Cold Case Christianity

by Sean McDowell

Cold-Case ChristianityOccasionally a book comes along that really excites me. Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels is such a book. In case you haven’t heard of him yet, author J. Warner Wallace is a practicing cold case detective who has one of the fastest growing apologetics podcasts and websites. Cold Case Christianity is Wallace’s first book. But given how insightful it is, I hope it’s not the last!

Wallace was a self-described “angry” atheist until his mid thirties. After visiting Saddleback Church, he decided to use the Forensic Statement Analysis (FSA) to investigate the gospel of Mark. If the FSA works for suspects and witnesses, Wallace thought, why not for the Gospel of Mark? He had become a bona fide expert at judging the veracity of a statement through examining the author’s use of language. Within a month of studying Mark’s Gospel, Wallace concluded it was an eyewitness account of the apostle Peter. This was the beginning of his conversion to Christianity.

People have utilized law, journalism, history, medicine, and many other disciplines to examine the Christian faith. But as far as I know, this is the first time a cold case detective has put his expertise to the task. And it’s long overdue!

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A few things struck me as I read Cold Case Christianity.

First, Wallace is gifted at breaking difficult truths down to the level of the “lay person.” There are many great apologetic books on the market, but there is still a huge need for apologetics to be translated to the masses. Wallace has done a terrific job of translating tough apologetic issues—such as abductive reasoning, examining eyewitness testimony, and the arguments for God’s existence—in a way that they can be both understood and remembered…

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