Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Truthbomb Apologetics reviews “Cold Case Christianity”

Cold-Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace

Cold-Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace

Here’s a book review by Chad of the best apologetics book of the year so far.

Excerpt:

This reviewer was also very impressed with Wallace’s ability to explain what could be considered difficult topics to some in very plain language that virtually anyone can understand.  As someone who teaches apologetics, I know that many believers are sometimes intimated by the terms used in many of the typical arguments; however, not only does Wallace explain concepts such as abductive reasoning, circumstantial evidence and the nature of truth in easy-to-understand language, he further demonstrates to the reader that they already do this kind of thinking without even realizing it!  The brilliance of this is that the reader realizes that they don’t have to learn a completely new way of thinking to evaluate the Christian worldview, but just apply what they already know to it’s claims.

[…]After learning the chief principles of investigation, Wallace turns the readers attention to the claims of the NT.  This reader was very impressed with the breadth and depth of difficult matters that the author was able to convincing deal with.  Readers who master Wallace’s work will be equipped to:

  • Defend the conviction that the gospels were written fairly early to the events they record
  • Deal with common objections to the gospel accounts
  • Learn how to deal with “late additions” to the NT text
  • Share Non-Christian sources for Jesus
  • Share examples of how archaeology continues to validate the claims of the NT
  • Demonstrate that there are good reasons to believe that the NT was handed down accurately and is trustworthy
  • Demonstrate that the NT Canon was established in the first-century
  • Deal with the objection of bias
[…]It is this reviewer’s conviction that both believer and non-believer will benefit from Wallace’s work.  The believer will find in Wallace an outstanding teacher who is able to take complex concepts and make them exciting and engaging.  Further, they will be more equipped than ever before to defend the gospels, the New Testament, and the Christian worldview with sound thinking and a respectful approach.The unbeliever could quite possibly find a like-minded individual in J. Warner Wallace, himself a former atheist and self-proclaimed, “outspoken skeptic.”  The author fairly represents the opposition’s views, respectfully offers counter arguments and gently challenges the skeptic to reconsider the pre-suppositions they may be hindering their investigation of Christianity.

I already had the book version of this book, and I just bought the unabridged audio book version today! Everyone is talking about this book.

By the way, the author of the book, J. Warner Wallace, will be on the nationally-syndicated Laura Ingraham show tomorrow morning. He tweeted this: “REALLY looking forward to my interview with Laura Ingraham on Monday at 8:30 AM PST. I’m a BIG fan of her work….” Click here to find a station. You might be able to catch a repeat of the third hour here, later, as well.

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7 Responses

  1. Richard Ball says:

    How does CCC compare/contrast with Lee Strobel’s The Case For Christ?

    • I just burned the audio version to MP3 and I am off to the gym. Will listen to it on the way there, on the bike, and on the way back. Will tell you then. CFC was more of an interview the experts book to learn the state of the art and what scholars think and why. My understanding is that CCC is more of historiographical/crime solving book, where it is a systematic approach.

    • OK here I am after my workout. The person reading the audio version is so silly. He pronounces historicity as “historocity”! So far, the book is written in a very engaging tone with lots of detective stories and crime scenes. He focused so far on 1) the role of presuppositions, especially naturalism, 2) the abductive method of reasoning, 3) the minimal facts (he chose death, empty tomb, appearances, transformed lives/resurrection proclamation), and 4) a list of naturalistic scenarios and what is wrong with them.

      Here are two weaknesses. He hasn’t mentioned any of the scientific evidence that overturn the presupposition of naturalism in 1) and in 4) he is quoting facts from historically strong and weak parts of the text with no consideration about the strength and weakness of the passage based on historical criteria like multiple attestation, early attestation, etc. Although he is quoting sources outside the Bible where possible – Roman and Jewish historians. The part that really made me cringe, since the book is getting such great reviews, is that he is quoting Matthew 27 for the guard at the tomb. That is one of the least defensible parts of the New Testament. You cannot just use that to refute a naturalistic theory without qualifying it. He has mentioned that he will be investigating “conspiracy theories” later in the book, though.

      Right now I would say that this is a great book to give to new Christians, and casual skeptics like you might have in your office. It’s not a book that is citing the concerns of skeptical people and then dealing with them, like you get in Ben Witherington or Mike Licona. I prefer to see long-form responses with lengthy quotes of academic opponents. But then again that’s not who he is aiming for in the book. This is a book that you can give to people that they will read because the way he writes (since he is a detective) is just so interesting.

    • Ooooh! I’m on the second CD and he is supplying scientific evidence (good evidence, too) against the presupposition of naturalism. Only a crazy person could cling to naturalism in the face of this scientific evidence. Oh my gosh, fine-tuning, DNA and Dembski and Meyer, now. I can see why this made that Gospel Coalition pastor’s head explode.

      • Richard Ball says:

        Is there a YouTube of the pastor’s head exploding?!

        • I wish! That pastor represents a very common viewpoint in Christianity, and J. Warner Wallace even takes a shot at them at the end of chapter 2. It is awesome. That’s probably what set this pastor off. I’ll try to find it.

        • Here it is on page. 51:

          “As I speak around the country, I often encounter devoted, committed Christians who are hesitant to embrace an evidential faith. In many Christian circles, faith that requires evidential support is seen as weak and inferior. For many, blind faith (a faith that simply trusts without question) is the truest, most sincere, and most valuable form of faith that we can offer God. Yet Jesus seemed to have a high regard for evidence. In John 14:11, He told those watching Him to examine “the evidence of miracles” (NIV) if they did not believe what He said about His identity. Even after the resurrection, Jesus stayed with His disciples for an additional forty days and provided them with “many convincing proofs” that He was resurrected and was who He claimed to be (Acts 1:2-3 NIV). Jesus understood the role and value of evidence and the importance of developing an evidential faith. It’s time for all of us, as Christians, to develop a similarly reasonable faith”.

          Exactly! Exactly what is needed to make pastors heads explode, too. Hee hee.

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