I confess, I liked the book. Strobel is a journalist and so he writes pretty well. Essentially he creates a semi-fictional story of him going around asking believing Christian scholar’s hard hitting questions about Christianity. Of course he’s actually a believing Christian himself and admits this both at the start and end of the book. He was once an atheist, but by the time he wrote this book, he’s definitely committed to Christian beliefs.
I had to gag myself a couple of times when he felt the need to mock the LDS Church, but these incidents are few and far between and, as we’ll see in a future post, they sort of backfire.
The bottom line is that if you want a quick introduction to some of the best names in believing Christian scholarship, this is a great book to start with. His interviews included: Craig Blomberg (who actually commented on M* in the past), Bruce Metzger, Edwin Yamauchi, John McRay, Gregory Boyd, Ben Witherington, Gary Collins, D.A. Carson, Louis Lapides, Alexander Metherell, William Lane Craig, Gary Habermas, and J.P. Moreland.
By essentially feeding them appropriate questions while taking a tone of skepticism (that he doesn’t really feel), I admit the story reads better aesthetically. Still, being such a skeptic myself, I found this part of the book a bit hard to deal with. But I suspect it won’t bother most people.
Besides, the truth is that he asked probably every single difficult question I would have asked saved one. So with one notable exception concerning the accuracy of Old Testament prophecy concerning the virgin birth, I give him credit for not avoiding the difficult questions.
Also, you have to ask yourself who the intended audience was for the book. It wasn’t Mormons for one thing, and it wasn’t really even skeptics or atheists. It was really a great way of introducing already believing Christians to believing scholars. And, when taken in this light, it was an effective book.
3 out of 5 stars. Suggestion: Recommended to M* readers.