Is Christianity Reasonable? A Review of Forensic Faith by J. Warner Wallace
by Sean McDowell
In his first book, Cold-Case Christianity, J. Warner examines the resurrection and the Gospels with forensic analysis, concluding that the New Testament account of Jesus is reliable. And then in his second book God’s Crime Scene, he uses his detective skills to look at eight lines of evidence—fine-tuning, DNA, consciousness, morality, etc.—that point towards design in the universe.
Forensic Faith fits within the broader theme world of apologetics, but technically is a meta-apologetics book. In other words, rather than making a case for Christianity, J. Warner now makes a case for the role of apologetics itself: “Before I can make a case for Christianity, I have to make the case for making the case” (p. 25). In other words, this book is written to both motivate and equip Christians to be case makers.
As with his other books, J. Warner skillfully makes use of both detective stories and visual illustrations. In fact, it’s clear that he has put as much effort in the content of the book as with its visual appeal. And this is no accident, especially since he’s trying to model for Christians how to make an effective case both reasonably and aesthetically.
Two of the chapters stand out to me. First, in chapter two, J. Warner instructs youth influencers to stop teaching youth and start training them. He tells the story of his first year as a youth minister when he strategically designed spiritual experiences for his students using music, imagery, and the environment. His ministry seemed successful until all his students abandoned their faith in college. And he felt like a failure.
As a result, he shifted gears…
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