review Lee Strobel's A Case For Faith

Someone recommended this book to me recently. Apparently, it claims to answer the following questions:

  1. If there’s a loving God, why does this pain-wracked world groan under so much suffering and evil?
  2. If the miracles of God contradict science, then how can any rational person believe that they’re true?
  3. If God is morally pure, how can he sanction the slaughter of innocent children as the Old Testament says he did?
  4. If God cares about the people he created, how could he consign so many of them to an eternity of torture in hell just because they didn’t believe the right things about him?
  5. If Jesus is the only way to heaven, then what about the millions of people who have never heard of him?
  6. If God really created the universe, why does the evidence of science compel so many to conclude that the unguided process of evolution accounts for life?
  7. If God is the ultimate overseer of the church, why has it been rife with hypocrisy and brutality throughout the ages?
  8. If I’m still plagued by doubts, then is it still possible to be a Christian?

So, for those who’ve read it, what did you think? Did it answer those questions in a way that was at all convincing? Is it worth spending my money on? (I guess I could always look for it at the library.)

I’m not sure if GD is the right forum for this, but what the heck . . .

I read the book, and while I found it enjoyable it I didn’t find it challanging my beliefs (or non-beliefs). The author poses the questions quite fiercely but after getting a response from the predominately Christian theologians he is interviewing, he just accepts it, as if saying “Oh, ok.” He doesn’t pose challenging enough follow-ups, never cross references with non-Christian historians (or at least I can’t remember if so-someone correct me please). One answer seems to suffice his curiosity. It didn’t satisfy mine.

I only listened to an abridged audio version of the book, about a year ago, so I may not be the most qualified person to speak, but I’ll do my best.

Basically, what Strobel does in the book is to present some of the most common objections against faith in God/Christianity (the ones listed in the OP), and then to explain how one or more Christian writers or preachers has responded to the issue. (So if you were really serious about exploring the issues raised, you’d be well advised to go to the sources Strobel quotes from and read them directly, as well as checking out other thinkers/writers who have different points of view. Not all Christian would agree with everything Strobel says, but nothing he says is way out of the mainstream.)

IMHO, and to the best of my recollection, the responses Strobel presents are not philosophically airtight or beyond criticism, but they are fairly reasonable and well-thought out. And they at least show that the objections themselves aren’t philosophically airtight or beyond criticism.

The book probably won’t convert you, unless it happens to explain away some particular thing that’s holding you back from faith, but it might at least show you that the issues aren’t as one-sided as you might have believed. It’s not a bad response to the “How could anyone possibly believe in God/Christianity when…” kinds of questions.