Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels by J. Warner Wallace was even better than expected. I figured it would be a good refresher on some basic apologetics, but he offered a lot fresh angles and was very interesting to read.
A few highlights . . .
He noticed how John’s Gospel never refers to Jesus’ mother by name, and then points out how that would be logical given that Jesus asked John to take her as his mother. He wrote the Gospel a few decades later, so it might have been odd for him to call her by her first name.
The differences between the Gospel writers made so much sense when the texts were analyzed forensically. For example:
Mark used specific titles to describe Peter, gave him priority in the narrative, uniquely included information related to Peter, and copied Peter’s preaching outline when structuring his own gospel. These circumstantial facts support the claims of the early church fathers who identified Peter as the source of Mark’s information. By hanging on every word, we were able to construct a reasonable circumstantial case for the gospel of Mark as an eyewitness account. When combined with the testimony of the early church, this evidence becomes even more powerful.
He does a great job of annihilating the conspiracy theory angle of skeptics.
Don’t get me wrong, successful conspiracies occur every day. But they typically involve a small number of incredibly close-knit participants who are in constant contact with one another for a very short period of time without any outside pressure. That wasn’t the case for the disciples. These men and women either were involved in the greatest conspiracy of all time or were simply eyewitnesses who were telling the truth. The more I learned about conspiracies, the more the latter seemed to be the most reasonable conclusion.
As a VP of Internal Audit, one of the roles of my team is to investigate thefts and other issues, so I found the interrogation and evidence-gathering parts to be fascinating. I have a 70 yr. old investigator who is amazing at what he does. He is a committed Christian and will enjoy this book!