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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Review: Cold Case Christianity

This is the second eBook that I have ever acquired. The first was the woefully, tragically ill-written Echoes of Darkness, but this second one is a non-fiction book. Cold Case Christianity, written by J. Warner Wallace of the Los Angeles Police Department, was offered up for exactly $0.00 on some time ago, and after being informed of the offer by my Bible Quiz Team leader, I couldn't help but snap up this wonderful bargain. Yay free stuff, I suppose. At any rate, this book is without a doubt one of the best examples of Christian apologetics literature I have ever read.

Wallace's story reflects that of journalist Lee Strobel, who wrote the forward to this book: Cynical atheist comes to faith after investigating the evidence for the Bible. In this book, Wallace details his investigation which led him to believe in the Bible as the divinely inspired word of God. The focus of his book is on the Gospels, the cornerstone of the Christian faith, and whether they can be trusted. He examines church history, the eyewitness accounts of the Gospels, the testimony of secular historians, and archeological evidence- all through the lens of a seasoned homicide detective.

Cold Case Christianity is unlike any other Christian apologetics book I have ever read. Aside from it's blessing by Lee Strobel, a personal hero of mine, it approaches the question of whether the biographies of Jesus can be trusted, but in a very clever manner: as a mystery. The potential for metaphor is immense. The ultimate murder, with the ultimate twist: God's son, dead, before being raised to life. How's that for a murder mystery? But in this case, the case is made all the more complicated because the question isn't about who did the dirty deed and why (the Gospels are kind of spoilery about that), but whether it happened at all. As someone who firmly believes that it did happen, having my faith examined in such a colorful, thoughtful, dare I say it, professional manner is greatly appealing to me.

Moreover, Wallace pulls out all the stops when going through this "mystery." He uses engrossing anecdotes throughout the book, makes use of actual police investigation techniques, and diligently tracks the connecting threads in between all the puzzle pieces. Speaking of puzzle pieces, this is one of the analogies that Wallace uses: Although not every single piece of evidence is available to form a picture of the crime, enough can be found to form a recognizable portrait. In this case, the host of circumstantial evidence, corroborating witnesses, and the like are more than enough to tell the whole story.

In short, I highly recommend this book to every seeker and believer, every sinner and saint out there, as a useful tool filled with a bounty of knowledge. It is without a doubt one of the best, most thought provoking, most engaging books on apologetics that I have ever read, up there with Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ. I always liked detective stories, but I never before thought that this liking could be combined with my faith in such a cool, fun manner. Needless to say, I have been pleasantly surprised.

RATING: 10/10

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