I recently browsed the case for christ on kindle ( i have watched the movie but havent read the book) and i read a comment about it beign a “beginers apologetics”. Now the person stated that the writer lee strobel missed problems about biblical authorship, biblical inconsistency, translation/transcription issues, and such. Now i have two questions. Have these problems and issues that he claims been apologetically answered? And how much work do apologetics do? I mean do you know someone that have changed from beign an sceptic to a believer? Thanks for the answers and God bless
I think it’s fair to say that the paths by which people come to Christ (or are found by Christ) would include many detours, distractions, wanderings, struggling through thickets, etc. That is to say, just anecdotally, I don’t think I know anyone whose path to Christ was only through clean logical analysis and detached appraisal of any/all evidence. It’s always a lot messier than that - usually because of a relationship to others (parents being a prominent start there!) But I’ll wager that there are many who might even hearken back to having heard the message from some preacher now known to be a charlatan. (Think of Paul brushing aside the objection that some ‘peddle the gospel for money’ – but “never mind”, he hastily adds - so long as the gospel is preached.) And for some, (like yourself?) such apologetics may be what you need in the moment to help you hear common answers to the historically common objections. Those books having been around a while will mean that detractors have had plenty of time to give a critical (or even in their own estimate a ‘fatal’) dismissal to the apologetics put forward. And religious proponents, as they come into contact with those objections give further thought to it, and may or may not find it so persuasive. Eventually after enough years of this back-and-forth, some mature believers latch onto the idea that such intellectual exchange is never ever so ‘slam-dunk’ compelling that the other side is forever put down. And one begins to realize that their intellect, while important to nurture and develop, nonetheless cannot ultimately serve as the foundational seat of their faith.
So that might be what some well-meaning Christians might mean if they refer somewhat disparagingly to apologetics works like Strobel’s “Case for Christ” (which I did read too, way back in the day). It isn’t that this is bad work or that people can’t be brought closer to Christ through reading it (surely many have!). But if one imagines that such a work has survived as some “final and unanswered” slam dunk, and that only unreasonable or evil people could fail to be persuaded, then that is where the naivete might come in. Strobel does (if I recall) raise a lot of good evidence - some variations of it still bandied about today I’m sure. But for any continually growing and studying Christian, one should hope they don’t make that intellectual debate or contest the very seat of their living faith. In the end it will not by itself bear that weight. But if it is a stepping stone toward a relationship with the living Christ, then praise God for that.
You guessed right. As you might dont know ive come from an environment not to friendly to any faith or" religion"(i dont like that word) so as a new convert im pretty much easy to prey on for skeptics with difficult questions to answer. I like reading those books because i can find answers to some of the questions that those who hate us ask so “i can understand them” in some way? I donw know something like that. And yeah apologetics for me was a good start
And you are right to do so - [reading all those sorts of books!] Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Even if they don’t end up providing the “last word” on everything that will sustain your faith to the end of your life [of what writings should we expect that anyway, short of Scriptures themselves?], they still serve as thought-fodder and stepping stones for you as your faith grows stronger. You could be doing a lot worse than reading Strobel in my opinion.
Yeah well i kinda get mad because i see myself as prey to skeptics though. Like when my faith shaked" about that question krampus said and i asked on forum. I kinda got mad. I dont know why but i got mad with myself.
While there is something to be said for subjecting your thoughts to critical scrutiny, that they may either be built upon, or culled away - I think you probably might want to be selective about what forums you hang out in a lot. At least initially. I know I’m biased, but I think our community here is a clear cut above most. I know there are forums out there that I would just end up raising my temperature too. They dispense more heat than light.
The problem is i actually do not hang in any other forums. But even lets say see a video with that kind of vibe it gets me mad that im so weak with my faith .
Speaking from my experience often we are our own harshest critics. We don’t like to make mistakes, even when they are really not our fault. That is one of the reasons why I love Jesus.
Jesus is not there to find fault in me. Jesus is there to help me. Jesus knows that one of the quickest was to learn is from our mistakes. He has forgiven our failures before they have taken place. Went we see we have goofed and are ready to admit and learn from it, we are on the side of Jesus. Those who refuse to admit and learn are on the other side.
Only please do not get mad. Just say thank you Jesus for putting me on the right path and forgiving my stupid mistakes. My faith is in You and not myself. .
Yeah but it doesnt look like my faith is getting stronger. Thats why i get mad and frustrated.
It seems like a rollercoaster with ups and downs
All that I am saying is that usually the way it is. Faith is not easy. It would be most frustrating if we did not have the promise of Jesus Christ that we are His and no one can take us away from Him.
Some people take this as arrogance, but really it is humility. We are saved by His Grace alone, not by our strength and wisdom.
Thank God for the ups and so not get to high, and be prepared for the downs knowing that God is preparing you for better things. Your faith is getting stronger whether you know it or not and I rejoice to have met you on this website.
God will make a Way even where there is no way. God has made a way for you to communicate with us from Greece to the rest of the world.
[ A note about using the site: You can edit, add, subtract, change your post by clicking on the little pen underneath the finished post]
Yeah well all i want is to end my suffering of depression and hopefully go to Heaven.
There are some folks who question a lot of biblical authorship. In the Old Testament, you get the Documentary Hypothesis (JEDP) stuff, and in the New Testament there are folks who question the authorship of many of Paul’s works.
I’ve done a lot of reading on these subjects because I did fall into atheism last year. Part of finding God again involved working through those issues. I’d be happy to give you a list of books I’ve read about the Old Testament authorship that might be helpful to you. For New Testament, much of it comes from Bart Ehrman, and honestly, once I believed, I was able to pretty easily answer my own questions about what he was saying (he’s not a Christian). For example, he’ll say the conversion of Paul stories are different between Acts and Galatians, and thus he concludes that Acts must not have been written by Luke. Well, there is good reason to date the writing of Galatians before the events of Acts 15, and if that is the case, it’s pretty easy to harmonize the two accounts. Details in one version that aren’t in another are no problem, since that’s perfectly normal when two different people are telling a story about the same event.
I haven’t read The Case for Christ. I have read The Case for a Creator, which read like a Discovery Institute brochure. I read that while an atheist, shortly before beginning to talk to one of the elders at my church to help me find God again. I typed up 10 pages of notes about that book, and the only argument that was remotely convincing was the fine tuning argument, which at the time I could go 50/50 on. A year after returning to faith, I read through my notes on that book again, and my thoughts on that book hadn’t changed. It was mostly anti-evolution stuff.
One thing another ex-atheist at my church told me last year was that he focuses on the resurrection, and everything else he wings it. I’ve tried to keep that in mind. I still have struggles on a regular basis. I continue to talk to elders at my church. I continue to study deeply. I’ve also been very open and honest with the elders about where I am spiritually. Yes, it is a roller coaster. But I do find that when I go down, I come back up a little bit stronger. The elder I mostly talk to reminds me often to give myself grace. It’s not been that long since I was an atheist, even though a year seems like a long time. This week will be 20 years since I was baptized into Christ, but that half year of atheism really set me back quite a bit. It’s a weird place to be, because I have decent Bible knowledge (my church is very heavy into deep Bible study), but my faith is still a fledgling.
As far as apologetics go… I read The Language of Science and Faith, and I can’t quote it right now because I’ve lent it out, but it talks about things like fine tuning of the universe not being “proof” of God, but they just make God more probable. I thought that was an excellent way to describe it. There isn’t “proof”. That’s why we have faith. But many lines of evidence make it probable.
Hope that helps some! You’re not alone, in the faith struggles or the depression (and I find that depression makes my faith struggles much harder). Finding someone you can trust to talk to can make a world of difference.
Thank you for the encouragement. Yeah the thing is i dont have anyone to talk to expect family and friends which they don’t understand (at least friends still listen). But yeah i just want this to end and (hopefully)go to Heaven. Im really tired of that struggle.
I remain unconvinced by apologetic arguments for the resurrection of christ (though out of faith I think it happened, though possibly in spirit), but find the conversion of Paul, who persecuted the church before, to be on more solid foundations.
If you were looking for encouragement, read Swinburne’s book ‘Are we bodies or souls?’
I mean The case of Christ had good arguments though.
The Case For Christ is good.,but there are books that take it more detail. All of Strobels books are basic, beginner level apologetics. If you are looking for biblical legitimacy and authentic of the scripture, try Cold Case Christianity.
Strobel is a non-denom pastor/writer, so it is likely he has not studied the Ecumenical Councils of the Church which resolved the great Christological (Messianic) issues by the 6th century.