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by Greg West
In my all-time favorite comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin once had to consume six boxes of “Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs” cereal to get enough box tops to order the official “Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs Propeller Beanie”. As the story continued over the next several days, I was entertained by Calvin in his quest to first eat enough cereal to obtain the required amount of box tops, and then by his impatience and frustration at the slowness of the postal service as he checked the mail daily anticipating the arrival of his propeller beanie.
While having my own propeller beanie is not as much of a priority for me as it was for Calvin, I can certainly relate to Calvin’s impatience. When J Warner Wallace sent me an e-mail telling me that he was having his publishers send me an review copy of his then soon-to-be-released new book, God's Crime Scene: A Cold-Case Detective Examines the Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe, barely a week had gone by before I began to count the minutes each day as the mail delivery time approached. On more than one occasion I was literally standing by the mailbox waiting and watching as our postman made his way down the street towards my house. After what seemed like an eternity it finally arrived!
While in the comic strip Calvin was eventually disappointed by his long awaited beanie because it couldn’t make him fly, I was not disappointed by God’s Crime Scene. Unless you’re new to The Poached Egg, most of you are likely already familiar with J Warner (Jim) Wallace as his blog posts appear here frequently. For those of you who might not be familiar with him or his work, Jim was (until fairly recently) a cold-case homicide detective. He’s appeared on television shows such as Dateline, Nightline, and others so many times it’s likely that he’s lost count. Jim is also a former atheist turned Christian apologist who became a Christian after applying the same investigative techniques he used as a detective to the case for Christianity.
Jim’s investigation of the reliability of the Gospels is recounted in his previous book, Cold-Case Christianity. In God’s Crime Scene, Jim uses a similar approach; using personal stories of real-world crime scene investigations to illustrate his investigative approach to God’s existence and utilizing the same “inside-outside” technique detectives use to determine whether or not the evidence found internally at a given crime scene points to an external cause. Was the death caused by an accident, is it a possible suicide, or was it murder? Sometimes the evidence can be relatively obvious, but at other times the evidence takes careful consideration and investigation to determine where it leads.
Drawing from the evidence for the beginning of the universe, its fine-tuning, objective morality, and more, Jim not only makes a logically sound and compelling argument for theism, but how it points to the God of the Bible and Christianity as well. With numerous helpful illustrations, in-text extras and sidebars, and an appendix full of “investigative notes” for those who wish to dig deeper into each topic, God’s Crime Scene is not only informative and educational—it’s entertaining as well. Like Cold-Case Christianity before, God’s Crime Scene was difficult to put down once I started reading it.
One primary thing that Jim Wallace and I have in common is that we are both passionate about helping people learn how to be Christian Case-Makers, because when we take the time and initiative to learn “why” we should believe what we profess to believe, we become better disciples and more effective evangelists. I strongly recommend God’s Crime Scene to skeptics and Christians alike—especially those just starting out in learning to be case-makers. One Dollar Apologists like myself and even the most seasoned apologists will get much out of it as well.
Over these last couple of years quite a number of copies of Cold-Case Christianity have been purchased via The Poached Egg and I hope that I will soon be able to say the same about God’s Crime Scene, because the more we can get people interested in becoming Christian Case-makers, the bigger impact we’ll be able to make for the Kingdom!
*I received a free promotional copy of God’s Crime Scene and am under no obligation to give it a favorable review.