Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Lee Strobel

Decision Magazine has put online an interview with "Atheist-turned-Christian Lee Strobel." It is an interesting interview, discussing the spate of atheist books published recently, calling attention to some of the arguments, and showing optimism about the growing number of young Christian apologists.

Strobel's newest book is The Case for the Real Jesus. In the interview he makes this point:
I think the attacks on the resurrection of Jesus are always troubling because they strike at the very heart of our faith. The Apostle Paul said, “If the resurrection isn’t true, then our faith is futile because we’re still in our sins” (Cf. 1 Corinthians 15:17). The resurrection is the lynchpin of our faith. One theologian said, “Christianity without the resurrection is not Christianity without its final chapter; it’s not Christianity at all.”

Everything depends on Jesus rising from the dead. Anyone can claim to be the unique Son of God, but Jesus proved it by conquering the grave. So whenever there are attacks on the physical resurrection of Jesus, we have to take them seriously and provide adequate and thoughtful responses to demonstrate once more that the historical case for Jesus returning from the dead is powerful, persuasive and cogent. As an atheist I found the evidence convincing that Jesus did indeed return from the dead, thus proving that He is the Son of God.
He goes on to argue that it makes no sense for us to be selective about what we find appealing in the Jesus described in Scripture:
Many people are picking and choosing what they want to believe about Jesus, discarding the more difficult teachings about sin, repentance or the doctrine of hell and instead merely focusing on the love of Jesus, the forgiveness of Jesus. They are coming up with their own versions of Jesus that may not bear any resemblance to the real Jesus. It’s called syncretism—the piecing together of various beliefs, many of them New Age beliefs, and creating their own “stew” of beliefs about God and Jesus Christ.

The problem with that is that it’s really irrelevant what you or I think about Jesus. I am free to believe that Jesus was a magician who used ancient incantations from Egyptian rites and was married to Mary Magdalene and had a family and never rose from the dead and who taught that we’re really gods, not sinners who need forgiveness. But that does not mean my beliefs are true. The question is, who is Jesus? Our role ought to be to discover what the evidence tells us about His identity and His teachings and His claims, not to come up with our own concoction of who we wish He were. [read it all]
Thanks to Desiring God for the reference. Desiring God also has provided a link leading to this collection of resources, including an interview with Antony Flew.

BGEA: Our Ministries: "Decision" Magazine

1 comment:

  1. I just got finished doing some edits to the complete and final version of The Real Jesus DVD.

    I was happily surprised when I began production on this in 2005 that “The Real Jesus” has become an apologetics buzzword of sorts. Lee Strobel’s "The Case for the Real Jesus" and Luke Timothy Johnson’s "The Real Jesus" are two books I highly recommend.

    I used Johnson’s book as a reference in the video and I just got Strobel’s book as I was finishing up this month. I was surprised to see that the format of Strobel’s “Six Challenges” and my “Seven Myths of the Higher Critics” were so similar.

    The final version is now finished! Really! The total running time with all the extras is now 2 hours and 20 minutes -- up from the hour-long project I announced was almost finished earlier this year.

    The DVD just needed a few cosmetic edits (nothing the average viewer would even notice) and we even added seven minutes of a "Bonus Feature" entitled: "Who is Jesus?"

    It's the best feature of the DVD and adds a lot of appeal especially as an introduction when it will be show to small groups as a five to ten week seminar. The video is divided into ten parts for this reason.

    The final version is available now!

    Check out the YouTube clips at website.

    Then you can order it if you like what you see. The final version has over an hour of additional materials, interviews, a bonus feature and is re-edited with Eric Holmberg as the host and narrator.

    I've been doing a weekly radio show on Tuseday nights with Pastor Joe Dunn of Metro Praise Church in Chicago. It's a Skype-based web-cam/chat-room/radio-show with two pastors in Chicago and Indiana. A lot of diverse people show up in the chat room -- witches, atheists, nihilists, etc. -- and ask crazy questions.

    I sent Joe Dunn an advance copy of The Real Jesus DVD. I was really pleased to hear his comments. He opened the show by holding it up to the web cam and saying, "I just got done watching the best video on Jesus that I've ever seen! This is the greatest thing ever! I've seen all kinds of stuff by Ankerburg and other guys like that and this is by far the best thing I've seen on the topic of The Real Jesus."

    He loved the interviews with the experts, the graphics, the music, everything. He said he wished he had 100 to give away, and so on. He said he likes all the "charts" and was going to go back and study them on still mode. That, of course, speaks to me about what is needed in a future study guide, not just text, but the same visuals I used in the video.

    This is a good review because I have all kind of ideas about how I want to continue. I have enough script material to do at least two more of these in the next few years. I was thinking that that there are at least 10,000 Joe Dunn's out there, pastors who are training young Christians in their churches how to stand up against postmodernist reinterpretations of Jesus and militant atheist attacks on the Bible. This video is the perfect training tool.

    The big question is how to reach these pastors.

    Obviously, we need to get about a dozen endorsement quotes from pastors and a few well-known church leaders on The Real Jesus -- then we need to advertise this to thousands of church leaders throughout the world.


Comments are moderated. I will gladly approve any comment that responds directly and politely to what has been posted.