Kerrie's Reviews > The Case for Christ

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
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's review
Sep 19, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: religion

I pretty much agree with everything Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins have to say on the subject of religion (with a few exceptions), but I'm not about to limit my reading material to what fits my worldview. I'm entirely open to reading religious material and see what it has to say. This book was put into my hands by a Christian who said it proved beyond a doubt that Christ existed, was resurrected, and therefore Christianity/God/salvation was real. This story has obviously convinced billions of others throughout the course of history. OK, Lee Strobel, convince me.

I don't know how this book could convince anyone who isn't already firmly in the Jesus camp and believes wholeheartedly. I could do a page by page critique of this book, but this guy did an excellent job already.

Bottom Line: Strobel quotes from the Bible to prove his case. Therefore he's beginning with the assumption that the Bible is true. *facepalm* If he was planning on convincing skeptics with this book, that's a fail right out of the gate.

The entire book was intellectually dishonest. He quoted freely from Christian sources (and attributed the quotes), but only paraphrased skeptic sources that supposedly supported his position (and left them unnamed so I couldn't look them up). After pages and pages of this, my rating kept dropping. Since I doubted that he would be able to convince me, I was not going to rate this book on content but instead focus on his tactics.

His introduction also struck me as very revealing - why is it that those who were "atheists" and turned to religion were always at the lowest point in their lives? Strobel was trapped by alcohol, drugs, and sex (don't forget the sex!) His marriage was going to sh!t as a result. It never fails to amuse me that one of the most prevalent beliefs about atheists is that they're absolutely miserable people with nothing to live for because of that "god-shaped hole" in their heart.
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Reading Progress

April 20, 2011 – Started Reading
April 26, 2011 – Finished Reading
September 19, 2011 – Shelved
September 19, 2011 – Shelved as: religion

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Al (new) - rated it 5 stars

Al Datum If you agree with Hitchens (who is now a believer, by the way, since his passing) and Dawkins, then you have not given much thought to this subject. Even educated atheists cringe at how poorly thought out and argued Dawkins and Hitchens arguments are. Quit being a drone, Kerrie. Start thinking for yourself.

Kerrie Scott wrote: "If you agree with Hitchens (who is now a believer, by the way, since his passing)..."

Thanks, Scott. This made my night. *laughing*

I have questioned God's existence ever since I was a child and reached my decision early. Long before I even knew who Hitchens and Dawkins were. They simply could verbalize and express far more eloquently the conclusions that I had come to years ago. By not being raised religious (not by atheist parents, just non-religious ones) I did not have that religious programming that the impressionable mind of a child absorbs like a sponge (and is so hard to shake off). I've always looked for evidence and have found none.

I understand why people choose religion. It is a comfort, I've heard it enough from my religious friends. It helps them deal with the crap of daily life, traumas, etc. I've even heard people say that yeah, they have doubts, but the fantasy of it is better than thinking there is nothing out there and we live in an uncaring universe with no purpose to existence. Personally, I find that sad on many levels... that for whatever reason they cannot believe that any amazing thing they do or obstacle they overcome was due to their own personal strength, but the intervention or aid of a supernatural power.

And that ties in to my observation at the end of this review - why is it that so-called atheists who converted always seem to have found religion when their lives went to shit and they were at what they thought was their lowest point? Comfort. That's how I view religion and belief in a god, especially evangelical Christianity where one is forgiven of all their sins if they just believe and accept Jesus as their savior. I know one might ask, "Is that so bad?" Well... if they keep it to themselves, it's fine. But the way religion has influenced politics in this country, affecting women's healthcare, etc.... it is NOT fine: keep religion private and stop trying to control the lives of the rest of us.

message 3: by Ivan (new) - rated it 1 star

Ivan U r spot on!

Lindsay Sorry, but your claim that the book is intellectually dishonest is in itself a logical fallacy, since you are challenging the intelligence of both the author and those he interviewed, not the subject matter. Terrible review by Kerrie.

Lindsay Moreover, the 'Bottom Line:' statement is also incorrect. Strobel threw Bible verses in the face of those he interviewed and challenged them to confirm or deny their integrity. Strobel was an atheist at the time of his interviews...

Kerrie I have no idea what you're saying or trying to say. But I'm looking forward to your 5-star detailed review of this book that explains exactly what is so Right about it.

message 7: by Nicol (new) - added it

Nicol Hi Kerrie.

I haven't read this book yet, but it's on my to-read list. I read your review and your first response. I am glad that you are reading books like this and challenging yourself to analyze the view that stands in opposition to your own beliefs. I'm trying to do more of that too. I'm in Camp Jesus at this point, but I haven't always been. I went from Catholic to Atheist to Agnostic to Spiritual to Christian over a period of about 10 years. I (kind of) understand where you're coming from, since I've been on your side of the fence as well. It seems like you're really striving to understand, so I just want to say one thing. I didn't choose faith because it is comfortable. In fact, I'm one of those "crazy," "fundamentalist," threatening Christians. Inherently, this often makes me very uncomfortable. It's uncomfortable socially, that's for sure. Try admitting that you believe in Creation to a bunch of super educated colleagues. Barf! Additionally, there is a piece of Christianity that I have only just begun to understand: trust. Here is one example of trust that is tough for me. To lay down my wants and needs before God, and simply trust him to care/provide for me (and my family- even more difficult) in times of trouble, is astonishingly uncomfortable. But that's what the faith part of faith is all about. I'm struggling to rewire my own brain; Christianity demands that you accept God as your provider and salvation. This means rejecting the notion that one is in control of his own fortune and future, both here on Earth and in Heaven. That, at times, gives me serious indigestion. Faith is very challenging if one is actually being faithful.

There is something I've heard referred to as "prosperity gospel;" I don't know a lot about this concept, but my general understanding leads me to believe that this is the part of Christianity (if you can call it that) to which you are referring. Prosperity gospel would be the comfort food of preaching; it's very feel-good and gives a person warm fuzzies... and maybe some false beliefs about what it means to be a Christian.

I wish I could come up with a good title that would really illustrate the true meaning of Christianity (aside from the Bible). I'm stumped right now. You could always try some CS Lewis. I've heard really good things about Mere Christianity, but I haven't read it myself.

I hope that I didn't come across as preachy or condescending or anything like that. I just saw an opportunity to communicate about the topic with you- and you seem genuinely curious and thoughtful about it. Figured I'd share.

Be well.

message 8: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Kop "It never fails to amuse me that one of the most prevalent beliefs about atheists is that they're absolutely miserable people with nothing to live for because of that "god-shaped hole" in their heart."

Except, well yeah, atheists kinda are. How could anyone who denies a major purpose for existence not be miserable? No atheist ever has provided me a clear answer on that. Atheism means no purpose, no conscience other than subjective perception which would justify any bad behaviour. "Girls are raped and eaten in a certain culture, who are we to object that?" ---> this thought process is where the world is heading. Atheism is losing. Atheism = nihilism = neo liberalism/braindead socialists/blurred morality.

message 9: by Kerrie (last edited Jan 14, 2018 05:40PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Kerrie And people who think that God/threat of Hell/eternal punishment is the only thing keeping them from rape and murder... That's the sort of thing that makes me side-eye those people and be on the alert. >_>

There's plenty to live for in this world without religion. Enjoy the journey while you're here, live well, and strive to not cause harm or discomfort to others. That outlook has served me well. And promises of reward/threat of punishment have never entered the equation. It's quite easy, really!

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