The Case for Christ – Lee Strobel

Have you ever wondered if the Bible was true or just a mythology book? Did Jesus really exist? Can we trust the gospels as genuine biographies of Jesus? Can we trust the memory of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? Why is the gospel of John so different and even confusing? Did they not intentionally modify the story to fit their purpose? Is Jesus the Son of God He pretends to be or was He just out of mind? Isn’t the resurrection just a legend? If not, why are the gospels “confusing” when they relate the resurrection story? Did the disciples of Jesus invent it to justify their acts?

Lee Strobel uses his legal background to investigate and to interview knowledgeable scholars. What is appreciable is the depth of the investigation so that through his quest we are given the opportunity to understand what led bright and rational men to believe in Jesus Christ.

When I started to read the book, I was not sure about what to expect. I was wondering if it would be another simplistic book defending Christianity, but I was surprised by the quality of the arguments. Lee Strobel studied at Yale law school and was a legal editor of the Chicago tribune. When his wife became Christian, he was amazed by his wife’s transformation and decided to investigate about the One who did it: Jesus of Nazareth, a man who lived 2000 years ago in a far away country. Strobel’s writing style is very entertaining and easy to understand. He uses as examples many crime cases he worked on as journalist to illustrate his approach. The book searches to answer questions many unbelievers and believers ask.

I personally learned many things about the writing process of the Bible. It did strengthen my faith in its trustworthiness. Dr. Craig Blomberg argued brilliantly for the reliability of the gospels. The facts were probably known and spread by many two or three years after the death and resurrection of Jesus, and the gospel of Mark might have been written within the thirty years… which is incredibly short compared to the other biographies from ancient times. For example, the life of Alexander the great was written more than 400 years after and most of scholars consider it trustable.

Another powerful argument is the reality of the resurrection. Many believe that it was a fantasy created to overcome death intellectually and emotionally, but Strobel examines why such an “aberration” is believed by accomplished scholars. It is a compelling argumentation. The most persuasive argument is that no one would die for a something he knows is a lie, but the apostles did. Why would they put their life on the line to defend this “lie” which had no gain whether for themselves or for others? Would you risk your life and your family’s and friends’ life for a lie? Of course not. If they invented the resurrection as many think they did, then their behavior would be irrational. We know people can die for ideas but only because they believe it is true!

In conclusion, the Case for Christ is a must-read book. It is a diligent and objective work. I have found it a bit too succinct at times (but Strobel gave many references to dig deeper). At the end, you may want to become Christian… if you take it seriously, or you can still irrationally dismiss the truth.

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