Written by Mrs. Igniscient
Book: The Case for the Real Jesus
Author: Lee Strobel
Description: An investigation of six challenges to the biblical identity of Christ.
How I heard about it: I have been familiar with Lee Strobel for so long that I don’t remember where I first encountered him. I heard of this book from the publicity when it was first released, it has just taken me a while to get around to reading it.
Thoughts: Strobel records interviews he has with various experts. At points I found reading frustrating because the organization of the book followed the conversation of the interview instead of organizing similar questions and discussions together. However it is full of great information and is presented in an easy to understand way. Strobel’s history as a journalist gives him a talent for knowing what needs background and what does not, and how to follow the evidence.
Major points that I took away:
1. Textual Criticism: This book introduced me to Daniel B. Wallace and the discipline of textual criticism, or how we know what ancient texts really said when we do not have the original copy. It is a fascinating process, and understanding how it is done gives us good reason to trust that the Bible is accurate.
2. A Brief introduction to religious pluralism: There is a brief discussion about the practice of picking and choosing what religious practices and beliefs appeal to an individual and what the consequences of that can be.
3. This book is a very brief overview of six topics; the non-canonical gospels, the reliability of scripture, the historicity of the resurrection, similarities between Christianity and Pagan religions, the historicity of the life of Christ, and religious pluralism; and introduces six scholars, one for each topic: Craig A. Evans, Daniel B. Wallace, Michael Licona, Edwin M. Yamauchi, and Paul Copan respectively. The book has enough information to answer the challenges and the experts are the logical next step if you want to know more regarding a specific topic.
Any good book should make you want to read another: From here I went to Reinventing Jesus by J. Ed Komoszewski, M. James Sawyer, and Daniel B. Wallace.
Wednesday Resource Recommendations are compiled and written by Mrs. Igniscient.
Book: Cold Case Christianity
Author: J. Warner Wallace
Description: A cold case detective investigates the claims of the gospels.
How I heard about it: Stand to reason podcast
I was fascinated by the processes for investigating cold cases, how evidence is evaluated and especially how juries are instructed to make judgements. Wallace explains special terms very well and the book is very easy to follow even when it must be picked up and put down frequently (this is very helpful for a mom of 3 kids under five years old). It is accessible, interesting and makes a strong case for the reliability and truth of the gospels.
Major points that I took away:
1. Juries must make their judgements based on having no reasonable doubt. This does not mean that there is no possible doubt or no other possible explanation for something, but that it is necessary to decide based on what is the best explanation for what happened.
2. The evidence we use to evaluate the truth of the gospel is of high quality and can stand up to investigation.
3. The sheer difficulty in what it takes to maintain a conspiracy puts to rest all my doubts that the resurrection was made up.
Any good book should make you want to read another: After reading this book I have a desire to learn more about the evidence for the Resurrection, I have not got a copy yet, but in the future I plan to read The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus by Gary Habermas and Michael Licona.