The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity

The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity

by Lee Strobel

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310339298
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 02/25/2014
Series: Case for ... SeriesSeries Series
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 52,669
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Lee Strobel was the award-winning legal editor of The Chicago Tribune and is the bestselling author of The Case for Christ, The Case for Christ Devotional, The Case for Christianity Answer book, The Case for Faith, The Case for a Creator, and The Case for Grace. With a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale, Lee has won four Gold Medallions for publishing excellence and coauthored the Christian Book of the Year. He serves as Professor of Christian Thought at Houston Baptist University. Visit Lee’s website at: leestrobel.com

Read an Excerpt

From Chapter One

Objection No. 1: Since Evil and Suffering Exist, a Loving God Cannot

Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to; or he cannot and does not want to. If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent. If he can, and does not want to, he is wicked. But, if God both can and wants to abolish evil, then how comes evil in the world?

--Epicurus, philosopher

The fact of suffering undoubtedly constitutes the single greatest challenge to the Christian faith, and has been in every generation. Its distribution and degree appear to be entirely random and therefore unfair. Sensitive spirits ask if it can possibly be reconciled with God’s justice and love.

--John Stott, theologian

As an idealistic young reporter fresh out of journalism school, one of my first assignments at the Chicago Tribune was to write a thirty-part series in which I would profile destitute families living in the city. Having been raised in the homogenized suburbs, where being “needy” meant having only one Cadillac, I quickly found myself immersed in Chicago’s underbelly of deprivation and desperation. In a way, my experience was akin to Charles Templeton’s reaction to the photo of the African woman with her deceased baby.

Just a short drive from Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, where stately Tribune Tower rubs shoulders with elegant fashion boutiques and luxury hotels, I walked into the tiny, dim, and barren hovel being shared by sixty-year-old Perfecta de Jesus and her two granddaughters. They had lived there about a month, ever since their previous cockroach-infested tenement erupted in flames.

Perfecta, frail and sickly, had run out of money weeks earlier and had received a small amount of emergency food stamps. She stretched the food by serving only rice and beans with bits of meat for meal after meal. The meat ran out quickly. Then the beans. Now all that was left was a handful of rice. When the overdue public-aid check would finally come, it would be quickly consumed by the rent and utility bills, and the family would be right back where it started.

The apartment was almost completely empty, without furniture, appliances, or carpets. Words echoed off the bare walls and cold wooden floor. When her eleven-year-old granddaughter, Lydia, would set off for her half-mile walk to school on the biting cold winter mornings, she would wear only a thin gray sweater over her short-sleeved, print dress. Halfway to school, she would give the sweater to her shivering thirteen-year-old sister, Jenny, clad in just a sleeveless dress, who would wrap the sweater around herself for the rest of the way. Those were the only clothes they owned.

“I try to take care of the girls as best I can,” Perfecta explained to me in Spanish. “They are good. They don’t complain.”

Hours later, safely back in my plush lakefront high-rise with an inspiring view of Chicago’s wealthiest neighborhoods, I felt staggered by the contrast. If there is a God, why would kind and decent people like Perfecta and her grandchildren be cold and hungry in the midst of one of the greatest cities in the world? Day after day as I conducted research for my series, I encountered people in circumstances that were similar or even worse. My response was to settle deeper into my atheism.

Hardships, suffering, heartbreak, man’s inhumanity to man -- those were my daily diet as a journalist. This wasn’t looking at magazine photos from faraway places; this was the grit and pain of life, up close and personal.

I’ve looked into the eyes of a young mother who had just been told that her only daughter had been molested, mutilated, and murdered. I’ve listened to courtroom testimony describing gruesome horrors that had been perpetrated against innocent victims. I’ve visited noisy and chaotic prisons, the trash heaps of society; low-budget nursing homes where the elderly languish after being abandoned by their loved ones; pediatric hospital wards where emaciated children fight vainly against the inexorable advance of cancer; and crime-addled inner cities where drug trafficking and drive-by shootings are all too common.

But nothing shocked me as much as my visit to the slums of Bombay, India. Lining both sides of the noisy, filthy, congested streets, as far as the eye could see, were small cardboard and burlap shanties, situated right next to the road where buses and cars would spew their exhaust and soot. Naked children played in the open sewage ditches that coursed through the area. People with missing limbs or bodies contorted by deformities sat passively in the dirt. Insects buzzed everywhere. It was a horrific scene, a place where, one taxi driver told me, people are born on the sidewalk, live their entire lives on the sidewalk, and die a premature death on the sidewalk.

Then I came face-to-face with a ten-year-old boy, about the same age as my son Kyle at the time. The Indian child was scrawny and malnourished, his hair filthy and matted. One eye was diseased and half closed; the other stared vacantly. Blood oozed from scabs on his face. He extended his hand and mumbled something in Hindi, apparently begging for coins. But his voice was a dull, lifeless monotone, as if he didn’t expect any response. As if he had been drained of all hope.

Where was God in that festering hellhole? If he had the power to instantly heal that youngster, why did he turn his back? If he loved these people, why didn’t he show it by rescuing them? Is this, I wondered, the real reason: because the very presence of such awful, heart-wrenching suffering actually disproves the existence of a good and loving Father?

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Introduction:The Challenge of Faith
On the Road to Answers
Objection #1: Since Evil and Suffering Exist, a Loving God Cannot
Objection #2: Since Miracles Contradict Science, They Cannot Be True
Objection #3: Evolution Explains Life, So God Isn't Needed
Objection #4: God Isn't Worthy of Worship If He Kills Innocent Children
Objection #5: It's Offensive to Claim Jesus Is the Only Way to God
Objection #6: A Loving God Would Never Torture People in Hell
Objection #7: Church History Is Littered with Oppression and Violence
Objection #8: I Still Have Doubts, So I Can't Be a Christian
Conclusion: The Power of Faith
Appendix: A Summary of The Case for Christ
List of Citations
Notes
Index
Acknowledgments
About the Author

What People are Saying About This

Gerald L. Sittser

Lee Strobel has given believers and skeptics alike a gift in this book. He does not avoid asking the most difficult questions imaginable, and refuses to provide simplistic answers that do more harm than good. Yet his style of writing makes the book surprisingly accessible and winsome. I found it both helpful and captivating.
— (Gerald L. Sittser, professor of religion, Whitworth College, and author of A Grace Disguised and The Will of God as a Way of Life)

Phillip E. Johnson

Lee Strobel asks the questions a tough-minded skeptic would ask. Every inquirer should have it.
— (Phillip E. Johnson, law professor, University of California at Berkeley)

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Case for Faith 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 90 reviews.
Taps More than 1 year ago
Anyone that appreciates thinking NEEDS to read this book. Challenging and informative, this book does exactly what the back claims - strengthens the faith of Christians while answering strong objections of skeptics. This is not just a lofty philosophy book, but also one that teaches on faith, wait faith is, and how faith affects our daily lives. If you have doubts, questions or interests about the Christian faith, this book is for you. Reader Suggestions - A basic background on Christianity and the Bible, though not necessary, is very helpful for some parts of this book. Follow the helpful reference list for more insight.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have recently read the book,The Case For Faith, by Lee Strobel, a journalistic investigation to the objections of Christianity, and I couldn¿t let it down from the moment I read the thesis. Being a skeptic once myself, I see now that the objections I would once dwelled in have indeed an answer. Lee Strobel faces the philosophical and scientific challenges to the Christian faith with an open mind and brings clarity to them with concrete answers. This book serves both believers and non-believers alike. The objections that I once wrestled with are followed through with rational and corroborative evidence. Like in a courtroom both sides of the story are presented, leaving out any biased testimony to rekindle accusations. From the moment the thesis is established the format of the book unfolds itself with in the road to answers, not avoiding the details of potential loopholes. From the most common brought up objection against God- the theory of evolution- to ¿It¿s Offensive to Claim Jesus Is the Only Way to God¿- this book stares at the misconceptions and delivers. The answers provided by scientists, philosophers, and other thinkers alike, not only alter the mind, but also supplies food for intellect. Finding perspective with in the boundaries of a world filled with questions about origin, meaning and destiny, it is sometimes hard to come about with convincing information to satisfy faith over reason. However, I believe this book unites the power of an intelligent faith over the cliché of blind faith. Being a student in high school, I sincerely see the need for this information to be shared with others, which is what I¿m planning to do. Many of my friends I feel would appreciate the long-awaited side of the story to the often thought of unanswerable questions to skepticism.
SultrySunset More than 1 year ago
I gave this book four stars because it was interesting and it made me think. The information in the book was very well researched and Lee Strobel did a great job with his interviewing and making sure he got everyone to talk about both sides of the argument for God. I think that I would have enjoyed this book more if it had been just an article rather than a whole book but that is neither here nor there. I was excited in the beginning when they were discussing free will and how it gives people a choice to love God or not. But free will also causes people to do terrible things sometimes. The book says that only when people seek God do they find Him, and I totally agree. I enjoyed the argument about how the universe came into being. I don't think that it just appeared from nothing but it is amazing that some people do believe that rather than believing in a divine being. I enjoyed how the book also discussed rationality and how its almost more rational to believe in God than it is to not believe. Overall, great book I encourage both Christians and non-Christians alike to read this book. It has made me a stronger believer in God.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was better than the Case for Christ! The Introduction made me want to go and evangilize someone! The objections were really helpful (especially with Stroebel's atheistic background) I'm glad I wasn't caught without them. But the last objection was by far the most useful and important to anyone who associates with non-Christians or peole who are troubled with their Christian beliefs! If nothing else read the intro and eigth (last) objection! Praise the Lord for such a book!!!
frausuzy More than 1 year ago
A diligently pursued search for Truth. A great resource for those who find themselves wrestling with "intellectual concerns" regarding their faith.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very insightful and inspiring, especially in how Lee Strobel came to faith. Very excellent read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book provides support for those who might be struggling with their faith, yet reinforcement for those who are firm in it. Mr. Strobel speaks from a personal platform, making this a soul-searching read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have just began reading this book and am already having a hard time putting it down. It addressess as the questions that are on my mind especially in light of the state of the world today. (ie: the fight against terrorism) I have already read 'The Case for Christ' and know that this book will be just as informative and life-changing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Outstanding book! I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for answers to some of the tough questions. Answers the questions asked by many of us for a very long time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a great look at the Christian faith. It explains each of the arguments of non-believers and gives evidence to support Christianity through science and history. It is a great read for those questioning Christianity and Christians alike. Strobel provides hundreds of facts to defend the faith that so many of us share. Pick up a copy of A Case for Christ as well, both are great reads!
Guest More than 1 year ago
What I enjoyed most were all the references that Lee Strobel includes in this book. For those who don't know where to begin finding books on subjects about the Bible, or your faith in general, that you've often wondered about, this book has many good references to begin with. Not only that, but this book was an excellent source within itself in helping to solidify my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lee Strobel has introduced my Bible study group to a new perspective on fielding questions from interested nonbelievers. We are really enjoying each chapter and sharing the information with people outside of our group. This book handles a lot of the questions that I would never have even considered, because I already know the Lord. How wonderful to know this could help us bring others close to Him - to heal, to love, to LIVE!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
THE CASE FOR FAITH is a companion book to the wonderful THE CASE FOR CHRIST, written by the same author. While THE CASE FOR CHRIST presents evidence for the person of Jesus Christ, THE CASE FOR FAITH provides answers to those tough questions that everyone asks and/or wonders about. I highly recommend this book to everyone--from born-again Christians to non-believers. Extremely well-written, thoroughly documented and researched. AWESOME!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In, The Case For Faith, Lee Strobel brings together some of the best minds in Christianity to answer the questions that skeptics ask. Drs. Peter Kreeft, William Lane Craig, Walter Bradley, Norman Geisler,Ravi Zacherias, J.P. Moreland, John Woodbridge,and Lynn Anderson offer some of the best reasons to believe that exist. Some of the other reviewers didn't think that this book gave reasons that would hold up to any arguments, and that clearly displayed their presuppositions concerning faith. Most of the people interviewed have debated prominent athiests and non-believers, and have done very well. (See, williamlanecraig.com, or normgeisler.com to find information on the debates)(from personal experience I have used the information from this book to witness and debate and found that the reasons to believe given in these two books win the argument because they are based on truth! This book is written in a very readable style and should be read with, The Case For Christ, by every believer. These books introduce some of the best thinkers of Christianity and are great introductions to apologetics.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An amazing book. Easy to read and to understand. Lee Strobel does an excellent point to ask the questions you are most likely to be asked by skeptics. This should become number one on any person's list of books to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Absolutely amazing! Just as the book offers, God's face is revealed through reading this work of love. Lee Strobel amplifies God's true love for us and gives solid and logical responses to the toughest challenges to God's allowance of evil. Bravo!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow -- this book managed to provide persuasive answers to my biggest objections to Christianity! I've wrestled for years with the question of why there's so much evil and suffering in the world if God is supposed to be loving, and why a supposedly loving God would send people to hell. Those are two of the 'big eight' objections to Christianity that Lee Strobel tackles in this sequel to his excellent book, 'The Case for Christ.' Other issues include whether scientific people can accept miracles, why is it rational believe Jesus is the only way to God, doesn't evolution disprove creation, why is church history filled with violence, can the Bible be trusted, and so on. He pursued answers from some of the most articulate and thoughtful Christian thinkers, including Peter Kreeft of Boston College, Norman Geisler, Ravi Zacharias, and William Lane Craig. This book doesn't give 25-cent answers to million-dollar questions. It provides substantive and in-depth analysis, and yet does so in a highly readable way. I'd STRONGLY recommend this book to any Christian who, like me, wrestles with doubts from time to time. I'm going to buy other copies to give to my friends who are skeptical of Christianity. Not only will this book help them get beyond the obstacles between them and God, but it also contains a summary of the historical evidence for Christianity that the author explored in his previous book. I'll probably have to buy another copy for myself, too, since my first one is so dog-eared and full of underlining and highlighting!
n_yay on LibraryThing 21 days ago
Have you got questions about Christianity? Former athiest attempts to break down those barriers.
nesum on LibraryThing 25 days ago
What an incredible unworthy follow up to The Case for Christ. The problem is, of course, that Strobel is not a great theologian. His approach to doctrine is very man-focused rather than Christ-focused.Now, when you are investigating the historical evidence to the Bible, the details of your theology don't matter all that much. Because of that, The Case for Christ is a great work in apologetics. But that is not at all the approach of this work. Instead of looking at actual hard evidence, Strobel instead turns to philosophy to answer tough questions like, "If God is good, then why is there evil in the world."Fair question, but Strobel, being very pragmatic and man-focused, turns to like-minded philosophers for his answers. So instead of biblically-based responses (even if we don't want to hear them), we have a bunch of people trying to twist their brains to defend God's actions in history. We have one philosopher trying to claim that hell exists because it is less dehumanizing than simple annihilation (p. 253), that all children who die go to heaven because they are not old enough to know better (p. 169), and that human free will is the driving force in the universe (throughout).The problem, of course, is having a wrong understanding of God in the first place. When you are Strobel, and you come to this book with the belief that God is helpless against free will, then you have a God who either cannot or will not help. That is not the God of the Bible. The true God is sovereign over all things. He is moving the tides of history by His will. He allows evil for a time, but He moves all thing for His glory and for the good of His children. He is guiding this world to a place that we cannot even imagine right now, and yet every moment will be seen in the end as purposeful and for the good. He is merciful to allow evil for a time, for we are sinful, and if He were to avenge evil fully in this moment, then He would destroy us as well. But in mercy He has given us time, for He is long suffering. He has given us this very day that we might repent and believe in Him and be saved.The book is not all bad. Ravi Zacharias has a very fine interview. But on the whole, this is an exercise in bad philosophy trying to remake God in our own image instead of ourselves being conformed to the image of Jesus. I'll stick with Strobel's more historic-based books in the future.
ShortyBond on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Strobel does it once again in this amazing book defending the Christian faith!!
rybeewoods on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Refer to my thoughts concerning Case for Christ.
debs4jc on LibraryThing 5 months ago
As in his other books, Strobel tackles some of the tough objections to the Christian religion--this time objections that would lead to a lack of faith. These include the problems of human suffering and human evolution. Strobel does this by talking to people, he interviews Christian authorities on these matters and then shares his refections. It might not convince anyone who isn't already convinced, but it does offer a personal approach to intellectual problems which at least helps make the book more intersting to read. And I think it does show that to be a Christian you don't have to check your brain at the door.
Zylphan on LibraryThing 5 months ago
A simplified theology book with pat answers that aren't really answers at all.
djaquay on LibraryThing 5 months ago
A bit of preaching to the choir, a bit of dissing other religions. Not much to see here.
nbr on LibraryThing 5 months ago
He's actually willing to take on some tough questions. That's to his credit. However ... he has no tough answers to go along with them. In the end, it always seems to come down to personal convictions, inner transformations, and ineffable experiences of being "sure."