Monday, July 09, 2001

I thoroughly enjoyed Strobel's The Case for Christ. I devoured it over a two day span. The book is not written as a scholarly excercise, (although there are a large number of quotations and citations) rather as a series of interviews with acclaimed scholars. This made the book very readable as there is a great deal of dialogue. Interestingly, Strobel included modern day cases and experiences as an editor for the Chicago Tribune to explain why he asked the questions he did, some of those vignettes were fascinating. For the strict readability of the book I would rate it very highly.

The documentation, as a beginner in studying apologetics, seems quite convincing. I have read, More Than a Carpenter and Don't Check Your Brains at the Door, both by Josh McDowell and aimed more at high schoolers than adults, and would probably rate this an adult version of those treatments as an introduction to apologetics.

I do have a couple of issues, however. First the balance issue. Mr. Strobel interviews 13 people who are convinced of Christianity and their studies are in fields related to the historical, archeological, theological, etc. studies of scripture and ancient times. Granted, he interviewed people who have spent a lifetime studying and have a permanent interest in studying these issues. The lists of their accomplishments/publishing and degrees are quite impressive, they possibly are the top in their field. And he did quote several objectors and questions to these people for their reactions. But, I would've liked to see him approach a non-believing scholar with the pro argument for each of his issues as well.

Second, because these scholars are so advanced (many have multiple PhDs) sometimes they jump to a conclusion that may seem quite obvious to them, but may not seem so obvious to me - and they only discuss one conclusion with no alternatives. I'm certain that the interviews were significantly longer and more in-depth than what was (or could be) presented in the book, but sometimes the leaps seemed a bit far without the historical, educational and language background even most Christians have today.

I'm not certain I would give this book to a friend who is a skeptic for these two reasons. However for Christians, Mr. Strobel does include a large bibliography and end notes which includes both the pro- and con- sources he studied in his search for evidence. This, I think will be immensly helpful because, overall, this book has whet my appetite for more in-depth apologetics, especially of the historical evidences.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting! I love and reply to comments because I love building community with my readers!