compelling evidence for the historicity of the New Testament story outside of the Bible text itself.
Nothing in this book should be deemed a slam-dunk. It's far too short for that. It should however at least silence those who repeat oft-used canards about the NT.
Probably more valuable than the book itself are the short bibliographies at the end of each chapter, referring you to more in-depth works on the field of study. I've begun making my way through these, and THAT'S where the real treasure lies.
This book is great at quickly arming yourself with more information than the average detractor has on the other side, and is good at piquing the interest of those who say there is no historicity to Christianity. If you expect to walk away convinced, you're not understanding the issue. Read this, then pick up a few books from the Bibliography.
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on July 14, 2004
THE best father's day present I've ever received. Wonderfully done. Lee Strobel asks the hard questions of world class experts and delivers a compelling case for my God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I loved McDowell's "Evidence that Demands a Verdict", but this is so much more readable. His mix of present day law cases to introduce and illustrate each segment drew me in and his personal interviews with the people who know the real facts about Jesus and the New Testament was entertaining as well as informative. It was like being in on the best conversations about Jesus you could hear.
I'm grateful for this author and this faith strengthening book. Christians: Buy it, read it and give it to others.
Non-Christians: This is a wonderful close-up of the facts about the life of Jesus.
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on July 7, 2004
Strobel does an excellent job of examining the evidence for the Ressurection of Christ from all angles. His findings are very logical and convincing. This is a really good book to read if you are as confused and skeptical as I have recently become. The methodical way that Strobel presents the evidence in this book argues very very strongly for the truth of the Bible. The only shortcoming as far as I'm concerned is his neglecting to really give the full arguments for the liberals and atheists (or if he did, they sure don't have very solid cases). I would highly reccomend this book to anyone interested in learning about the history and the evidence of Christ and the church.
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on August 4, 2004
This book contains the best arguments for the validity of the Christian faith that I have ever read, outside of the bible of course! The author interviews many educated people and gives credible evidence to support all that the bible claims and all that Jesus claims, in a very readable, reasonable and intelligent format. I would recommend this book to those who already believe that the bible is God's word, as well as those who have this question: is the bible truly God's word? I am very grateful for this well written defense of the faith.
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on July 1, 2004
If you're reading these reviews you've undoubtedly seen a wide variety of reviews, spanning from "FIVE STARS THIS TOTALLY PROVES JESUS IS GOD HIGHLY RECCOMENDED!" to "One star. This book uses faulty logic and straw men to 'prove' what was already presupposed". So where's the book really fall? In my opinion, somewhere in between.
The structure of the book is well crafted. If you're going to try and prove that Jesus is God, the first thing you have to do is prove that we know about him is reliable, and that's what Strobel sets out to do from the beginning by interviewing various biblical scholars. After that's done Strobel moves on to analyzing Jesus himself, attempting to answer questions such as "Was he a lunatic? Did he match the idendity of the Messiah?" and then finally moving on to the Ressurection.
Many have complained that Strobel only interviews Christians. I did not have a problem with this. If you understand what Lee was doing at the time, trying to find answers to the objections to Christianity that he had, it's only natural for him to interview Christians to try and find those answers.
However, what keeps this book from being a real sucess is that while it answers every objection to Christianity raised within it pretty swiftly, there are mountains of issues that were not raised at all. Personally I don't believe they were avoided intentionally, but they're still there. That is why I think a follow-up to this book would be great. It would be really great if it could somehow incorporate reader-submitted inquiries. I think alot of people would be very interested in reading that.
So, in conclusion, the Case for Christ doesn't present a clear verdict in the case for Jesus being God, but the information contained here will probably surprise alot of agnostics and open doors into further research.
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on April 16, 2004
Years ago I wrote: "This is one of those books I can't comment on without sounding like a blithering idiot. Excellent, easy to read, FULL of apologetic material giving a SOUND defense of the Christian faith, this book is an example of 1 Peter 3:15 in action."
I still stand by those statements in regard to this book. Strobel focuses on proving the historical reliability for the gospel accounts and does a fairly decent job in a non-academic fashion. He interviews top scholars and shows the textual and other evidence for faith in Christ.
I still recommend it, though not as highly, since I'm now reformed in my soteriology. This book will definitely challenge all of the usual misconceptions that non-Christians have about the scriptures. My only reason for not giving it a full 5 stars has to do with the author. Coming from the 'seeker sensitive' background, Strobel, Hybels and others deny humanity's radical depravity and books like these are written with the assumption that simply seeing the facts will change someone's mind. The only thing that can truly bring someone to Christ is the Father's drawing power upon whom He wills it (John 6:44-66), not human effort. Use this book to eliminate objections and if someone converts as a result of reading it, praise God. If they don't, praise God for the truth of His word going forth anyway!
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on March 27, 2004
I recently asked a Christian friend how he could possibly believe the Jesus story as outlined in the gospels when there were so many other logical explanations that could account for what happened. I expected him to respond, "Faith." Instead, he suggested I read this book. Though reluctant, I followed his suggestion. I was certain the book would contain the typical circular logic (or lack thereof) "How can I believe what the Bible says? Because Jesus said it. How can I believe that? The Bible says so." But this was not the case at all. The author presents common agnostic positions to 13 experts in the fields of theology, history, philosophy, psychology, archaeology, and pathology. Discussed are some of the same objections I have had regarding the Jesus story, plus some that I hadn't yet thought of. No creampuff questions here, mind you. These were reasonable, logical objections that I was certain would at best disprove the case for Christ and at worst cast serious doubt about it. I was shocked to find that in each case, overwhelming evidence was presented supporting the life, death, and resurrection of Christ as outlined in the Bible. This is not the outcome I expected to have from reading this book. Rather, I was certain I would come away with a more solid foundation of why I was right to not believe the legendary story of Christ. I don't recall ever reading a book that has moved me like this one has. I would recommend this book to agnostics as well as Christians. Either way, I feel that this book is well-worth reading, especially for those who have natural doubts about the resurrection.
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on March 3, 2004
I read this book a few years ago while just investigating christianity. I was very skeptical, and had all kinds of doubts, based on my knowledge of evolution, my public school education, exposure to the discovery channel, PBS, etc., which all tend to support a mere mythological view of christianity. I read the whole book in a matter of days, and was very impressed with the amount of topics that were satisfactorily covered in this book.
I'm not going to say I gave my life to Christ immediately, but this book opened the door for me to take Christ seriously, and to apply the same skepticism toward scientific theory that I had previously applied only toward religion. I eventually became convinced of the reality of God and the truth of the gospels, and have since trusted my life to Christ gratefully. I've bought several copies of this book and given it as a gift to family members and other non-believers in hopes that it will open doors for them as it did me.
This book isn't perfect, but its a very readable exploration into christian apologetics for a newcomer. I read The Verdict recently (the book written to counter this one), and it was surprisingly weak. Nearly every major argument in The Verdict was based on the same faulty logic (argument from silence). I started highlighting major logical fallacies from the beginning, and got about halfway through that book before my hand had turned yellow and I decided it just wasn't challenging enough. The sheer inability of the author of The Verdict to adequately challenge the arguments in this book are a testament to its quality. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone, along with Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.
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