Friday, February 15, 2013

The Case for the Real Jesus: Student Edition

Lee Strobel's book, The Case for the Real Jesus: Student Edition is one every student should be given before they head off to college. In fact, get them two copies--one to keep and one to give away! Strobel is a well-known atheist-turned-Christian, who used his skills as an investigative reporter to write The Case for Christ, as well as several other apologetics books for kids and adults.

Written in 2008, The Case for the Real Jesus: Student Edition--A Journalist Investigates Current Challenges to Christianity addresses six modern-day objections to Christianity.  These include:
  • Are other ancient texts, such as the gnostic gospels, as reliable as the Bible?
  • Has the church tampered with the original text of the Bible over the years?
  • Are there new natural or scientific explanations of Jesus' resurrection?
  • Did pagan religions influence Christianity?
  • Did Jesus fulfill Old Testament messianic prophecy?
  • Are postmodernists right when they say "people should be free to pick and choose what to believe about Jesus.?"
Strobel writes with empathy towards skeptics. He respects them, and rather than answering the challenges himself, he invites readers to join him as he travels around the country to meet and interview renowned scholars. Strobel always frames the questions as his own challenge, thereby identifying with the skeptic and avoiding an "us-versus-them" mentality.

Strobel records interview sessions, and includes "Bio" sidebars, letting us know the credentials of each scholar. Other sidebars delineate various belief systems or timelines. Terms, such as "syncretism" and "Bar Mitzvah" are included in grey boxes within the text. Strobel uses numbered End Notes, and provides an Appendix listing helpful websites.

What I Like:  I like the way Strobel is respectful of other opinions and makes it okay to have doubts, but models using research to bolster your faith. Strobel's research is well done, thorough, and eye-opening. Each chapter ends with comforting, but logical reassurance of biblical truth.

This book would make a fabulous small group, youth group or classroom study. It would also be perfect to give to a friend, professor or colleague who had expressed doubts or confusion about Christianity.
What I Dislike:  Nothing

Overall Rating:  Excellent

Age Appeal: Young Adult (14 and up)  There is no objectionable content, but the concepts are a bit abstract and presented in depth.

Publisher Info: Zondervan, 2008; ISBN: 978-0-310-28323-2; Paperback, 208 pages, $9.99

Buy it Now at for $8.19
OR Buy it at for $9.99.

Read CCBR reviews of other books by Lee Strobel here. 

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