The sequel to The Case for Christ discusses the "barriers to faith" and shows Christians how to overcome them. Simultaneous.
Was God telling the truth when he said, 'You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart'?In his #1 bestseller The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel examined the claims of Christ, reaching the hard-won verdict that Jesus is God's unique son. In The Case for Faith, Strobel turns his skills to the most persistent emotional objections to belief---the eight 'heart barriers' to faith. This Gold Medallion-winning book is for those who may be feeling attracted to Jesus but who are faced with difficult questions standing squarely in their path. For Christians, it will deepen their convictions and give them fresh confidence in discussing Christianity with even their most skeptical friends.'Everyone---seekers, doubters, fervent believers---benefits when Lee Strobel hits the road in search of answers, as he does again in The Case for Faith. In the course of his probing interviews, some of the toughest intellectual obstacles to faith fall away.'---Luis Palau'Lee Strobel has given believers and skeptics alike a gift in this book. He does not avoid seeking the most difficult questions imaginable, and refuses to provide simplistic answers that do more harm than good.'---Jerry Sittser, professor of religion, Whitworth College, and author of A Grace Disguised and The Will of God as a Way of Life
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.75"
Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 2000
Publisher Zondervan Publishing
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|No case for faith, only reinforcement of faith for those weak in faith in Christianity Jan 26, 2007|
|This book was given to me by my cousin who thought I might find faith after hearing the eulogy I gave at my father's funeral a year ago, in which I professed that I do not know if there is a God or not, but that the best we can do is be good people.|
I am agnostic, in that I am fully aware that there is no factual evidence that God exists and that there is no evidence that God does not exist. To be clear - if there was, I am pretty sure it would be widely publicized.
The gift was a loving gesture and I am sincerely appreciative of it.
However, I have several issues with the book. More than I can possibly iterate at this point.
This book does not even mention agnosticism. As the author was educated at Yale, I am sure he must be aware of agnosticism and chose to omit it from his book. I can only presume that it was omitted with a reason, perhaps it was too hard to explain in the face of his assertion that there is evidence for God (see below - all circumstantial and requiring leaps of faith).
Without getting into too many specifics, the evidence he uses in the Case for Faith comes from obviously Christian sources - which are surely biased. This is equivalent to reporting on terrorist acts by only interviewing terrorists. Certainly one's reporting would be validating reasons for such atrocities. To be clear I am only drawing this distinction to make the point - a true investigative reporter would look to include both sides of the story and present facts as opposed to opinion. Had Strobel intended to provide a balanced view, he would have used non-christian scientists and believers of various faiths.
Strobel's statements portend to be fact, but are generally lacking any actual evidence and in some cases are easily determined to be incorrect.
A couple of examples are
1) His statement that Buddhism says there is no God (various sects of Buddhism believe in gods, state there is no Creator God or do not take a stand on the matter) and
2) His statements on lack of evidence for evolution - specifically macroevolution (which is fairly well supported by actual evidence and observation - and believed to be accurate by 99% of biologists).
Regarding evolution, there is actually evidence for macroevolution - although he claims there is none. This is where I have serious problems with the book. In my opinion, the book is more for current believers who need/desire to strengthen their faith, which I believe is a good thing. However, his information lacks factual support and evidence, which to me is a bad thing. I believe that most of the people who would read it would not get to the point of questioning the information in it. If one were to question it, one could easily find their faith destroyed if the information one held to be true (and which subsequently was the basis for faith) is found to be false.
He states that there is evidence for intelligent design; however the evidence he offers is only theory in the colloquial sense - i.e. a guess. The Theory of evolution is a theory in the scientific sense - i.e. supported by on observation and evidence.
Another example is when Strobel quotes "...when it comes right down to it, the only person or thing I know of worth my faith - the only one supported by the evidence of history and archaeology and literature and experience - is Jesus."
The Buddha (meaning one who is awake), or Siddhartha Gautama (his real name), was an actual person, supported by all of the above listed proof of Jesus. Mohammad was also an actual person supported by all of the above.
His 3 reasons for disbelief in reincarnation (for regular people):
1) If James loses 3 pounds, he is still James, if he becomes a grasshopper he is not James - because he is not human
2) Support for past lives - such as memories, are explainable by psychological explanations, lucky guesses, or demonic possession
3) The only expert on this question, Jesus of Nazareth, said it doesn't happen.
1) To believe in resurrection, one must believe that there is a substance which makes us who we are that is not tied to our earthly form. It is not tied to being human, but to existing.
2) How do you discount the possibility that reincarnation exists by asserting that demon possession exists - there is factual evidence for neither.
3) To be in line with this reason, one must already accept the divinity of Jesus and that the resurrection actually happened.
His arguments for the truth of the resurrection (below) are weak and offer no support for the fact, only that people claimed it happened. We should not confuse the fact that Jesus existed with the belief that he was the son of God and specifically that he was reincarnated.
Here are his proof that God exists:
1) God makes sense of the Universe's origin
2) God makes sense of the universe's complexity
3) God makes sense of moral values (his argument is - if there are absolute moral values then God must exists God makes sense of the resurrection (see proof below).
4) God can be immediately experienced.
1) Theories can be used to explain phenomenon that correlate to reality, but are not truly an explanation of reality. One still must take a leap of faith to believe his assertion. While it may explain questions about the universe - how do we know it to be accurate? Put another way, there are other explanations that could wrap up the universe - additionally, one presumes he is speaking of the Christian God and discounting other belief systems.
2) See my first objection. Same point.
3) Science believes in hard observable facts being the basis for making assertions. The basis of scientific fact is that it is able to be recreated by anyone. To take the leap from the fact that there are widely accepted truths to being proof of God requires faith. He gives examples of ideas that most of the civilized world thinks are wrong, and uses them as the basis for absolute moral values. He omits that moral values have changed over time and are evolving. While I do believe that things are wrong, one can easily recognize that they are not always absolute...for example, it is not ok to kill, unless you are in danger - or the other person killed others (presuming you believe in capital punishment).
4) His example here is that you cannot prove the world exists...fair enough, but one can prove there are universally experienced events that we can demonstrate over and over again. For example, we can do a physics experiment and everyone involved will see the same results (barring psychological conditions). While we may not be able to prove that the world exists, we can confirm common experience, which is essentially what the world is...the ground on which we all interact - whether or not that is created in the mind (the example he gives for how the world may not exist is that all of the world may only be in our mind).
Proof Jesus was resurrected:
1) The location of Jesus' burial was widely known and agreed on.
2) The Sunday after his crucifixion the tomb was empty, which is agreed upon by many (or all).
3) Various groups of people experienced appearances of Jesus alive again.
4) The original disciples suddenly and sincerely believe that Jesus was risen from the dead - even enough to die for this belief.
1) This is fact and Jesus did exist. Not sure how it relates to his divinity.
2) This could be explained in several ways, hard to use this as proof of his divinity. One can suppose it is, but it takes a leap of faith - this book is supposed to explain how to have faith - but continually requests we make leaps of faith.
3) Writings of people who claims to experience Jesus can hardly be taken as fact. Other religious text would claim the same about their prophets, gods, etc.
4) The disciples had a vested interest in proclaiming the divinity of Jesus. This is not actual evidence. This is equivalent to stating that the bible is true because it says it is true.
Additionally, Strobel chooses which parts of the bible are literal and which are metaphorical. In dealing with "Objection 5" Strobel notes that the descriptions of Hell in the bible are metaphorical. It is hard to discern how someone can pick and choose which parts of the bible are literal and which are metaphorical. It is convenient to do so when your explanations support your understanding. I am not sure how you justify doing this.
He states that only one religion can be right or God is schizophrenic. One supposes his assertion is that Christianity is the one true religion or God is schizophrenic. This again is a leap of faith. One must also presume that the various religions are not human error in interpreting God's message.
My stand is this, we do not know, and to have faith is great, however by creating a context in which one can have faith by providing erroneous and undeniably false/biased information, a false faith is created.
Faith should be born out of one's desire and belief system. One should not need to discount others because of their faith. To me, doing so indicates weakness in their faith - not strength.
|Not as good as Case for Christ. Jan 3, 2007|
|If you loved Case for Christ, do not expect this book to be an equal. The former is a much better book. It was worth buying and an enjoyable read but I Strobel did a much better job with Case for Christ.|
|Tough Questions Dec 20, 2006|
|Another great book by Lee Strobel. He tackles some really tough challenges to our faith in this book. Again, done in the same format as the Case for Christ, he gives us interviews on a per-chapter basis.|
If you have problems with things such as suffering, death, hell, free will, or any of the really tough objections to Christianity, then definitely check out this book. It is a great primer on Christian Apologetics. I would also suggest a follow up with a couple of C.S. Lewis's books if you have a taste for similar, but more philosophical and slightly more in depth thougts. the Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity are great books.
|Great starting point for inquirers Dec 18, 2006|
|In this book, Strobel has kept the same format as "The case for Christ" and "The case for a creator" by interviewing experts on the most challenging questions and standard objections to Christianity. It is a good philosophical approach to such objections and can encourage a reader to do further studies. |
|An Interesting "Case" Dec 1, 2006|
|In Strobels "The Case for Christ", I found that the arguments made by virtually all of those interviewed (with the exception of Habermas) were too apologetic. It didn't seem to me that the "case" was being constructed out of anything but an "explaining away" of some of the discrepancies in the biblical text, all of witch is far too interpretative. In Strobels "The Case for a Creator", I felt that that the case was too much of a rhetorical attack on science that persuades us to choose the opposite (the science is untrue therefore a creator is true) rather than a clearly demonstrated positive, non rhetorical case.|
The Case for Faith, however, lacks many of these problems (though some are still there). Strobel never seems to position him self on one clear set of arguments (whether they work or whether the don't work, whether some are better than others, they all seem to work for him). But it does not seem to me that this book is intended to present a clearly defined or unified case. Instead, it demonstrates many cases and allows the reader to deliberate, and make up their own mind (witch I personally found lacking in Strobels other two books). Strobel is an interesting individual, and while The Case for Faith is by-no-means a slam dunk for faith, it is certainly persuasive for anyone interested in the arguments for faith's reasonability. In short, I would recommend The Case for Faith on its own, but certainly over Strobels other two books.
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