This book completely changed the way I understand my faith. I was very curious about the book when it was assigned reading my first semester of college. When I finally read it, I could not put it down. I was compelled by the sheer volume of evidence that supports and validates the Bible’s account of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. It was also powerful to see that even the most stanch of atheists converted when he finally added up the evidence and saw a genuine heart change in his wife. I later came to read more of Lee’s books, hear him speak in person, and eventually lead studies through two of his student books. But this book left the greatest mark and gave me a passion for apologetics that I still have to this day. This is a book that every Christian needs to read, end of story ~ Bethel
Evidence. Many claim that the Bible lacks any real evidence outside of itself to support what it says, especially when it comes to the accounts of the life of Jesus. These same people claim that they need to see it in order to believe it. But yet, they tend to live by their feelings that give way to bias against God and hardens their hearts toward anything the Bible says. What can be worst is when this tension between faith in God and faith in nothing is brought into a marriage. Many think there is no way for the marriage to survive, or for the unbelieving spouse to be converted. This situation lead one man ask the question: is there actually evidence that supports the case for Christ?
In his bestselling book, The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel presents a powerful collection of evidence in favor of Christ that started when he wanted to disprove the newfound faith of his wife, Leslie. As an investigative journalist working for the Chicago Tribune, atheist Lee decided to find the best experts available on different areas of biblical scholarship to try and find the holes in Christianity. The book takes you through about two years of interviews with these experts in their given fields. In this accessible interview style, these experts walked with Lee through the ability to verify the manuscripts for the Bible as we know it today, the validity of the existence of Jesus, the validity of his messiahship, and the validity of his death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. What you find is that many of the presumed holes in the Bible or in the Christian faith are quickly closed with a little research. And what Lee discovered after two years of investigation is that when you put all the evidence together, it would have taken greater faith to hold onto his atheism than to accept Christianity. Also brought to the faith by the loving faithfulness of his wife, Lee accepted Christ as his Savior and has used this book to support the case for Christ. This book is well-written, informative, but also accessible to anyone on any level. The combination of the powerful evidence and the personal story at the heart of it makes it one of the best resources on apologetics available today. If you haven’t yet read this book, especially if you have questions about Jesus, then this book is a must read. Get your copy today!
If you like Lee’s book, then there are some other resources you should also check out:
Other Books by Lee Strobel – Lee went on to write so many other books in a similar series to that of The Case for Christ. But the two most popular that I personally recommend are The Case for Faith, and The Case for a Creator. Reviews on these books will come at a future date!
This is an awesome book. From the time I heard they this book was happening, I was so excited. When it came out during my last semester of college, I finish it in only a few weeks’ time, even on top of all the reading I had to do for class! I was already a big fan of Jeff from his YouTube channel, but seeing Jeff’s heart and life story written out in this way was a confirmation of why I enjoyed his work so much. This book is still in my opinion of the best books written from a millennial viewpoint of the subject of Christianity. Jeff’s desire to help his audience find a more intimate relationship is undeniable and that desire guides his audience to a good place when they are finished. Especially after I helped launched two of his other books (It’s Not What You Think and Love that Lasts), I definitely recommend this book ~ Bethel
Religion has been around for a long time, but most of us don’t really understand all that it implies in our world today. Although the essence of religion was created by God, what it has become is a far cry from the vibrant relationship He wants us to find in His Son. Through human misunderstanding, practicing religion has become distorted into a list of rules that are impossible for us to keep in our imperfection. There have been many consequences to this distortion, including many falling into either theological arrogance (assuming they can earn merit with God through rule-keeping) or making the choice to give up on religion (because the standards are impossible to achieve). These two extremes create tension, and everyone in between feels like they are caught in the middle of the hypocrisy or ignorance of those involved in the argument. It makes us ask the question: Is there something better than the rule-keeping of religion?
In his first book, Jesus > Religion, Jefferson Bethke helps us understand that there is a big different between the rule-keeping of religion and the freedom in obedience we should have in the saving grace of Jesus Christ. After his spoken word on the same subject when viral (Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus), Jeff decided he wanted to write a book to further explain his position. The result is a book that takes much of what we thought we knew about Christianity and turns it on its head. He breaks down many of the issues that subscribing to a religion brings and points to the greater ways that Jesus taught throughout His ministry. When we are able to truly learn that we have receive grace as soon as we accept it, it will allow to live a more abundant life that is not bogged down by rule-keeping. However, we do also learn that grace doesn’t absolve us from sin, but instead allows us to have hope that we can remain anchored in Christ, even if we mess up, as long as we have an attitude of repentance. These truths and much more are told within the framework of the spoken word that inspired the book as well as personal stories from his own life that make his points relevant. Although this was Jeff’s first book, published when he was only twenty-three, this book has a wisdom beyond his years. His theology is strong, but his writing is understandable to everyone and relevant to all of us. I honestly think that every Christian needs to read this book. Get your copy today!
I love this book. I first heard about it when I was in college, taking my Apologetics Readings Course. As I was going through the lists of books about defending the Christian faith, this book stood out above the rest. Since it was on the lists of optional readings, I ordered it right away! I enjoyed this book’s insight about understanding the messages within movies and how important it is to understand the messages they are trying to communicate. This book was by far my favorite book I read that semester and in some ways has become one of the motivations I have had in writing reviews on this blog. The content on this book is just as relevant now as it was when it was published. Any Christian 15 or older would benefit greatly for reading this book ~ Bethel
We love movies. But more than that, we loved to be entertained. We are quick to watch the newest movie at anyone recommendation. When movies satisfy us, we watch them again and again. When we dislike movies, especially ones based off of known books or stories, we are quick to verbalize disappointment. But either way, we often just watch the movies to be entertainment, not to get something out of it intellectually or spiritually. We often let our guard down for the sake of being entertained. As a result, the messages that are being communicated through the film are not being filtered or being contrasted against personal beliefs. We often don’t have the tools needed to discern the messages communicated in our favorite movies. It leaves us to ask the question: how can we discern what moviemakers are communicating in films today?
In the book Hollywood Worldviews, former screenplay writer Brian Godawa tells us how to discern the messages being communicated in the movies we watch and not just being pacified by them. Godawa uses his writing experience to explain the structure of storytelling in films, which is essential for quality and significant in understanding the messages with films. We walk through the reality of worldviews that are communicated in every film we watch, whether we realize it or not. Godawa explains two of the most prevalent views present in films produced by Hollywood, existentialism and postmodernism. He also presents the reality that Hollywood’s portrayals of spirituality, faith, and even angels and demons, are tainted, often with the intention of making Christians look foolish and intellectually inferior as a result of blind faith. But even in the middle of all the conflicts in worldviews portrayed in films, he concludes that even though Hollywood is seemingly opposed to us, there is still a way to watch movies with integrity in our faith, finding a way to be in the world but not of it. This is all explained in a friendly writing style with examples for several films to illustrate his point. This is a great book and can be a fantastic resource, especially if you work with teens or are the parents of teens. I highly recommend this book to anyone! Get a copy today!
[Note: I did not realize until after I completed this review that the edition of this book I own is actually out of date. The first edition is dated 2002. The second edition, which has an eye on the cover, is dated 2011. This version of the book has more updated film and media example than the edition I read and reviewed. If you plan to purchase this book, make sure it’s the more recent edition]
From the moment I heard what this book was about, I was intrigued. Loving the LGBT community has been both a serious struggle and topic of significant controversy among Christians for decades. This struggle has been one that I have personally wrestled with every time I’ve heard of a friend or a family member that has chosen to identify with that lifestyle. So when I heard there was a book written by an Ozark Christian College graduate that has gay parents and found a way to love them without compromising conviction, I knew it was a book I wanted to read. But it took recently learning about another close friend making that lifestyle choice for me to determine that this was a book that I needed to buy. When I did finally read it, I was not disappointed. This pastor has a heart for this difficult-to-reach community that is rare, because he was raised in that community. I now have a perspective to help me still uphold the truth of God’s word, but to also love these people as never before, thanks to this book. This is now my first recommendation on the topic of homosexuality for Christians, hands down. ~ Bethel
Giving grace is really hard. We have all received it, but Christians struggle to give to those that need it the most. This seems to be especially true when it comes to a Christian’s response to the LGBT community. When it comes to responding to this people group, they often choose to push on the truth in a condescending way, or they choose to order too much grace, to the point that they ignore what God has to say on the subject. Neither one on its own fully pleases God, but we struggle to find a way to find a balance between grace and truth. Especially they put the label of “hater” on us just as quickly as some will put the label of “sinner” on them. In the end, we are left unsure of how to even begin to approach the subject in a Christ-honoring way. It makes us ask the question: Is there a way to love those in LGBT community in a Christ-honoring way? Can we love them without compromising our convictions?
In Caleb Kaltenbach’s book, Messy Grace, he shares his personal journey of having two gay parents, finding his way to the Lord as a teenager, and eventually learning how to love those in the LGBT community without compromising his conviction about homosexuality. You follow Caleb as he describes how he was partly raised by his mom and her partner, and how he even participated in gay pride parades. He was taught that Christian hate gay people. When he was teenager, he started going to church, and he eventually became a Christian and was baptized. His parents were less than supportive, even his dad who was still in the closet at the time. He eventually went to Christian college (my alma mater, Ozark Christian College) and became a pastor, and has learned about how to minister to the LGBT community. He walks us through what it means for us as Christians to live in the tension between grace and truth, demonstrating that it is possible as he displays in his own personal journey. He shares what this can look like in the context of a church, and helps us to see that in order to love as Jesus loved those who struggle, we have to be willing to get a little messy. You will be inspired and challenged by Caleb’s testimony and biblically grounded insight, if you choose to take these truths to heart. This is a book that every Christian about 13 or older needs to read, especially if you have loved one that identifies as LGBT. This book is available pretty everywhere Christian books are sold, so get your copy today!
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I am so excited to write this book review. I had the pleasure of reading this book before its release, because I am on this book’s launch team! I have been so inspired by the work of Jeff Bethke, both his written words and his videos, and I hope that the small part I will play through this book team will make a different in someone’s life. This book has powerful messages that need to be read and shared. Make sure to share this review with others who may need to hear its message!
Many Christian struggle to see their faith and understand their life purpose from a new perspective. We often get so caught up in the way our Western culture has presented Christianity to us, it’s hard to know or remember the truth of the deeper meaning in our faith and all it represents. We get stuck in our favorite New Testament passages without understanding them in light of the Bible Jesus read, the Old Testament. We struggle to understand who we are in the midst of God’s plan to redeem mankind, especially in light of our own personal struggles. It leads us to ask to question: what if we’ve been getting the greater story all wrong?
In Jeff Bethke’s new book, It’s Not What You Think, he explains that there are many aspects of our lives and our faith that we have been thinking about the wrong way. In a similar way he does with his first book Jesus > Religion, he takes much of what we know about Christianity and turns it on its head, giving us a much needed change of perspective. He takes us on a journey through the Bible that is so much different and more refreshing than any book I’ve read in a long time. We are reminded of the importance of God’s kingdom in the here and now, and not to just wait for heaven to see it fulfilled. Our view of ourselves and everyone around us changes, as we are reminded of the significance of being image bearers of God that Christ suffered, died, and rose again to redeem. We are taught how to celebrate the Sabbath in ways that are applicable and relevant in today’s culture. We even learn about the significant and sacredness of sharing a meal in fellowship with others. This is all done within the context of Jeff’s honesty and understanding of God’s saving, redeeming grace at work in his own life.
This book is a must read for Christians of all ages, but especially for teens, young adults, and those that desire to understand these topics with a new perspective. I would encourage anyone to read It's Not What You Think. This book is releasing today in book stores everywhere, so get you copy today!