The Case for Faith - Participant's Guide: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity

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In this small group Bible study, The Case for Faith: A Six-session Investigation of the Toughest Objections to Christianity, Lee Strobel discusses tough questions while addressing the most common objections to the Christian faith.
Doubt is familiar territory for Lee Strobel, the former atheist and award-winning author of books for skeptics and Christians. But he believes that faith and reason go hand in hand, and that Christianity is a ...
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The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus

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Overview

In this small group Bible study, The Case for Faith: A Six-session Investigation of the Toughest Objections to Christianity, Lee Strobel discusses tough questions while addressing the most common objections to the Christian faith.
Doubt is familiar territory for Lee Strobel, the former atheist and award-winning author of books for skeptics and Christians. But he believes that faith and reason go hand in hand, and that Christianity is a defensible religion.
In this six-session study, Strobel uses his journalistic approach to explore the most common emotional obstacles to faith in Christ. These include the natural inclination to wrestle with faith and doubt, the troubling presence of evil and suffering in the world, and the exclusivity of the Christian gospel. They also include this compelling question: Can I doubt and be a Christian?
Through compelling video of personal stories and experts addressing these topics (The Case for Faith DVD, sold separately) combined with reflection and interaction, Christians and spiritual seekers will learn how to overcome these obstacles, deepen their spiritual convictions, and find new confidence that Christianity is a reasonable faith.
Sessions include: 1. The Challenge of Faith 2. Dealing with Doubts3. Evil and Suffering, Part 14. Evil and Suffering, Part 25. Why Is Jesus the Only Way to God? 6. The Power of Faith
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310241140
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 1/1/2009
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Lee Strobel was the award-winning legal editor of The Chicago Tribune and is the best-selling author of The Case for Faith, The Case for Christ, and The Case for a Creator, all of which have been made into documentaries by Lionsgate. With a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale, Lee wrote 3 Gold Medallion winners and the 2005 Book of the Year with Gary Poole. He and his wife live in Colorado. Visit Lee's website at: www.leestrobel.com.

As Willow Creek Community Church's key evangelism leader for over sixteen years, Garry Poole is the innovator of seeker small groups and a strategist of creative outreach initiatives. Passionate about reaching people for Christ, Garry and his team have trained thousands of leaders to launch seeker small groups in their own settings. His award-winning book, Seeker Small Groups, provides a detailed blueprint for facilitating small group discussions that assist spiritual seekers with investigating Christianity. He also wrote The Complete Book of Questions, a collection of 1001 conversation starters and numerous group study guides including The Three Habits of Highly Contagious Christians; The Tough Questions Series, and Experiencing the Passion of Jesus (with Lee Strobel) to accompany Mel Gibson’s film, The Passion of the Christ. In 2005, it became the first discussion guide ever to receive the prestigious Charles “Kip” Jordon Christian Book of the Year award. Garry lives in suburban Chicago.

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Read an Excerpt


The Case for Faith Participant's Guide

A Six-Session Investigation of the Toughest Objections to Christianity


By Lee Strobel Garry Poole
Zondervan
Copyright © 2008

Lee Strobel and Garry Poole
All right reserved.



ISBN: 978-0-310-24114-0



Chapter One THE CHALLENGE OF FAITH

For me, having lived much of my life as an atheist, the last thing I want is a naive faith built on a paper-thin foundation of wishful thinking or make-believe. I need a faith that's consistent with reason, not contradictory to it; I want beliefs that are grounded in reality, not detached from it. I need to find out once and for all whether the Christian faith can stand up to scrutiny. It was time for me to talk face to face with Charles Templeton. Lee Strobel, The Case for Faith

READ THIS!

If possible, read the following content in preparation for your group meeting. Otherwise, read it as follow-up.

The Case for Faith, introduction: The Challenge of Faith

The Case for Faith, On the Road to Answers

WATCH THIS!

DVD Introduction and Teaching Segment #1

For every DVD clip, space is provided to take notes on anything that stands out to you.

DISCUSS THIS!

1. What are your greatest doubts in life? What spiritual doubts do you carry around with you?

Think About This!

"All of us want somebody to love us. Well, I want to tell you that God loves you. He loves you so much that he gave us his Son to die on the cross for our sins. And he loves you so much that he will come into your life and change the direction of your life and make you a new person, whoever you are." Billy Graham

"What is faith? There would have been no need to define it for these people listening to Billy Graham preach on that sultry June night. Faith was almost palpable to them. They reached out to God almost as if they were expecting to physically embrace him. Faith drained them of the guilt that had oppressed them. Faith replaced despondency with hope. Faith infused them with new direction and purpose. Faith unlocked heaven. Faith was like cool water soaking their parched soul." Lee Strobel

"But faith isn't always that easy, even for people who desperately want it. Some people hunger for spiritual certainty, yet something hinders them from experiencing it. They wish they could taste that kind of freedom, but obstacles block their paths. Objections pester them. Doubts mock them. Their hearts want to soar to God; their intellects keep them securely tied down." Lee Strobel

"I had preached to hundreds of thousands of people the antithetical message, and then I found to my dismay that I could no longer believe it. To believe it would be to deny the brain I had been given. It became quite clear that I had been wrong." Charles Templeton

2. In what ways can you relate to Charles Templeton's experience of doubt? What questions of faith have you been confronted with that you haven't been able to resolve?

* * *

"Reason and faith are opposites, two mutually exclusive terms: there is no reconciliation or common ground. Faith is belief without, or in spite of, reason." Atheist George H. Smith

3. How do you define "doubt"? Where do doubts come from? What effect do they have on people when they hit? What are the pros and cons of a healthy dose of doubt?

* * *

"Faith is a rational response to the evidence of God's self-revelation in nature, human history, the Scriptures and his resurrected Son." Christian educator W. Bingham Hunter

4. Briefly describe your faith journey. When have you been closest to God on your journey in life and at what points have you felt farthest away from him? Explain.

Think About This!

"If a person has faith and it makes them a better individual, then I'm all for that-even if I think they're nuts. Having been a Christian, I know how important it is to people's lives-how it alters their decisions, how it helps them deal with difficult problems. For most people, it's a boon beyond description. But is it because there is a God? No, it's not." Charles Templeton

"Is that what faith is all about-fooling yourself into becoming a better person? Convincing yourself there's a God so that you'll become motivated to ratchet up your morality a notch or two? Embracing a fairy tale so you'll sleep better at night? No thank you, I thought to myself. If that's faith, I wasn't interested." Lee Strobel

5. What is faith in God all about? Is it a fairy tale contrived to make us feel better, or is it something real and significant?

* * *

"Billy, you're fifty years out of date," Templeton argued. "People no longer accept the Bible as being inspired the way you do. Your faith is too simple." Charles Templeton to Billy Graham

6. To what extent are questions and doubts regarding spiritual matters inevitable? Why? Is faith a simple process of belief or does it require a certain degree of thought and struggle or a combination of both? Explain.

7. In the DVD segment Templeton describes an intense longing he had for a relationship with God. Describe the intensity of your desire to be in a relationship with God.

Think About This!

"I had gone through a conversion experience as an incredibly green youth. I lacked the intellectual skills and the theological training needed to buttress my beliefs when - as was inevitable - questions and doubts began to plague me.... My reason had begun to challenge and sometimes to rebut the central beliefs of the Christian faith." Charles Templeton

"Father, I am going to accept this as Thy Word - by faith! I'm going to allow faith to go beyond my intellectual questions and doubts, and I will believe this to be Your inspired Word." Billy Graham

Optional Discussion Questions

Describe the genesis of your doubt about God - how and why did it begin? Why does it sometimes seem so complicated or difficult to believe in God?

What kinds of questions have challenged your ability to believe in the validity of the Bible, the deity of Jesus, or the existence of God?

To what degree is theological training necessary to sustain one's faith?

How much do you value intellectual honesty? Is truth more important than feeling good or is ignorance sometimes bliss?

WATCH THIS!

DVD Teaching Segment #2

(Continues...)




Excerpted from The Case for Faith Participant's Guide by Lee Strobel Garry Poole Copyright © 2008 by Lee Strobel and Garry Poole. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents Session 1 The Challenge of Faith....................7
Session 2 Dealing with Doubts....................21
Session 3 Evil and Suffering, Part 1....................39
Session 4 Evil and Suffering, Part 2....................55
Session 5 Why Is Jesus the Only Way to God?....................73
Session 6 The Power of Faith....................95
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 132 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(70)

4 Star

(29)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(16)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 132 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    One of the best books I have read validating Christianity.

    You know those nagging little doubts that your new-age neighbor keeps planting in your mind about Christianity? Well, this book has the answers to those qestions and more, and all from EXPERTS in their field, not just some guy who wrote a book. The author writes in an easy-to-read manner that leads you right through the chapters. He covers all the major questions from "Did Jesus really die?" to "So why are there discrepancies in the various gospels," He goes through the scientific studies--archeology studies--psychiatric studies, etc. and gathers his information from people who really know what they're talking about. This is a book I have already given away and am orderig a couple more to have on hand as a witnessing tool. A great book. I recommend it to anyone who has doubts about the validity of Christianity, and to those who are Christans--it only deepens your faith.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    INCREDIBLE! STRENGTHENED MY FAITH TREMENDOUSLY!

    This book was recommended to me by my father. I am only half way done, and it has already changed my life. Prior to reading this book, I have had a strong faith, but in college I am constantly being bashed and mocked for my beliefs. Now that I have read this book, I have received a new sense of confidence and courage to stand up for what i believe in. This book has evidence that proofs Christianity true from multiple perspectives: science, psychology, history, archeology, and secular findings. It also provides tons of explanations to increase the readers understanding of the topic at hand. I loved this book so much, and I think that it has truly strengthened my faith even more. I am so thankful for this book and for Lee Strobel, the author. It is a must read if you are a Christian or Non-Christian!!!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2011

    Gives concrete proof. Amazing book.

    I am a person that needs concrete proof in order to believe something is true. This book DEFINITELY gives you that. It comes from an Atheist. Because of this, he will not be bias and will tell you exactly what he finds. This book will really helps people understand Christianity and be able to have proof that the events in the Bible actually happened. It helped me tremendously with my faith. This is an amazing book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2003

    Case for Christ not all it is cracked up to be try reading the scholars yourself instead of accepting Strobel's interpretations

    Come on, this book is fluff. No critic of Christianity is interviewed so Strobel controls the 'courtroom'. The author implies that the Biblical scholars he interviews represent the only credible opinions in the Christian scholarly community. They are not. Moreover, often his sources do not represent the mainstream of scholarly thought. Anyone who has faith in Christ based on the assumptions of Strobel's book is in for a hard fall if they do any more reading in the field of New Testament studies or Historical Jesus Studies. This is what troubles me most. It is like sending someone rock climbing with those fake 'c' clips people use for key chains. To a novice they look like they will support weight but any expert climber knows they will fail under climbing conditions. This book is simply not the real deal. It is not subjected to blind critical review and in fact it is not very critical at all. It does not hold up under true scholarly critical 'climbing conditions'. There are some books written by Christian scholars that do. Let me recommend two: Jesus, A Gospel Portrait by Donald Senior and An Introduction to the Gospels by Mitchell Reddish both are scholarly and easy to read.

    4 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2005

    Interesting Read

    Interesting book if you are a person with an inquiring mind and a detective/investigative-type personality.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2004

    On the Case

    To anyone who thinks this is a good book, here's a dare. Read it again after familiarizing yourself with logical fallacies: ad hominem, straw man, red herring, and such. Here's another: oodles of legitimate, professional scholarship on historicity is available to you. Read that.

    3 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2003

    Jesus lives

    The title of the book 'The Case For Christ' nails down many facts about Christ. I was looking for more facts to help me spark the unbeliever as well as reaffirm my own faith. This book obviously cannot address every concept that its attackers would like to use to discredit its quality however it does present many undeniable facts that support that fact that Jesus lives.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2002

    Didn't Convince Me At all- I'm still atheist

    Again another book that can't cite proof of Christian claims outside the Bible. I admit that I read this book hoping to read, hear, or see that one thing that would convince me that Jesus is real and that there is a God. This book failed to do so. It gave some reasonable evidence but nothing that couldn't be refuted by pure logic and reason. I really doubt that Lee Strobel was ever atheist because no one who lived a life of logic and reason and scientific method would just toss it all away to live a life of blind obedience to a god he can not prove exists.

    3 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An objective investigation for the Non-believer.

    The author, himself an avowed atheist, tracks down learned experts in their field, as he investigates the evidence concerning the case for Christ's existence or nonexistence. He cross-examines each scholar in his attempt to disprove the deity, and history of Christ, but finds overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and in the process discovers his life touched by the Son of God. The author's tough questions challenge each scholar he encounters to produce undeniable evidence of their positions on the truth of Jesus, His birth, His death, and His resurrection. This book reads like a captivating novel that continually puts the reader on the edge of his seat, and challenges him to question hos own beliefs about Christianity. The author also poses questions at the end of each interview for the reader to consider in his judgment of the information which has been propounded from the questions asked, and at the end of this riveting drama, inquires as to what the reader intends to do with the information presented. He asks in the end, "What will be your verdict in the Case for Christ?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Good Book Regardless Your Religious (or non-religious) Views

    In writing my own book about Jesus, I asked from the very beginning, 'Who is this man who claims he talked with God directly? Am I wasting my time following a madman?" "Which god was Jesus experinecing? So many religions and prophets, with so many conflicting claims. which messenger can we trust?"

    I do not agree with the concept of God that Lee Strobel has. One can read the Bible and come away with very different perceptions of exactly who/what this God really is. Is he a local God we created when we were ignorant of how the natural world functioned? Is he a product of our superstitions? Was he created within our galaxy? Is God an alien visitor with higher intelligence, just passing through on an intergalactic ship? Did God come into being at the very moment of creation? Or are we part of a multi-verse, where Universes come and go, and all atoms are simply God's box of crayola crayons to be experimented with? What is a soul?

    Many questions are not answered in this book. I do not agree with all this author believes in. I do not believe that souls go to heaven or hell, or that all can be forgiven if one just follows the rules: to be Baptised or not, to circumcize or not, to eat the meat but don't worship the cow, or worship the cow but don't eat the meat...so in spite of Strobel's best intentions, we still cannot take everything in the Bible on blind faith. There are simply too many contradictions.

    Christianity is a belief system - not a knowledge system. The idea of trying to prove everything occurred in the Bible exactly as it is written is a false foundation because everything that is written can be interpreted in many ways, or written in different ways during different times by different men. If they were all experiencing the same God, they would have written the same answers each time. They didn't.

    My own independent research has led me to very different conclusions about the Bible, and so I have become a strange sort of self-created Christian (with Buddhist underpinnings) who believes that Jesus is unique and had something important to say, but not necessarily messages that we are correctly understanding.

    I think this is a well-thought out and researched book worthy of reading if only because we will learn more about the life of Jesus.

    I spent years in India and Central Asia to follow the trail of Jesus there. I came away from the experience with a profound new respect and admiration for the man Jesus. I may not have arrived at the same conclusions as Lee Strobel about the meaning behind Jesus' life and death, but we have both come away from our investigations with a deep and abiding love and respect for the man Jesus.

    Christianity is the largest religion on earth, and is the fastest growing. This book will be an affirmation of faith for many, and an interesting biography about Jesus for non-Christian readers.

    I do recommend it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2011

    Not Convincing

    I'm an Atheist with Christian friends. During a discussion with one of them I asked if there was one book I should read, outside of the Bible, which would explain the Christian point of view what would it be? He suggested The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. After reading over half of the book I found I was not able to make myself complete it. It is full of so many logical fallacies that it could probably be used as an example of how not to think logically. Additionally, if you check all of the people he interviewed, they are all pro christian which contradicts the authors claim of neutrality in his "investigation". What would have been more impressive is if evidence could be found by both Christian and Secular sources that come to the same conclusion. Unfortunately that is not included in this book. I admit, I picked this book up with high hopes for a logical, well thought out discussion on the real world evidence for the existence of a historical Jesus as written about in the Bible. Unfortunately, I've found myself to be sorely disappointed. If you are already a believer, or even on the fence on the subject, this book will be great for you. If you are a non-believer, than this book won't do much to change your point of view.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2010

    this is a book I have in my permanent library and will also purchase for my Nook

    I have actually had this book for quite a while, but never got around to reading it. Why? Not sure. It just never seemed to appeal to me at the time of my choosing a new book. But, I guess when the time was right, I needed a new book, and it seemed the right time to read it. So, I pulled it from my bookshelf and started. I decided I would read it for Lent, hoping it would help me tighten my bond with God. At first, I found it a little hard to get into. But, a short time into the book, I was hooked. This stuff was well-written and made SENSE! It did strengthen my own beliefs and answered some things for me that had caused to me to doubt my faith sometimes. Also, I finally had actual FACTS which I could use to answer some of the comments made by non-believers. Next year, this is the book our Small Faith Community will read and discuss each month. Also, other Christian friends have been convinced to read this. I am so happy that I have been successful in encouraging others to read this!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2006

    A CASE FOR ANYTHING TO BACK UP CHRISTIANITY

    I WAS EXCITED TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO READ A BOOK BY SOMEONE WHO I THOUGHT, WAS A TOTALLY IMPARTIAL JOURNALIST TRYING TO GET TO THE ROOT OF CHRISTIANITY. I FOUND THE BOOK WRITTEN ON A VERY NIAIVE LEVEL AND IT MAY APPEAL TO ANYONE WHO IS ALREADY A BELIEVER AND WANTS THEIR POINT OF VIEW VALIDATED. IT DID NOT GO INTO DETAIL ON THE POINTS MADE AND WHEN THE 'EXPERTS'(WHO WERE ANYTHING BUT IMPARTIAL AND HAD AN OBVIOUS AGENDA TO PROMOTE THEIR IDEA OF CHRISTIANITY) WERE QUESTIONED WITH MR STROBELS' DOUBTS, HE MERELY ACCEPTS EVERY POINT AS BEING 100% PROOF OF THE DIVINE. IF YOU ARE AGNOSTIC OR HAVING DOUBTS ABOUT THE FOUNDATION OF CHRISTIANITY, YOU WILL NOT FIND THE ANSWERS YOU NEED FROM THIS BOOK.

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2003

    Quite what I expected...

    This book was exactly what I expected it to be. All it did was offer different 'christian possibilities', and point at some holes that science can't currently fill. It offered no proof for Christianity or Christ, whatsoever. It is simply here if you are a half believer, or want to believe in christian myythology for some reason, and need some pseudo-science to somehow justify yourself... if that is you, this book will be very enjoyable, because it offers nothing concrete, in any sense of the word.

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2002

    Recommended with supplements

    I really enjoyed this book and actually, due to the overwhelming amount of information it presents, am in the process of reading it again. I do feel there are some strong arguments that the book lets slide or that it completes an argument with a fuzzy or incomplete answer. Researching the scriptures and the history is very helpful with this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2001

    Case? What case?

    I picked up this book hoping it would help strengthen my faith and but an end to my doubts. Sadly, the book failed miserablely. Too often, Strobel accepts shady facts, and pushes aside good arguements. I mean he never even attempts to investigate the claims of the Jesus Seminar. He just accepts someone else's views on them. And what about the conflicting stories of the resurection? How Luke puts it in Jerusalem and Mathew puts it in Galilee. Does the book even mention it? Nope. All in all, I found this book extremely lacking.

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2014

    Case for Christ

    It's hillarious!I love evreything exept the intro!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2014

    Enlightening!

    The author truly did his research and passed on the knowledge he acquired to the reader. I highly recommend this book. Your perspective of Christ will change for the best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2012

    Great for church study group.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2012

    Questions answered

    This book is awsome and answered all of my questions.

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