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seVen's avatar

Have you read a book or seen a documentary "The Case For Christ" by a former atheist journalist of Chicago Tribune? What you think of his investigation?

Asked by seVen (3464points) May 6th, 2009 from iPhone

I want sincere response from only those who really read the book or watched the documentary DVD please.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

41 Answers

Ivan's avatar

Lee Strobel

crisw's avatar

I haven’t read the entire book, but as I have been looking pretty intently at Christian apologetics lately (trying to find some that make sense- a very difficult task!) I have been reading a lot by and about Strobel. Here are a few articles I’ve come across that refute many of the points he makes:

The Rest of the Story

Challenging the Verdict

Rebutting ‘The Case for a Creator’ (beginning of a series)

lukiarobecheck's avatar

I did read most of the book. I know that sounds silly, but seriously, after you read about 3/4 of the way through you get the idea. I also thought it was weird that he was writing the book after he had converted. So him seemed very bias. I just had to put the book down, it all seemed the same. I do plan to pick it up again, and give it another go, because there are some very interesting things in there. Also as a person still searching for my own answers, I did find it hard to refute who Jesus was. Maybe that is old dogma still sticking around in my head. This has me thinking about a new question. Back to the subject, it was a good book. A bit repetitive, and I still have questions.
Thanks.

ragingloli's avatar

i somehow doubt he ever was an atheist.

aidje's avatar

I wasn’t impressed with the book. I didn’t bother finishing it.

Crusader's avatar

The Truth shall set you free. Self-imposed bondage is you choice, fortunately, Christians are generally accountable, honest, and charitable, as we as racially tolerant, though they would like to have equal chance to succeed accademically, and economically in the middle-class like everyone else.

‘Do not be unevenly yoked with unbelievers.’

The book is highly reccommended, as an expose’, a testimonial.

Ivan's avatar

“Christians are generally accountable, honest, and charitable, as we as racially tolerant”

lol

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Ivan i agree. Fancy that lol.

ragingloli's avatar

@Ivan yeah i totally agree.

aidje's avatar

@Crusader What? Should I have mentioned that I am a Christian? The fact remains that I really didn’t like this book.

Crusader's avatar

@aidje,
You sweeping dismissal of the text, without specific examples, would indicate that your agenda is to discourage Christianity in general. Or ios your alleged practiced Christian version one of the polpular ‘cherry-picked’ scriptural versions?

If you want to discuss a Christian-themed text as a Christian skeptic-Christian then at least provide some citation.

Ivan's avatar

@Crusader

The question was “what did you think of his investigation?” not, “please refute the claims of this book.”

Crusader's avatar

@Ivan,

Yes, ‘investigation’ is rather open to interpretation. It could represent academic or spiritual authenticity. Ultimately, its all personal testimony, is it not? It could have the most compelling positions and scholarly research, but, without faith, it is an empty gourd, without refreshment.

Ivan's avatar

@Crusader

Heh, you’ve got it backwards. You can express all the faith you want, but without scholarly research, there is no substance. It is just emotional, subjective storytelling.

Crusader's avatar

@Ivan,

The Pharasees and Saducees attempted to convince Jesus his position was backwards also, like Him I stand resolute, and in my faith.

ragingloli's avatar

@Crusader and as Jesus, you are wrong.

Crusader's avatar

@ragingloli

Ok, if you believe Jesus was wrong, I suppose you have no problems with overt hypocricy, racism, and execution of alleged ‘aduterous’ women then, right?

ragingloli's avatar

why not? the bible demands that, doesn’t it. (killing adulterers that is)

Crusader's avatar

Not since Jesus…The New Testement,
Also, virtully all of the world worshipped their ancestors, not a universal God, at that time and employed the same harsh treatments of their people, though the Greeks were an exception sometimes, thus the influence of Greece on Hebrew tradition and vice-versa, thus Greek/Russian Orthodox

ragingloli's avatar

if one accepts jesus as the blasphemous wizard that he was, one can forget the new testament entirely, making your point irrelevant.

Crusader's avatar

@ragingloli

you said, ‘if one accepts Jesus as the blasphemous wizard that he was…’ Wizard? Define wizard, Harry Potter-type, Gandalf-type? Moses turned sticks to snakes, was he a ‘blasphemous wizard’ also?

Who benefits from renouncing Jesus as the Son of God? Athiests? Islam? Hindus? Witches, Shamans? Zionist extremist hypocites? The extreme of any faith, based upon self-worship and self-importance, and encouraging behavior in others that would not be acceptable in ones own community-or outright wanton destruction of order, family, and anything remotely biblical, is the whole point of the need for the New Testement, the Christ and the Ressurection.

Do you not find it interesting that all the faiths of the world and lifestyles are generally opposed to (socially conservative) Christianity unless they are believers themselves?(yet practice a much more extrme social conservativism in their own countries more often than not…) Christians set a rigorous standard for themselves unlike any other group, and it is not always pleasant to believe and behave in a Christian manner amongst unbelievers, and ofter quite unpleasant. Though any unbeliever can rarely find (temporary) refuge with other unbelievers,(refuge with believers-interested in conversion/good samaritinism-is more common,though believers are rarely welcomed by unbelievers,)

Corrupt governments offer plenty of refuge for the unscrupulous, (though many unbelievers are kind, and try to be honest they are usually not able to dicern the truth as they have not received the holy spirit.) Remarkable the degree of social conservative Christian faith in America considering all the social, political, and economic drawbacks.
God bless all the true social conservative (fiscal moderates) Christians/Orthodox/Catholic/Mormons, in Jesus name, amen.

@ragingloli
Your reward is here if you continue to choose this path, not in the hereafter. But you have the choice, we all have.

Believe in the resurrection, have faith, and you will have another reward, eternal life-And blessings in this one, though Not Necessariy measured in a personal wealth.

ragingloli's avatar

@Crusader
the “i am the son of god, doing miracles and stuff, accept me as your saviour” type of wizard, also known as false prophet.
————————————————————————————
“Who benefits from renouncing Jesus as the Son of God?”

That depends on whether Jesus is the son of god. Since there is no non biblical evidence, e.g. the only type of evidence that anyone in their right mind would accept as evidence, one can assume that he wasn’t.
Everyone would benefit from that, because it frees time that can be used for useful things, like, sorting your socks or building a homeless shelter. It also eliminates one of the driving factors behind the “us vs. them” mentality, in this case, “i worship the son of god and am already saved, thus better than you”.
————————————————————————————
“The extreme of any faith, based upon self-worship and self-importance, and encouraging behavior in others that would not be acceptable in ones own community-or outright wanton destruction of order, family, and anything remotely biblical, is the whole point of the need for the New Testement, the Christ and the Ressurection.”

If that was the whole point, and divinely mandated and orchestrated, then tell me, why did it so fail miserably in the past 2000 years? Apparently it has done nothing to improve the situation of human society, on the contrary, it has brought as much calamity, such as the dark ages, the suppression of science, which was responsible for the loss of many lives that could have otherwise been saved , the crusades, the holy inquisition, two world wars.

To address another point, the one about self worship, it is my impression that no faith is marked by so much “self-worship” as you call it, as christianity.
The entire concept of “being saved by having a personal relation ship with jesus and accepting him as the personal saviour” while all other who don’t, no matter how good they are will go to hell, reeks of self-importance and implies self worship.
————————————————————————————
“Do you not find it interesting that all the faiths of the world and lifestyles are generally opposed to (socially conservative) Christianity unless they are believers themselves?”

That is simple and pure “us vs them” mentality and is completely independent from which religion you adhere to.
Religions are generally opposed to each other, with the exlusion of buddhism, because every religion tries to impose their values, rules, and dogma on others.
Muslims try to impose their values on Christians, Jews, etc., Christian try to impose their values on Muslims, Jews, etc., but hey, the jews somehow don’t, they just seem to keep to themselves, in the western world at least (the palestina affair doesn’t throw a good light on Israel right now).
————————————————————————————
“Christians set a rigorous standard for themselves unlike any other group,”

Now that is simply not true.
The jews have a more rigorous standard set for themselves, the muslims have a more rigorous standard set for themselves, the Hindu have a more rigorous standard set for themselves, even the buddhists have a more rigorous standard set for themselves. Indeed, and that is what i was told by a “saved christian”, the christian mindset seems to be “do what you want as long you accept Jesus as your saviour. the right and proper behaviour will come automatically from being a saved christian”.
And truly, that doesn’t work in reality.
————————————————————————————
“Though any unbeliever can rarely find (temporary) refuge with other unbelievers”

That is inherent human bahaviour, being suspicious of strangers.
————————————————————————————
”(refuge with believers-interested in conversion/good samaritinism-is more common”

I have seen different.
There was this one episode on one of those wife swap series, where a woman, who adhered to new age spirituality, took the place of a woman who was herself and lived in a deeply christian community.
When the friends of the religious woman found out that the replacement wife was not a christian, they became extremely condescending and arrogant, even making fun of her beliefs.
Another one is a story that i read, that a 16 year old was thrown out of its home by its christian parents simply for being an atheist.
Then there is the general discrimination against atheists in religious communities.
All three examples happened within the US.
————————————————————————————
“though believers are rarely welcomed by unbelievers”

That is rooted in the above examples, while that would not be as extreme in Europe, as European christians generally are not as hell bent on converting other as their US counterparts. One of my best friends in school was the son of a pastor, who was also a very pleasant person.
The US christian attitude of wanting to convert everyone is what causes them being unwelcome in an unbeliever’s midst.
————————————————————————————
“hough many unbelievers are kind, and try to be honest they are usually not able to dicern the truth as they have not received the holy spirit.”

Again, that is simply not true.
On the contrary, we “unbelievers” (those who came to their lack of belief because of reason and logic) are generally better suited for discerning truth than believers, because we generally do not believe in things for which there is no evidence, like fairies, orks, trolls, unicorns, pére noel, and last but not least, the christian god.
Just look at the creationists. All have received the “holy spirit”, and none of them sees the truth that creationism is wrong.
————————————————————————————
“Remarkable the degree of social conservative Christian faith in America considering all the social, political, and economic drawbacks.”

Not so remarkable to me. I consider this an escape mechanism to alleviate the perceived peril. Purely psychological.
————————————————————————————
“God bless all the true social conservative (fiscal moderates) Christians/Orthodox/Catholic/Mormons, in Jesus name, amen.”

The “true social conservatives” are the ones (Bush, cheney and cohorts) that brought us into this mess.
The “true social conservatives” are the ones who defended slavery as their “god given right”.
The “true social conservatives” are the ones who defended the ban of interracial marriage on biblical grounds.
The “true social conservatives” are the ones who opposed the emancipation of women.
The “true social conservatives” are the ones who generally want to restrict the rights of others and impose their rules and values on them.
They should not be blessed, but pitied.
————————————————————————————
“Your reward is here if you continue to choose this path, not in the hereafter. But you have the choice, we all have”

I do not believe in the afterlife. And indeed, the more science discovers, the less likely an afterlife seems to become.

And furthermore, if your vision of an omniscient god is correct, then there can be no free will, there can be no free decisions, and we can have no choice in what path we choose. Because if god knows our decisions in advance, which follows from omniscience, our choices are predetermined, and we are incapable of deviating from them.
————————————————————————————
“Believe in the resurrection, have faith, and you will have another reward, eternal life-And blessings in this one, though Not Necessariy measured in a personal wealth.”

Putting aside that i do not believe in the ressurection, i do not want eternal life. I find it a horrible concept.

Crusader's avatar

@ragingloli

I am busy now, thank you for your interest. I will pray that you accept Jesus and recieve the Holy Spirit, the Discerner, this is the best way to know the Truth.

aidje's avatar

@Crusader You are making a lot of assumptions about me. I don’t have any citations to provide, because I have no intention of disagreeing with Lee Strobel’s arguments. I have no desire to counter him point-for-point. From my perspective, such arguments are inherently worthless, because faith is not something to be proven. If it were, then it would not be faith. I do not believe that faith can be arrived at by rational argument. That’s simply not what faith is. If you think that faith is a fact to arrive at by argument, then I think you are mistaken as to the nature of faith.

Crusader's avatar

aidjie, @ragingloli,

Faith and (good)Works are synonymous for Believers, evidence for a faith that prides itself on anonymity? On chastity? Honesty? On accountability? On charity? You have but to see the sweet fruits of their labors, and observe the longsuffering and love of the people.

Believers practice works done anonymously and without expectation of compensation/accolades is the Protestant/Orthodox/(Conservative) Catholic way…

Testimonials are also a means of bringing others to the Truth, all needs to be considered and understood for the skeptical mind. Thus, ignorance truely is Bliss. All believers are blessed, the learned and the primitive.

aidje's avatar

@Crusader Are you changing the subject? I thought we were discussing the merit of Lee Strobel’s approach to Christianity.

Crusader's avatar

@aidje,
I was responding to Your question of evidence for faith,

‘such arguments are inherently worthless, because faith isnot something to be proven.’ Your Words, not Mine.
It is relevant to the post as your questioning the merit of the book based upon your position of the ‘unprovability’ of faith. Readers, please refer back to my previous post.

aidje's avatar

@Crusader I was talking about Strobel’s style of apologetics. Then you started talking about good works. Lee Strobel thinks that the Christian faith can be empirically proven. I disagree with that notion. Good works is another topic entirely, one that could generate a lot of discussion on its own. Strobel does not at any point make an argument like the one you appear to be making, so I do not see its relevance to this discussion, which is about Strobel’s extremely modernist approach to faith.

Crusader's avatar

@aidje, Empiracism is evident in the ‘expected’ lifestyle today in current and former Christian nations.

aidje's avatar

@Crusader Whatever you’re trying to say, I don’t think it relates to Strobel. This thread is looking a little dead.

Crusader's avatar

It is related, Stobel may have attempted to support the Christian messege through personal experience, which is often interpreted as an oxymoron, yet, taken in the wider contect as the individual to the collective and critical mass theory, it is relevant.

aidje's avatar

@Crusader “May have”? He did not. That is simply not in his book.

I can see that this conversation is going absolutely nowhere, and I don’t have any desire to continue it. I have said what I think of the book, and thus answered the original question. Once again: I was not impressed with Strobel’s arguments, and I think that it is downright harmful to attempt to hang the Christian faith on weak attempts at logical arguments. All that accomplishes is to edge out any element of actual faith, thus placing one’s religious beliefs on a rather shaky foundation. There is no reason to pretend that faith is science—unless one wishes to destroy faith by pretending that it is something that it is not. And I know that is not what you or Strobel are trying to accomplish.

That is all I have to say. Goodbye.

Crusader's avatar

@aidje

Define ‘foundation,’ Having the messege of a conversion is reason enough as a testimonial for evangelizing purposes, as a Christian, I know this, as a non-beleiver, I do not expect you to know or accept it. Actual faith is both personal And evidence, personal testimonials And physical locations/relics, etc..You know this at least. Also, there is no need to pretend science is faith, either, but both science and spirituality require elements of faith. The truth shall set you free.

aidje's avatar

@Crusader There you go, saying I’m not a Christian again. Also, I’m beginning to wonder if you’ve read the book that we’re talking about. But why am I answering you? I already said goodbye. Sorry about that. (For real this time, goodbye.)

Crusader's avatar

@aidje
You could have some valid points, and I probably need to research more into this text before making any more claims, yet with the prevailing culture, any book titled the Case for Christ as I have stipulated before, along with some of the content I have read, is better than nothing in terms of evangelizing. Also, if you are truely a Christian, I apologize, yet if you are so, you must recognize the importance or not only personal testimonials, but also the intangibles such as government stability, general tolerance, and value of relics. This book preceded the Angels and Demons movie also, with certain parallels. Evidently you have your position informed, yet I again, beleive in the value of the text on its own merit, not as an academic or empircist exclusively, but in part. As much as any part that can be introduced to such a discussion without digressing to pure empiricism-this is the province of non-believers.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ragingloli

When did Jesus ever claim to be God or the Son of God? I’ve studied the bible for nearly thirty years and cannot recall him ever saying that. Every one else said those things about him, but he never said it.

And what is it about Jesus teachings that leads you to state that he was “wrong” and a blasphemous wizard?

ragingloli's avatar

According to the bible, the pharisees asked him whether he was the son of god. He basically responed with “you say so”.
The pharisees interpreted this response as him confirming their suspicion. most christians interpret it that way as well.
He also implied several times something along these lines. ((John 8:57–59), (John 10:30–33), (John 12:44–46), (John 13:12–14), (John 14:6–9))
According to judaism, anyone who claims to be the son of god, part of god, or god himself, is an heretic.
Judaism also rejects that sins can be forgiven by sacrifice of someone else.
(“The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers; every man shall be put to death for his own sin.”)
This makes this whole “jesus died for our sins” untrue.
Together with his alleged miracles, he becomes a wizard/false prophet.
(not to mention that he didn’t meet judaism’s criteria to qualify as messiah)

my personal view is that he was fictional

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ragingloli

Do you think there is a possibility that it was all “interpreted” wrongly. Could there be a deeper, more simplistic message to all of this?

ragingloli's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies
Sure there is. But the problem is, to find out which interpretation is wrong and which is right, one would have to ask the author of the initial statement.
But as you will surely agree, this is quite of a problem, hein?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ragingloli

It’s only a problem for those who don’t see, accept, and wade through the layers within the teaching.

Context is an important faculty to understanding.

For instance, it is common to conflate the Law of Moses with Gods 10 Commandments. The 10 Commandments don’t tell us to stone the wayward son. The Law of Moses was designed for governance in a time where survival conditions were completely different than they are today. We cannot possibly associate with the reasoning behind those laws. They were meant for a different time and circumstance. A drunken son was given numerous opportunities to change his ways, and if he did not, was viewed as a security threat to the entire nation. It was a simple matter of ensuring the survival of a nation who was surrounded by foes. A nation familiar with centuries of persecution.

As well, Jesus did not come to make bad people turn good. He came so that dead people could live. Jesus teachings revolved around spiritual death, not physical death.

Spiritual death comes from accepting the Father of Lies over the Father of Truth. Jewish law had become a mockery of itself with much corruption and temple prostitutes. The people were at the mercy of a law that could not be fulfilled, controlled by men who grew rich at failing to do so. As Christ clearly stated that he did not come to change the law, he came to fulfill it. In doing so, he gave us one commandment to live by. One commandment that encompassed all the others. To Love one another.

Jesus was not killed because he claimed to be God. He was not killed because the Pharisees accused him of that either. They conflated his words to use as an excuse for doing so. Jesus was killed because his popularity was threatening to the Jewish power structure of the time. It was all political.

This understanding of biblical teaching won’t make sense to anyone that clings to dogmatic perceptions of a God and Satan. But it begins to sink in to anyone who understands that the concept of God, the essence of God… is equal to Truth. And the essence of Satan is equal to Deception.

It’s all about Truth and Deception, and which one we choose to call Father.

Aster's avatar

@Crusader I think you’re wasting your time. He reads Bertrand Russell. He is a supreme intellect but he doesn’t possess complete knowledge of the universe

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