FRDB Archives

Freethought & Rationalism Archive

The archives are read only.


Go Back   FRDB Archives > Archives > Biblical Criticism - 2001
Welcome, Peter Kirby.
You last visited: Today at 05:55 AM

Notices

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-06-2001, 03:26 PM   #1
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Question Books That Are Supposed To Make Me A Christian

I have recently had "The Case For Christ", and "The Case For Faith" recommended to me.

Does anyone know if these books are any good or not?


And will they make me into a Christian?
 
Old 02-06-2001, 03:28 PM   #2
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Talking

I have the Christ one. It isn't too bad. Lots a purty pictures...

It didn't make me a Christian.
 
Old 02-06-2001, 03:33 PM   #3
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Good for what?

The Case for Christ is more focused on the historicity of the life of Jesus and traditional church beliefs about his resurrection and the accuracy of the gospel accounts. I read it.

The Case for Faith is, or so I hear, more about philosophical objections to Christianity, such as the problem of pain. I haven't read it.

I think the Case for Christ is a nice primer for a mild skeptic with some questions, or a doubting Christian with some questions, but I doubt it will make the devoted skeptic question themselves. More likely they'll dismiss it as more Christian propaganda and see it as reinforcement that Christians are weak mentally and have no real answers.

Depending on the focus on your skepticism, I could recommend a couple of books I found persuasive on issues like cosmology or the New Testament.
 
Old 02-06-2001, 04:11 PM   #4
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Unhappy

"More likely they'll dismiss it as more Christian propaganda and see it as reinforcement that Christians are weak mentally and have no real answers."

I hope no real skeptic is that pointlessly stupid.

Tom
 
Old 02-06-2001, 04:16 PM   #5
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Laymen gave the impression that the only reason why a non christian wouldn't be 'converted' by A Case for Christ is because they are just dismissing it as christian propaganda (which it is). Well, let me tell you that I read the book, and dismissed it on more honest and intellectual reasoning. The questions were, for the most part, the ones that I and other non christians have. Ill give Lee that much for getting the correct questions. But the answers were so weak, and were presented in an authoratative argument instead of a rational one. In other words, it kind of went like this: There is very little evidence that Jesus was crucified. Priest: Yes there is.

Ok, so it wasn't exactly like that, but for the most part, Lee didn't continue on with the questions, he seemed to just accept any answer that was given to him, and didn't really get too deeply into the questions. This could be the case since Lee DID write this book while he was a christian. He has implied that he wrote or investigated the stuff in this book while he was an agnostic, but thats simply not true. what he has really said (and who knows if he meant for people to get mislead or if it was accidental) was that these were the questions HE had while he didn't believe. But since he was getting the answers while he was a believer, its possible that this could explain why he seems to acccept any answer that even a moderate skeptic would question further.

[This message has been edited by P_Brian_Bateman (edited February 06, 2001).]
 
Old 02-06-2001, 04:23 PM   #6
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

I don't think there is such a thing as a book that can "make" you become a Christian, any more than there is a book that can "make" you become an atheist (or whatever else it may try to make you).

On the other hand, there are a great many wonderful defences of the Christian faith, just as there are great many books that defend the atheist one (or at least argue against one of the theistic faiths, usually Christianity).

Personally, I would recommend that an individual pick out the subjects that interest them the most, then research them as much as they are able. The pursuit of wisdom is a worthy goal in and of itself, and can be done on many levels.

If I were to recommend books that I like personally (I lean towards philosophy and the study of history myself), then take a look at the books "Mere Christianity" by CS Lewis, and Orthodoxy by GK Chesterton (and available online). Both are short easy to read defences of basic Christian philosophy.

My wife has read both "The Case for Christ", and He Chose the Nails, and she liked the latter much better. Apparently it has far more anecdotes, and she prefers that style to the more methodical offered by Strobel.

There are a ton more books out there. I guess the question is what sorts of topics appeal to you personally.

Good luck in your journey.

Nomad
 
Old 02-06-2001, 04:33 PM   #7
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Thank you for helping me to make my point.

Strobel's book isn't a scholarly work, but he does make a few good points. But I have found that hard core skeptics will be dismissive as anything less than complete thoroughness. I found the "journalistic" stlye of writing extremely irritating. And I found some of his points to be simplistic. Strobel does, however, make a few good points.

And you badly misrepresent the sources that Strobel relies on. Bruce Metzger and Ben Witherington, for example, are well respected New Testament scholars, NOT priests. If you wanted to dig deeper, you could refer to the works of these kinds of scholars, which Strobel glady provides. That is one reason I referred to it as a primer.

Anyone, Christian or skeptic, who thinks they are going to find all their questions about Christianity or the Bible in one, rather small, book, is misguided. To the extent that you appreciated the questions Strobel asked, then I would recommend a little deeper digging. Check out the references he provides and books by the scholars he relies on. In this respect his book could be compared to marijuana, its a gateway book.

Even as a Christian with serious questions and an enthusiasm for history I found The Case for Christ inadequate. I much prefer N.T. Wright's Jesus and the Victory of God and John P. Meier's A Marginal Jew.

It is the unwillingness of many hardcore skeptics to dig deeper, rather than the dismissal of strobel's book as THE definitive answer, that I was being critical of. Strobel and McDowell are much easier targets than N.T. Wright, Ben Witherington, and Bruce Metzger.
 
Old 02-12-2001, 07:40 PM   #8
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

I am in agreement with Nomad and Layman here, for the most part.

I clarified this on another post concerning C.S. Lewis, so let me do the same here for Lee Strobel. I consider the apologetical works of Lewis, Strobel, and McDowell as beginner-level, sort of like "milk."

More intermediate reading (according to a trustworthy source)--or "meat"--comes in the form of William Lane Craig ("Reasonable Faith") and J.P. Moreland ("Scaling the Secular City"). According to this same source, two of the best and most advanced Christian apologetics authors in the field would be Ben Witherington ("Jesus Quest" and "Paul Quest") and N.T. Wright ("Jesus and the Victory of God" and "The New Testament and the People of God").

Most Internet Christian apologetics is slop. But two glaring exceptions to this are J.P. Holding's www.tektonics.org and Glenn Miller's www.christian-thinktank.com. Wow, was I blown away when I came across those two! MetaCrock and Bede also have decent sites, though I haven't explored those as much.

I've read both "Case for Christ" and "Case for Faith." I thought they were both good and helpful, but they did have their weakpoints--which were probably more a result of the lack of space in two small books than in Strobel's adequacy to defend the Christian faith.

I also agree with whoever said reading anything won't make you a Christian. In fact, I believe that if one is as devoted a skeptic as most on the Secular Web are, then even if Christ appeared to you in all His heavenly glory, you still wouldn't believe. Even Jesus said, "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets [in other words, the Scriptures], they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead" (Luke 16:31).

That's my say on the topic.

Rew
 
Old 02-13-2001, 12:56 AM   #9
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

I have read most of A case for Faith. It is the most pathetic peice of propaganda I have ever read. It attempts to answer the 8 big questions that skeptics often ask.

The biggest question is what happens to all the people that have never heard of jesus? The book answers very matter of factly, it's none of your business. Let God worry about it.

It is that kind of "answer" that I found througout the book. Stroebel goes out of his way to present himself as a nonbiased person. He interviews "former" atheist and the like who have all seen the light, except for one guy who is very old and cries during his conversation with the author because he dosen't feel that he can come back to God with such a shor time left.

I was very disappointed with the book. I truly wanted to get some real answers to some of these questions.
 
Old 02-13-2001, 01:11 AM   #10
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Konnrad:
I have recently had "The Case For Christ", and "The Case For Faith" recommended to me.

Does anyone know if these books are any good or not?


And will they make me into a Christian?
</font>
I have not read the entire books, but I have browsed through them, and read a few chapters of The Case for Faith.

Basically, from what I read, it is the same old apologetic stuff that Aquinas, Augustine, Paley, and Pascal came up with, but dumbed down to the level an average American can understand. There is also the standard creationist litany of distortions and quotes out of context.

I honestly can't imagine anybody who isn't already a believer being swayed by any of the stuff in books like these. But, these books are not intended for the critical reader, but rather for those who already believe, or those who want to believe. It is merely giving people justification for believing what they already want to believe.

Another writer who is in the same class as Stroebel is Josh McDowell. There is an article refuting his book "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" on this site. It is useful to read it to see the kinds of arguments these people make, and how utterly flawed and vacuous they are. It is at
http://www.infidels.org/library/mode...f_lowder/jury/

 
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:50 PM.

Top

This custom BB emulates vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.