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Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels

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4.35  ·  Rating details ·  2,595 ratings  ·  323 reviews
Written by an L. A. County homicide detective and former atheist, Cold-Case Christianity examines the claims of the New Testament using the skills and strategies of a hard-to-convince criminal investigator. 

Christianity could be defined as a “cold case”: it makes a claim about an event from the distant past for which there is little forensic evidence. In Cold-Case Christia
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Kindle Edition, 290 pages
Published January 1st 2013 by David C. Cook
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4.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,595 ratings  ·  323 reviews


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J. Wallace
Oct 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
The best book I've ever written (OK it's the ONLY book I've ever written)!

I wrote Cold-Case Christianity because the historic truth claims of Christianity are under attack from every direction. If ever there was a time to study the case for the eyewitness reliability of the gospels, the time is now:

1. Anti-Christian Books Are Increasingly Influential: Books like Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion", Christopher Hitchens' "God is Not Great", Sam Harris' "Letter To A Christian Nation", and Bart Ehr
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Stephen Bedard
Dec 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is an abundance of apologetics books available, many of them saying the same thing in the same way. J. Warner Wallace offers something unique as he brings in his experience as a cold-case detective on the Christian faith. The book is filled with real life criminal cases that illustrate how we must sift through evidence and evaluate testimony. These illustrations bring out the biblical evidence in a fresh way. This would be a great book to give to a skeptic as it is very well written and wi ...more
Bookwraiths
A homicide detective's investigation into the life, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Overall, this was an okay read. The author attempted to collect all the historical data from documented sources, summarize such, then analyze it as if he were solving a murder case. His conclusions are generally consistent with his acknowledged Christian faith, but he does stay true to relying only on facts he believes are supported by the evidence to backup his positions. My only criticism is
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Albinogoth
May 06, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
TL;DR - This book is not for the skeptic. It's for the Christian who wants to feel safe.

This book was frustrating. I need more time to reread and gather all my thoughts, but here is a brief over-view.

My mother recommended this book, hoping it would help with my apostasy. The author, J. Warner Wallace, was a detective and self proclaimed former atheist and skeptic.

First the good: The style is interesting and it's a half decent intro to hermeneutics for laymen. Even with all of the following rant
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Mike (the Paladin)
This is an excellent book. Of course in the spirit of complete disclosure I am a Christian so there's no real controversy here for me.

If you've read The Case for Christ you have read a little of what's here but Mr. Wallace goes further and lays out a coherent case for each piece of evidence. He goes so far as to "track the evidence chain" to look at the reliability of said evidence.

The bottom line for belief or unbelief is that we all look at the same evidence. Some come to Theistic belief other
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Barton Jahn
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A first-rate scholarly defense of Christianity…coming from the uniquely original viewpoint of a seasoned criminal investigator…examining the New Testament “case” for its evidentiary reliability and veracity.

A must-read for anyone interested in the field of Christian apologetics…J. Warner Wallace makes a compelling argument that the gospel writers were first-hand eyewitnesses of the events of the life and teachings they wrote about, the early dating of the New Testament, and the corroboration o
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August Is Azathoth HPL 129 August 20!
Review: COLD-CASE CHRISTIANITY by J. Warner Wallace

Author J. Warner Wallace writes in an intriguing and compelling style of his discovery of the Christian faith. He walks reader's through evidence of the Gospels, utilizing the same principles which he applied to fresh homicides during his long career, and later to cold cases, his current vocation.

Mr. Wallace's approach is easily comprehensible to readers, and following along is akin to investigating a cold case and applying the criteria of foren
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Rod
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: apologetics
Sherlock Holmes would definitely be a Bible loving Christian. The Clues DEMAND it.

Of course Sherlock's nature and human desires would play a huge part in whether he embraced Jesus as his savior - or if he just embraced the truth of the Christian religion from logic and evidence (2 very different things). Thankfully J. Warner even mentions this on page 255: "Belief that" and "Belief in". What do we do with all those clues??? And how does it affect our life?

I've heard many atheists proudly declare
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Kris
Before picking this up I feared it would be too similar to Strobel's The Case for Christ, but I was pleasantly surprised. They are similar — one man using his vocational experience to evaluate Christianity — but it's written in a very different voice and style. Wallace is very grounded in his time as a detective, whereas Strobel was a journalist. Wallace uses court cases as direct metaphors, and constantly keeps the focus on the reader as juror, evaluating evidence to reach a conclusion.

The firs
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Ann Kietzman
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While I appreciate the author's effort to prove Christianity is true, I am not convinced he has accomplished this task. However, the book is interesting and caused me to examine my own beliefs.
Mark Jr.
Mar 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, 2013
Caveat
I could tell by reading the promo material for Cold-Case Christianity that this book of Christian apologetics would land firmly in the camp known as “evidentialism.” The blurbs read like a who's-who of contemporary evidentialists: McDowell (and McDowell), Mittelberg, Moreland, Copan, McFarland.

I appreciate the work done in this camp—Josh McDowell was instrumental in my own mother’s conversion, and Evidence that Demands a Verdict was on our family bookshelf my whole life. I do sometimes
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Dave Jenkins
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: apologetics
When detectives investigate cases they take a look at all the evidence in order to find out what happened during the crime. What would happen if a detective took all of his training both in a secular job, and his training in seminary and wrote a book? What would happen is Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates The Claims Of The Gospels by J. Warner Wallace. Mr. Wallace was formerly a devout atheist and detective who worked cold cases and writes with great knowledge about not o ...more
JACK BLACK
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vince
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
the literary style of this book was pretty interesting and I was very interested in the things the author had to say. Unfortunately I found myself not at all content with the way many arguments were made. the author seemed to treat the gospels as if they were exactly the same as eye witnesses, where the identities were known and where cross examining questions could be asked of them. the author often started with interesting insights but would then extrapolate a theory that did not at all meet h ...more
Kevin
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While I really enjoyed the detective-based approach and learning more about that field, the book didn't flow well and made it more laborious than it ought to have been.

I'd recommend a book like Lee Strobel's "The Case for Christ" (and his other apologetics) over this one.
Bill Kupersmith
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I'd not go so far as to say that every Christian ought to read this book, but all Christians should have the author's confidence that the intellectual foundations of their faith are solid, that a rational & unbiased examination of the evidence strongly supports the conclusion that the biblical accounts of the life, death & resurrection of Jesus are historically probable. A book the author relies on for what he calls "expert testimony" is Richard Bauckham's Jesus & the Eyewitnesses, a ...more
Nick
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: apologetics, kindle
What would happen if a cold-case detective turned his skills towards examining the truth claims of the gospels? Would the Bible come up wanting? Would he expose faulty evidence and discredit their reliability? J. Warner Wallace is such a cold-case detective and he shares his findings in his highly readable book, Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels.

Detective Wallace did not grow up in a Christian home, attend church, or read the Bible for the first
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Rachel Stephens
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I've been a Christian nearly all of my life. As the child of a Bible scholar (not the author of this book) I've been well versed in Biblical history yet at the same time, I've been aware of nearly every argument imaginable as to why the Bible is bunk.

As a sort of "crime junkie" I love reading case files and watching detective TV, so when I came across this book at a Christian bookstore, I was intrigued.

This book takes you through forensic statement analysis, how to determine when books were wr
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Mark Hawker
The book is written from the perspective of a homicide detective. In the first half of the book, Wallace sets out his approach to the Gospels through the principles that he has used and developed throughout his career. Interspersed with these principles are real-life examples of their application to 'cold cases'. Wallace also applies each principle to counter common 'problems' with the Gospel accounts and shows that, in fact, they are reasonable to believe. In the second half of the book, Wallac ...more
SheLove2Read
Oct 04, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf, 2014
Great concept. Poor delivery.

We learn more about how the detective methodology is employed than an actual result. Very disappointing. Did not finish.
Christabelle
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith-building
I love that we have a reasonable faith! I like how this one was set up with stories that illustrated his point. I also liked how he began with quotes from skeptics. He’s not afraid to ask real questions and reminds me that Christianity has stood the test of time. This is one I would recommend.
Sarah Howard
Read with family at dinner time
Leah Hickman
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written from the perspective of a homicide detective, this book offers a reasoned defense of the gospels as eyewitness accounts. The context of the courtroom provided a helpful framework to Wallace's examination of the facts surrounding the resurrection, and the content was both interesting and faith-affirming. It's an excellent book for Christians looking to build their defense for their faith. Also, since the tone wasn't preachy or degrading to non-Christian readers, I'd recommend this book as ...more
Jeanie
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
free on kindle

A journey from casual assent to committed trust, from belief that to belief in.

As a reader, you experience the journey CSI style. As a detective and a skeptic who rejected the bible has written his account of belief in by examining ten simple principles of evidence that can change the way you look at Christianity. There are many reasons why for unbelief, other Christians (which is a cop out, we are to follow Christ; not other Christians.), the evidence of God and his authority,
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Gail Welborn
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
***Veteran homicide detective teaches ten cold-case principles & how to apply them to the Bible***

Accomplished veteran homicide investigator Jim Wallace, was an “angry atheist” until he walked through the doors of Pastor Warren’s Saddleback church and met Jesus Christ. A “spiritual skeptic” for thirty-five years, he had rejected the Bible and thought Christian principles were not worth consideration until a “fellow officer” invited him to that church service.

The sermon “caught his attentio
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Nicole Hewitt
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everyone in my small group really loved this study. It gives a unique perspective on the scriptures and digs into the heart of why we can trust the New Testament Gospels as eyewitness accounts--not just because we've been told the Bible is the word of God but because of factual evidence. I learned an immense amount about the specifics of the Gospels and why they hold up under scrutiny. Wallace's background as a cold-case detective gives him a uniquely qualified perspective--he's used to examinin ...more
Natacha Ramos
May 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
J. Warner Wallace once said that if you say you're Christian, one day someone will ask you why; it's up to us to give them answers that honor our God and our cause the most. This book helps us do just that.

Our main source of information about the life of Jesus are the Gospels, that's why skeptics attack them so merciless. If they can prove somehow those accounts are inaccurate or filled with a bunch of lies written by a group of people driven by their ambition of power, they'll remove all faith
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Curtis
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book primarily concerns the historicity of the gospels. While he presents it in an interesting way, you would be better served by reading the Wikipedia article[0] on the same subject and following the source links to your heart's content. He does devote a chapter to discussing the standard philosophical arguments surrounding the God of Abraham, but it oversimplifies the arguments and makes a healthy set of assumptions. Those arguments deserved to be explored in depth in their own right, par ...more
Dkovlak
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very convincing book. The author is an investigator for the police department. He spent many years investigating cold cases (old cases that were not solved)..Using this expertise, he treated the four Gospels as a cold case to draw a conclusion as to their accuracy.

In the process of doing this, this atheist became convinced that the four Gospels were true and they should be believed. As a result, he became a Christian, went to seminary, and became a Christian pastor and author.

His inve
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Stacey
I have struggled over the years to explain to my "intelligent" friends the validity and accuracy of the bible. I have finally found a book that not only proves this to me, but gives me rational tools to reach out to those in disbelief. A well written book that is simple yet detailed. I encourage anyone with the desire to learn more about the gospels and their history to give this book a try. It is a good read!
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J. Warner Wallace is both a detective (currently working cold case homicides), a missions leader and a church planter. He started his career as a designer (earning a BFA from California State University at Long Beach and a Master’s in Architecture from UCLA). He eventually joined a law enforcement agency in Los Angeles County and has been a police officer and detective for nearly 25 years. Jim was ...more
“Tolerance used to be the attitude that we took toward one another when we disagreed about an important issue; we would agree to treat each other with respect, even though we refused to embrace each other’s view on a particular topic. Tolerance is now the act of recognizing and embracing all views as equally valuable and true, even though they often make opposite truth claims.” 7 likes
“Biased people are seen as prejudicial and unfair, arrogant and overly confident of their position. Nobody wants to be identified as someone who is biased or opinionated. But make no mistake about it, all of us have a point of view; all of us hold opinions and ideas that color the way we see the world. Anyone who tells you that he (or she) is completely objective and devoid of presuppositions has another more important problem: that person is either astonishingly naive or a liar.” 6 likes
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