Monday, December 15, 2014

A case for Christianity

"Beyond a reasonable doubt" (not "no doubt") is a criterion that can be applied to history as well as to the legal system. A difference is that history has often to retreat to simple probability.  In either case this interests me: Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels, by J. Warner Wallace, a veteran detective who spent fifteen years of his career investigating cold-case homicides. From the author:
It's time for a "Cold-Case" approach to the Gospels. Cold-Case Detectives investigate specific types of criminal events:
  1. Events that occurred in the distant past
  2. For which there are typically no living eyewitnesses
  3. And little or no direct physical evidence
These cases are made by examining the nature of circumstantial evidence and assembling a convincing, cumulative circumstantial case. The claims of the New Testament Gospels can be similarly investigated:
  1. The gospels record events that occurred in the distant past
  2. For which there are no living eyewitnesses
  3. And no direct physical evidence
The tools used by Cold-Case Investigators can be applied to the New Testament gospels to determine if the facts they represent are a true record of the life of Jesus.

I want to teach you how to be a good detective. Cold-Case Christianity will:
  • Provide you with ten principles of cold-case investigations and equip you to use these concepts as you consider the claims of the New Testament gospel authors. These simple principles will give you new insight into the historic evidence for Christianity.
  • Provide you with a four step template to evaluate the claims of the gospel writers. Cold-Case Christianity will teach you how to evaluate eyewitnesses to determine if they are reliable. You'll then be able to employ this template as you examine the claims of the gospel eyewitnesses.
  • Provide you with the confidence and encouragement necessary to make an impact on your world. As your evidential certainty grows, so too will your desire to share the truth with others. Cold-Case Christianity will equip you to reach others with the truth.
Cold-Case Christianity will help you understand the power of circumstantial evidence, drawing on 25 years of law enforcement experience (15 years spent working Cold-Case Homicides). I'll share my personal journey from atheism to Christian certainty while describing the essential components of eyewitness reliability, abductive reasoning and the rules of evidence. ....