God’s Crime Scene: An Interview with J. Warner Wallace

by Jonathan Petersen

What would happen if an experienced homicide detective applied the investigative tools he uses to prove that God exists? Could he examine eight pieces of critical evidence in the “crime scene” of the universe to determine if they point to a “divine intruder”?

Bible Gateway interviewed former atheist J. Warner Wallace (@jwarnerwallace) about his book, God’s Crime Scene: A Cold-Case Detective Examines the Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe (David C. Cook, 2015).

How does God’s Crime Scene differ from other books on Christian apologetics?

J. Warner Wallace: It’s my hope to add something of value to the historic case for God’s existence by providing a new investigative framework for the evidence. While other books certainly describe the facts, God’s Crime Scene incorporates investigative techniques from real-life crime scenes to examine eight key attributes of the universe. Each chapter begins with a real crime scene, based on my work as a Cold-Case Detective. I describe the specific forensic principle we used to solve the case, then we apply this technique to the evidence for God’s existence. God’s Crime Scene doesn’t just describe the evidence, it provides readers with the detective skills necessary to evaluate the evidence so they can make the case. It’s also fully illustrated to make the case clear.

What message are you trying to convey with the title?

J. Warner Wallace: I realize God’s Crime Scene might sound like I’m describing God as a criminal suspect, culpable of some kind of crime, but nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, I’m simply trying to apply crime scene investigative techniques to the universe to infer the most reasonable inference for what we all experience. I’m treating the universe as a crime scene to determine if there is good reason to believe we have an external “suspect”.

How does your profession as a cold-case homicide detective help you uncover evidence for Christianity and God’s existence, which led you to write this book?

J. Warner Wallace: My journey of faith was directly tied to my work as a detective. When I first encountered the New Testament Gospels, for example, I investigated and tested them as I would any set of eyewitness accounts (I described this process in Cold-Case Christianity). At the end of that process, I was comfortable with the reliable nature of the Gospel accounts except for the existence of the supernatural miracles of Jesus and the Resurrection. I thought the Gospels were some form of historical fiction. But I decided to take an additional step in my investigation to determine if my bias against the supernatural was warranted. I examined the universe the same way I examined other targeted scenes and I applied the same scrutiny I did to other pieces of evidence in such scenes…

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