Lee Strobel’s Fragile Argument

Lee Strobel likes to introduce himself as a former atheist—quite an unpleasant atheist, in fact.  As a tough-minded and award-winning journalist, he wanted to get to the bottom of the nonsense about Christianity when his wife became a Christian.

He was the legal editor at the Chicago Tribune where they had a sign reading, “If your mother says she loves you, get a second opinion.”  Sounds like they take their fact finding seriously!

Journalists are great; it’s hypocrisy that I don’t care for.  Strobel’s The Case for Christ starts off with this tough-minded search, and yet everyone interviewed in his book is a committed Christian.  If this is journalism, where is the other side of the story?

Looks like the conclusion was drawn before he started.

I have no problem with a Christian writing a Christian book; just don’t try to pass off this project as unbiased journalism.

Strobel recently wrote a summary of this search.  I’d like to respond to his arguments.

He first picks up elements from the gospels—that Jesus was executed, that the tomb was empty, and that the opponents had to claim that the body was stolen—and uses them to argue for the truth of the overall story.  That’s like saying that in The Godfather, the motivations of the movie studio guy made complete sense because he’d found a horse head in his bed.

The gospel story is a story.  There really wasn’t a horse head, Indiana Jones didn’t really find the lost Ark of the Covenant, and Dorothy didn’t really land in Oz.  Why imagine that there was a resurrection?  Don’t show internal consistency between elements of the gospel story without first showing that it’s history.

Strobel next says:

[The disciples] wouldn’t have been willing to die brutal martyrs’ deaths if they knew this was all a lie.

How do we know that this is accurate?  Continue reading