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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 ChristiaWritten 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 Christianity, J. Warner Wallace uses his nationally recognized skills as a homicide detective to look at the evidence and eyewitnesses behind Christian beliefs. Including gripping stories from his career and the visual techniques he developed in the courtroom, Wallace uses illustration to examine the powerful evidence that validates the claims of Christianity. A unique apologetic that speaks to readers’ intense interest in detective stories, Cold-Case Christianity inspires readers to have confidence in Christ as it prepares them to articulate the case for Christianity....

Title : Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels
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ISBN : 9781434704696
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
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Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels Reviews

  • J. Wallace
    2019-05-02 04:53

    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 Ehrman's "Forged: Writing in the Name of God - Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are" have influenced millions of readers and challenged the essential truth claims of the gospel accounts.2. Fewer People Identify Themselves As Christians: The number of people who identify themselves as Christians in America, for example, has decreased by over 10% in the past 20 years (American Religious Identification Survey 1990-2008)3. Young People Are Leaving the Church in Record Numbers: As many as 70% of those who identify themselves as Christians entering college will walk away from their faith by the time they are seniors and only about a third of these young people will ever return to the Church (LifeWay Research Study 2007)4. Intellectual Skepticism Is a Growing Problem: When young ex-Christians are asked about their reasons for leaving, the largest percentage identify intellectual skepticism or doubt as the culprit (Smith and Denton, Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers, 2005)5. The Claims of the Gospels Are Under Attack: When surveyed, young members of the church are less and less convinced that the gospel accounts are reliable. 63% don't believe that Jesus is the Son of the one true God. 51% don't believe that Jesus rose from the dead (Josh McDowell, The Last Christian Generation, 2006) It's time for a "Cold-Case" approach to the Gospels. Cold-Case Detectives investigate specific types of criminal events:1. Events that occurred in the distant past2. For which there are typically no living eyewitnesses3. And little or no direct physical evidenceThese cases are made by examining the nature of circumstantial evidence and assembling a convincing, cumulative circumstantial case. The claims of the New Testament Gospels can be similarly investigated:1. The gospels record events that occurred in the distant past2. For which there are no living eyewitnesses3. And no direct physical evidenceThe tools used by Cold-Case Investigators can be applied to the New Testament gospels to determine if the facts they represent are a true record of the life of Jesus. I want to teach you how to be a good detective. Cold-Case Christianity will:1. Provide you with ten principles of cold-case investigations and equip you to use these concepts as you consider the claims of the New Testament gospel authors. These simple principles will give you new insight into the historic evidence for Christianity.2. Provide you with a four step template to evaluate the claims of the gospel writers. Cold-Case Christianity will teach you how to evaluate eyewitnesses to determine if they are reliable. You'll then be able to employ this template as you examine the claims of the gospel eyewitnesses.3. Provide you with the confidence and encouragement necessary to make an impact on your world. As your evidential certainty grows, so too will your desire to share the truth with others. Cold-Case Christianity will equip you to reach others with the truth. Cold-Case Christianity will help you understand the power of circumstantial evidence, drawing on 25 years of law enforcement experience (15 years spent working Cold-Case Homicides). I'll share my personal journey from atheism to Christian certainty while describing the essential components of eyewitness reliability, abductive reasoning and the rules of evidence. You'll come away with fresh insight and the ability to articulate what you already intuitively understand from your cultural familiarity with homicide investigations. You'll also be able to apply this renewed understanding to the case for Christianity.You can get more information at!

  • Bookwraiths
    2019-05-02 11:10

    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 that the narrative is very dry, reading like a professional paper, or case study, of a true murder case, which made it a less-than-exciting reading experience for me personally.To end with the obvious, this book is tailored toward Christians or those open-minded about the religion, so if you find religious works tedious, then this probably isn't the book for you.

  • Stephen Bedard
    2019-05-19 09:14

    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 will keep interest, while at the same time will present a clear case for the truth of Christianity.

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2019-04-25 04:52

    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 others come to an atheistic belief (some remain agnostic). The key can come down to what is the evidence and how reliable is it and it's source. That's what we cover here. Looking at the evidence as a police detective he (the author) lays it out and holds it up for examination.I like the book and recommend it.

  • Albinogoth
    2019-05-16 03:49

    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 rants and complaints, it has those two on its side. Unfortunately the style does not make up for the total presentation. After reading the prologue I knew I was in for a long slog. Wallace's former self did not sound like a skeptic to me. Just a loud mouth who thought he knew it all. His discovery of the bible was so odd. I come from a diametrically opposite background. I was a believer and loved reading the scriptures even as a kid. My dad fondly remembers me devouring the book of Isaiah when I was a young boy. But to listen to this guy say he shit on the bible without reading it? How is that skeptical? It might be true, but if this guy didn't bother reading the bible before he criticized and mocked it, what are the chances he's read the actual intellectual arguments against the bible?Which comes to my second pet-peeve of the book. He presents a simplified version of 'the skeptics' as though there is some skeptics dogma. He seldom if ever references a skeptic save for opening quotes in a chapter, and gives us no source to check the actual argument a real person made. This is made even more frustrating when he happily references people and books in his own side, often very meticulously. Granted, he doesn't have to make their arguments for the opposition. But if he's addressing actual arguments, he needs to source them. I constantly shouted at my phone 'Who? Who said that?'. There might be an actual skeptic who is like what he thinks, (perhaps he is arguing against his old, uneducated beliefs) but this presentation is a mockery. In most segments he presents a little story from when he was a detective to illustrate an idea. This is actually a good technique to help the reader grasp the concepts being presented. I give him props for the style. However his stories often contradicted what he was trying to present. In chapter 13 (were they accurate) he tells a story about a man he called 'Jassen' who initially gave one testimony and then when asked years later, evidently forgot his initial testimony and gave a different answer. He was caught in a lie because the officer had written down his initial testimony. The lesson is, if the story doesn't change, then it's accurate. The New Testament is well recorded and has not really changed since its first writing. So why does the example fail? Well, no one recorded the initial reactions. Those were recorded years and years later. Not hundreds of years, no. Even the twenty or so years Wallace claims for the earliest New Testament book is still years later. Jassen's example should make us more skeptical.Last pet peeve for now. Let's not forget this strange concept of eyewitness he uses. A person telling me what he says another person claimed to see is not an eyewitness. Even worse when the assumed eyewitness tells the writer things he found not have eye-witnessed. Testimony? Okay. But if I tell you what my brother said he saw, I'm not an eye-witness. My testimony is not eyewitness testimony. If you've read this far, thank you for reading my initial ramblings. There's actually a lot more I want to talk about (eg his odd concept of preconceptions, which he gets half right) but I would like to organize my ideas better first. Long story short, this book is not for the skeptic. It's for the Christian who wants to feel safe.

  • March Shoggoth Madness The Haunted Reading Room
    2019-04-30 10:00

    Review: COLD-CASE CHRISTIANITY by J. Warner WallaceAuthor 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 forensic science.

  • Mark Jr.
    2019-05-11 10:06

    CaveatI 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 feel, however, that the evidentialist camp forgets (or refuses to acknowledge!) that their camp is on my camp’s property. Evidentialism is, I think, properly viewed as a subset of presuppositionalism.So I was pleasantly surprised to see author J. Warner Wallace bring up the important role of presuppositions at the outset of his book. He's quite strong on this: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.However, I'm afraid the author crystallized something for me, because he turns right around and urges readers to be objective, to bracket out our presuppositions:It's possible to have a prior opinion yet leave this presupposition at the door in order to examine the evidence fairly.He uses an illustration from his forensics work to help prove this point. A murder victim lay in her bed, and Wallace's older partner read all the evidence in the room in light of one explicit presupposition: it's husbands who kill wives. Only when she was later found to be unmarried did they start on the track of the real killer. That presupposition, though generally accurate, caused them to misread the picture on the nightstand, the men's clothes in the closet, and the murder itself. Leaving that presupposition aside allowed them to examine the evidence fairly.And in this case I think Wallace's idea about bracketing off presuppositions undeniably works. But presuppositions applied to a crime scene are not base-level in the human person. The belief that it's usually husbands who are guilty of killing wives is not a belief people, even homicide detectives, hold close to the center of their hearts.I'm afraid that I, in turn, think it's naive to think that someone can set aside the kinds of presuppositions that come into play when evaluating the Christian faith. What Wallace crystallized for me was the role played by something deeper than merely cognitive presuppositions: the role of the heart. Someone who, in his heart, fundamentally hates God is not going to be persuaded by mountains of evidence and reasoning, however cogently presented.Notice what I did not say: I did not say that faith is unreasonable or that the Christian faith in particular is irrational. Nor did I say that evidence and rational argumentation are useless. These are means God may choose to use to bring someone to faith. Surely reason plays a necessary role in every conversion. But fallen people are not fundamentally “reasonable,” because they refuse the very beginning of knowledge, the fear of the Lord (Prov 1:7).CommendationAs a convinced presuppositionalist, I had to start with all that. But I don't want it to detract at all from my hearty commendation of Wallace's excellent work. He writes clearly, concisely, and cogently. His unique angle—that of a cold-case homicide detective—provides numerous valuable insights into the use and evaluation of evidence. The structure of his work is very clear, easy to hold onto. You get the feeling that the rigors of his detective work have, Sherlock-like, turned his mind into a neatly useful filing cabinet. And as a seminary-trained pastor, he also shows a responsible grasp of New Testament studies: he handles topics such as textual criticism without beginner's gaffes. Also, responsible writers like Richard Bauckham pop up in his footnotes.In addition, the numerous visual illustrations were truly excellent. Well done and very helpful. (I go back and forth on whether or not the textual illustrations from real-live murder mysteries were salacious, helpful, or somewhere in between—but they attracted my interest, I must admit.)A few other things I found valuable about the book:• I had high hopes for the chapter on conspiracies; he very helpfully pointed out how difficult—nearly impossible—it is to hold together a conspiracy among multiple people. And yet that is exactly what the early disciples are supposed by some skeptics to have done.• Along similar lines, I felt he made an argument I was familiar with helpfully more specific. The activity of the apostles is hard to explain without a genuine resurrection; I'd heard that. I believe it. But Wallace specified the kinds of motivations that are most common in criminal acts and showed convincingly that these were very unlikely to be present among the apostles.• Speaking of likelihood, I also found it helpful to distinguish the kinds of doubt allowed in various types of court cases.• Likewise, Wallace explains how "circumstantial evidence" can be relied upon to build a case. Yes, one piece of such evidence—a mud stain on someone's pants that matches the color of mud found at the murder scene—is not enough to build a case. But taken together, such evidence provides a cumulative case.• He shows very helpfully (and from a real-life case) how it can be that two eyewitnesses can both testify truthfully and yet sound contradictory—because of their differing perspectives.• He argues that because emotionally powerful experiences imprint themselves on one's memory, it is feasible that various eyewitnesses could remember Jesus' sayings with accuracy several years on.• I loved the comparison he drew between the Johannine Comma, John 7:53–8:11, etc. and "artifacts" found at crime scenes—pieces of evidence that turn out to have no bearing on the matter at issue.This kind of evidentialism is valuable, and I wish it were more ready on my tongue. But I still do believe that it has inherent limits: all it can do is show us that principles that appear to "work" in investigating cold-case homicides appear to work when applied to the New Testament. But what about the principles of evidence evaluation used in other cultures' systems of law? What if our own system changes? What if more evidence is found—hasn't the use of DNA "fingerprinting" overturned a number of apparently rock-solid cases?And a more apposite question, I think: what if an intelligent person—more intelligent than you, I, or the author (I think we'd all agree such people exist)—reads the best evidential defense out there and still isn't persuaded? Is he being unreasonable? If so, who says?If your answer is, "God says," then you're a presuppositionalist.People do need more of the facts. They do need their barriers to be knocked down. And evidence and argument are sometimes effective tools (I'm told) for that work. But I think it's theologically and evangelistically unhealthy to forget that a person's loves are more ultimate than his thoughts. So I can't say things like the following:Let’s make sure that our objections and doubts are less emotional or volitional than they are rational. When I was an atheist, I never took the time to categorize my doubts into “rational” versus “emotional” classifications. I also never took the time to see if theism (or Christianity) offered a reasonable response to my doubts. Looking back at them, many of my doubts were merely possible doubts based on an emotional or volitional response.Who says that rational doubts are more important or weighty than emotional or volitional ones? I don't think that's the Bible talking; that sounds like Enlightenment rationalism to me.*ConclusionI was moved to read of Wallace's conversion. And as a rigorous, logical thinker, it seems appropriate this his approach to Jesus involved a lot of careful study of the evidence. But a lot of people on earth can't even read, many who can don't, and not all paths to Jesus are smoothly paved and carefully lined. I'm reminded of a story D.A. Carson told once of a rigorously logical college student (Fred, I think his name was) who was converted after multiple Bible studies with Carson answered all his logical objections. Carson said Fred was a rarity. I hope many people will read this book and fill the world with Freds. More likely, I hope Christians will be strengthened in their faith and use Cold-Case Christianity as a resource book for apologetics discussions (that's what I'll do).*One other theological complaint: Wallace argues that free will exists so that those who love God won't do so as automatons. I don't think that's a scripturally cogent argument, and he doesn't discuss the alternative.

  • Dave Jenkins
    2019-05-10 06:48

    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 only the Scriptures and theology, but also about the process of examining legal evidence.As Mr. Wallace weaves his many years of being a detective with his passion for theology and Apologetics—he gives us a unique and important insight into attacks on the Gospels that will help Christians to not only understand those attacks but defend the Truth of the Word of God.The book takes a two-pronged approach—one for skeptics and one for Christians. Mr. Wallace wants to help skeptics of the Gospels to “assess the gospel writers in a new light. If you’re someone who has encountered Christians who were unprepared to defend what they believe, I’d like to encourage you to be patient with us because the Christian tradition is actually intellectually robust and satisfying, even if we believers are occasionally unable to respond to your challenges. The answers are available; you don’t have to turn off your brain to be a believer. Yes, it is possible to become a Christian because of the evidence rather than in spite of the evidence” (19). For Christians Mr. Wallace writes to provide “a few tools that can help you defend your faith in a more vigorous and informed way” (19). He wants to encourage Christians to become an “informed Christian, to worship God with your mind and to prepare yourself as a Christian case maker” (19).The book is organized around ten important principles, Mr. Wallace learned while being a detective. Those principles are to “not be a know-it all” resisting the influence of dangerous presuppositions; learning how to infer: understanding the role of “abductive reasoning”, thinking circumstantially: respecting the nature of circumstantial evidence, test your witness: evaluating the reliability of witness, hang one very word: examining the choice and meaning of language, separate artifacts from evidence determining what’s important evidentially, resisting conspiracy theories: recognizing the rarity of true conspiracies; respect the chain of custody: establishing reliability by tracing the evidence, know when enough is enough: getting comfortable with your conclusions, preparing for attack: distinguishing between possible alternatives and reasonable refutations. Also examined in the book are the questions, “Were the Gospels written early enough to have been authored by true witnesses?”, “Is the testimony of the Gospel writes confirmed by outside sources and evidence?”, “Did the Gospel writes falsely report anything that would invalidate their testimony?”, “Were the Gospel writes motivated to lie about their testimony?”, and finally the book concludes by deciding to believe and defend the Truth.The approach of the author in this book is not purely evidence-oriented, but rather one that combines a desire to analyze the worldview of why people think the way they do about the Gospels in order to show them the evidence for the Gospels. This is an important point that I think many readers of this book may not at first see, but as I read this book, I paid close attention to how the author used his own testimony and experience as a detective to illustrate his points. As the author uses his testimony, and expertise he helps the reader to understand not only what he is saying, but how serious and important the Gospels are. By using techniques he learned in the courtroom and gripping stories from his career to examine the powerful evidence behind Christianity claims, Wallace integrates worldview and evidential apologetic approaches to Apologetics in his book that will help skeptics to understand the importance of the Gospels, as well as help Christians to defend the Truth of the Gospels in a post-Christian culture.Cold-Case Christianity appropriately concludes with a challenge for the skeptic and for the Christian. This book is important for three reasons; first Jim combines his expertise as a criminal detective to defending the truth of Christianity, which while unique packs a powerful combination of biblical examination with stories of court-room drama that will draw his readers into the evidence for the Gospels in a fresh and meaningful way. Second, the author doesn’t focus on his testimony and expertise to make himself look good, but rather uses it to point to the Truth about Jesus Christ. Finally, this book will challenge skeptics to consider the claims of Jesus, Himself who is the Way, Truth and the Life. This book will also challenge Christians to not be lethargic about the mission we’ve been called to, but rather be intentional about making much of Jesus and the mission He has given to us in proclaiming the Gospel to the lost. This would be a great book not only for the Bible college or seminary student for for all Christian readers who are interested in understanding how the Gospels are under attack, why the issue is so important, and how to share the Gospel with skeptics and those who question the authority of the Bible. I highly recommend this book, and encourage you to check it out.Title: Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the GospelsAuthor: J. Warner WallacePublisher: David Cook (2012)Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the David Cook book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  • Kevin
    2019-05-24 05:49

    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.

  • Ann
    2019-04-23 04:49

    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.

  • Bill Kupersmith
    2019-04-28 07:05

    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 book that turned my mind 180 degrees. Like many liberal Christians, I had regarded many of the principal teaching of Christianity as "myths" (that is, "nonhistorical truths"), such as "the Resurrection was somehting that happened not to Jesus, but to the minds of his followers," & in "form criticism" - that the stories about Jesus in the gospels were based on various kinds of popular folk narratives only written down decades after Jesus' lifetime & that what Jesus really said & did could never be discovered with certainty. Bauckham's book persuaded me that the gospels were written in the lifetimes of contemporaries who'd known Jesus personally & were based on their recollections. But Bauckham & many of the other authors that Wallace cites are better scholars than they are accessible writers. Wallace gives us their results placed in the very familiar framework of a detective investigating a past crime, & this device works very well, beause the principles of investigation are the same whether used by a police detective, a Scriptural scholar, or a historian. It's very high-powered contemporary Scriptural scholarship made "street legal"!The only reservation I had was with Wallace's tone - he's simply too confident & makes the task of the Christian apologist seem too easy. Some Christians, like the 18th-century Bishop William Warburton, forget that "apologia" in Greek means "defense" - not attack. We're not the prosecution. We can't bludgeon skeptics into becoming believers with unanswerable intellectual arguments - faith involves the heart as much as the mind, which is why Christians believe the Holy Spirit has an essential role in conversion. But we should be ready to demonstrate, to anyone that wants to hear us share our faith, that Christainity is a reasonable choice for intelligent, educated, historically & scienfically knowledgable persons. Reading Cold Case Christianity is an excellent preparation for that conversation.

  • Vince
    2019-05-20 07:57

    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 his own criteria of being the most probable inferences. he often simply ignored the most reasonable of the opposing arguments, such as the confirming of stories between the gospels being a result of later authors using earlier texts as a source and expounding upon them. also, the entirety of evolution was dismissed in a single sentence, not bothering to mention any of its confirming evidence. finally, I'm quite tired of hearing the argument that without a god there could be no objective good or evil. the author simply asserts that an objective measure of good does exist, ignoring the possibility that a common set of opinions about what is good and evil could have arisen in a different way.

  • Nick
    2019-05-12 08:07

    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 36 years of his life. As a matter of fact, he was an avowed atheist who liked to antagonize Christians. Once he finally sat down to study the Scriptures for himself—using all his skills in forensic statement analysis, eye witness questioning, and abductive reasoning—he discovered something startling. He was coming to believe that the gospel accounts were actual eye-witness testimonies. Throughout this book Wallace shares his own journey of coming to faith in the Scriptures and the God of whom they give testimony. And it is not a journey of existential angst or subjective emotion but one of a man examining the facts and weighing the evidence.To read more of this review visit: http://www.christian-intellect.blogsp...

  • Rachel
    2019-04-28 11:48

    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 written and by whom, chain of custody, circumstantial evidence and record keeping. While others have written much more thorough reviews, I can say that this book has opened my eyes to things I never considered and has given me fodder for study. After reading this book, if you can say, in all honesty, that the Bible can't be trusted, you can not trust any piece of history save for what you experienced with your own eyes.

  • Mark Hawker
    2019-05-22 05:50

    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, Wallace provides substantive answers to four questions about the Gospels using a combination of principles developed in the first half of the book. I found the book to be enjoyable to read with the right balance between narrative, research and commentary. I'd definitely recommend it to Christians or those who are sceptical about the claims of the Gospels (as the author originally was).

  • Jeanie
    2019-05-17 06:05

    free on kindle A journey from casual assent to committed trust, from belief thattobelief 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, self-sufficiency and pride. Each 10 Principles we are introduced to a case and how to follow the evidence. It is by taking the evidence with objectivity and without preconceived ideas and prejudices, we can begin to learn and find the truth. An investigator of Cold Cases is always looking for the truth that is hidden and because of sin the truth of Christianity can be hidden as well. After each introduction of an actual cold case and the tools used to find the truth, you are redirected to a case of Christianity. Issues like the resurrection, the integrity of the bible, etc. Christianity can be like a Cold Case that has not been solved because the truth has not been sought. It is a thoughtful and organized way to think thru Christianity that ultimately can change your life forever. I was greatly encouraged by his story of a case involving the man named Santiago who was arrested for a long list of felonies. In his conversation with Wallace, he admitted to making a decision to trust Jesus for his salvation, but he never made a decision to examine the life and teaching of Jesus. He failed to examine what he believed.Wallace shares what kept him away from the Christian faith and how truth of the Christianity changed his life forever. Encouraging read for the truth and the confidence it gives.A Special Thank You to David C. Cook and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

  • Gail Welborn
    2019-05-19 06:59

    ***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 attention” with what appeared to be eyewitness accounts from the Gospels, something Wallace was familiar with in his cold-case work. Afterward he bought a Bible and applied “cold case” and Forensic Statement Analysis (FAS) tools to biblical “linguistic tendencies,” a method that looks for evasion or deception in words or statements. Accustomed to cold case investigations of past events, without living witnesses or physical evidence, he recognized that also described New Testament events and began to read. By the time Wallace finished he believed “Mark’s gospel was the eyewitness account of the apostle Peter.” He no longer thought Christ was simply a good teacher. Now he knew Jesus was the Son of God “…because of the evidence, not in spite of it,” writes Wallace.Today he sees Christian beliefs under attack…Full Review:

  • Natacha Ramos
    2019-05-10 08:52

    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 in Jesus based on evidence.Warner Wallace uses reasoning, and logic, and detective thinking to show the truth about the gospels. The result of his investigation leaves skeptics with a lot of work to do if they still want to make a case against Christianity, and makes believers (like me) more confidente about their faith.It is not for reading it very fast; instead, it's perfect for taking it in small dosis as we let all the information sink in.It's a resource for the mind and it's based on facts, so you shouldn't expect your emotions to get involved all the time. However, I think we all need this kind of books to be better case makers for Christianity! I liked it very much and I'm grateful for all I could learn!

  • Faith
    2019-04-26 07:13

    Have you ever served on a Jury? This book puts you on one. Cold Case Christianity is written by a Los Angeles homicide detective. His book examines the Case for the Authenticity of the Gospels and the Bible. He lays out the evidence, and teaches you how to evaluate it. Will You Convict or Acquit?For the non believer there may never be "enough evidence", but that claim aside, can we verify the Historical Eyewitness Accounts that are the premise of our Christian Faith? Can we prove these things beyond a Reasonable doubt? Can we show the non believer that the evidence we have is sufficient?Cold Case Christianity examines whether the evidence was handled with care. What was the "chain of custody?" Were the Gospels a fabrication? A conspiracy based on power, money or prestige? Did all the Disciples corroborate the story? J. Warner Wallace says No. So many people will not stick to a lie. All the Disciples, other than John, died a martyr's death but none of them recanted their story to save their lives. Examine the dates, times, and people and what do you say? Men and Women of the Jury, Has J. Warner Wallace convinced you?

  • Dkovlak
    2019-04-28 12:15

    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 investigative techniques are specified in lots of detail. His investigation was thorough and could be presented to any jury. If you read the book, you can become the jury.

  • Curtis
    2019-05-03 08:16

    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, particularly evolution and morality.[0]

  • Stacey
    2019-05-07 10:17

    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!

  • SheLove2Read
    2019-05-12 11:00

    Great concept. Poor delivery. We learn more about how the detective methodology is employed than an actual result. Very disappointing. Did not finish.

  • Nick
    2019-04-28 05:59

  • Alexandra
    2019-05-23 08:16

    After watching God's Not Dead 2, I decided to read this book. This is a different take on how to view and dissect the validity of the Bible. I consider myself a Christian, so I went into this not needing to be convinced, but wanting to see the arguments anyway. I haven't read anything like this before so I wasn't sure what to accept.I think this book would be a good read for people who challenge the claims of the Bible and also for those who accept the claims of the Bible. It was so interesting to see the author basically put the Bible on trial. He picked apart the most common parts of the Bible that are challenged and used his detective skills (REAL detective skills) to find the validity of the Bible. It was so interesting to read and see how he came to his conclusions. It was also interesting to read about some of his homicide cases that he worked, and I loved how he tied that into his investigation of the Bible.A great read for anyone, Christian or not.

  • Mark
    2019-05-04 03:48

    Now this is very well done! The detective uses police methodologies to examine the narrative from the Bible to determine if enough evidence exists to confirm its claims. He uses notes from the Apostolic Fathers (i.e. the disciples of the Apostles) and documentary evidence from historians like Josephus. But more importantly, he points to the logic of the claims and descriptions in the Gospels themselves. He includes notes from the J.J. Blunt book, called Undesigned Scriptural Coincidences (from 1847). (It's online and it has more than 200 examples found in the Bible. Enjoy.

  • David
    2019-05-14 12:15

    In my college years, learning arguments in favor of Christianity was a huge help to my faith. Christian apologetics provided answers to many questions I had and gave me a love of learning and reading. Over the years I have become somewhat skeptical of the utility of Christian apologetics, at least in terms of a method for sharing the gospel. That said, I still think apologetics has value and that good answers are out there.J Werner Wallace’s book Cold Case Christianity has been on my kindle for months, I finally read it. There are a lot of Christian apologetics books out there, what sets this one apart is Wallace’s experience as a detective. The insights he offers from his career and the stories of cases are the best part of the book by far. I think such things make this a book, perhaps the book, college students ought to go to if they want to begin reading apologetics.Honestly, I have to say I skimmed much of his actual argument for Christianity as it consisted of mostly standard arguments I have read before. While I find the answers of people like Wallace compelling, I even give such answers myself when asked, his book also reminded me of some problems I have with apologetics. Apologists tend to create too tight a case, too quickly ironing over issues that are much more complex if looked at fully. For example, he argues that Paul quoted Luke’s gospel in his letter to Timothy. Perhaps, though it seems just as likely that Paul and Luke heard the same quote in an oral tradition floating around. Or, since Paul and Luke knew each other, maybe Luke shared it with Paul verbally. It seems a stretch to say Paul quoted Luke’s writing. In another case he speaks of Mark, the author of the gospel, as appointing teachers in the school in Alexandria. His footnote here is only to a secondary source.I am not saying he is wrong in either of these. My point is that I suspect New Testament and early church scholars would have a lot more to say on this and that Wallace may be over-simplifying the scholarship to make a case. Which is fine, he is writing to make a case. But from that, I think he could have done better when discussing bias. Early on he shares how his partner once allowed his bias to lead him down the wrong path in solving a crime. The error, Wallace says, is that his partner started with the premise – in this case the premise was, when finding a dead woman, that it is usually the husband who did it. But is Wallace saying we ought to treat every suspect, every idea, equally and never have any biases? Sure his partner’s bias was wrong in this case, but it is a bias because in most cases it is right. Such a bias probably helped his partner solve many cases (forget probably, Wallace says his partner was usually right!). Rather than warning against biases, as Wallace seemed to do, the better thing is to remind us that biases are not 100% correct. This is what the illustration seems to point to anyway, though it does not seem to be the way Wallace used it.At the end he discusses the gospels and argues that the early Christians were not biased prior to writing, which is true. But the gospels, as texts, are not objective documents. They are written by people who want their readers to believe. They are biased…and it is okay! Everyone is biased. This does not mean we cannot change our opinions or evaluate our biases, but it does mean we ought not act as if they are not there.So I am sure 23 year old Dave would have devoured and loved Wallace’s book. If students ask, I will recommend this book to them. 35 year old Dave is a bit more skeptical at points, but still sees value in books such as this one. Though some difficulties are ironed over to make a better case, it is still a good book.

  • ElizabethHolter
    2019-05-03 04:52

    Raised in the Catholic church and going to Catholic schools, I had little experience with the New Testament. It was read from the altar in selected bits and pieces, and my literal and skeptical approach to life did not allow for much interest in what was said. Nearly 10 years ago, after a life-shaking event, I embarked on a literary quest to attempt to figure out what I could believe about what I could not "know." That tour through the world's acquired wisdom included the atheist literature as well as the oldest book in print, the Bible. Like C.S. Lewis I found the style of Old Testament mythical and the New Testament like reporting. Still, I had little sense of reality about the events chronicled. Cold Case Christianity, however brought me up short and made me realize how I had applied little to no critical thinking to the process of reading the New Testament. A homicide detective's approach to critical thinking may not suit everyone, but for me, someone used to medical diagnosis based largely on symptomatic history, Wallace's methods of observation opened my mind. One of the oldest reported stories handed down through the years seems much less easy to dismiss - unless, of course, you are married to the to the totally naturalistic view of the world we live in. I am not.

  • Debbie
    2019-05-09 07:16

    "Cold-Case Christianity" looks at the claims of the gospels from the point of view of a cold case detective. The author looked at many "lines of evidence" as he examined the gospels, and I felt he did an excellent job of explaining how he came to his conclusions. He even covered some angles that I haven't read before and which I found very interesting.He began by using examples of various cases he's worked on to show how a detective examines evidence. He then applied these methods to the evidence surrounding the claims of the gospels. Then he looked at some of the evidence in greater detail. He looked at when the gospels were written, if they are eyewitness accounts, if they are accurate, how well these accounts have been preserved over time, what the motive was behind writing the gospels, and how much evidence is "enough."I wouldn't hesitate to give this book to anyone who is uncertain about the gospels or who likes to debate these issues. This book will especially appeal to those who are interested in detective work.

  • FangirlNation
    2019-05-15 03:56

    In the last couple decades, there seems to have been a spate of books about people's personal journey to disprove the Bible, only to become convinced that it is indeed true, and while many of these books are admirable, Cold Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels stands out in a unique way. J. Warner Wallace used to be part of an elite squad of detectives who was selected for special training in forensic interrogation because of his existing gifts in questioning witnesses. Read the rest of this review, more reviews, and other wonderful, geeky articles on FangirlNation