Many people at Gracepoint Berkeley church are rushing up to me saying variations of, “I’m *so* motivated and excited to read more books! But I haven’t read a non-required book in ____ years. I don’t know where to start!” After finding out a little more about people’s reading histories, I often recommend that people start with Lee Strobel’s The Case for _____ books, especially because many people associate Christian books, especially books on apologetics, with words like difficult, dry, boring, complicated, and are demotivated before even starting.
Strobel, a former atheist, traces his journey to faith through his 1999 book, The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus. What I love about his books is that they are very accessible to the everyday person. While it is an apologetics book, it also reads very much like a story — it is investigative journalism, after all — and Strobel uses his background in journalism to weave in details, and even develop tension as he chronicles his own grappling with the evidence he encounters. It is both a compelling and edifying read!
For each chapter, Strobel investigates a different tough question regarding Jesus, through an interview with Christian apologists and theologians, including J.P. Moreland, Greg Boyd, and William Lane Craig. It is a great book for Christians who want to learn the evidence for why you believe what you believe, or how to present the evidence clearly and concisely. I’ve also found it is a great book for people who are not Christians, but seekers who are open to, or in the process of investigating the claims of Christianity.
Additionally, for each of The Case for… books, there is a “Student Edition” (middle and high school range) and a “For Kids” edition (for about 9-12 year olds). Bibliopolis patrons of all ages attest to how great they are.
The kindle version of The Case for Christ is currently $1.99! People often ask me my opinion on e-books. And while e-readers have done a fabulous job of simulating the sense of progress and even the act of flipping a page, I still think reading and holding a physical book, flipping and (sometimes ripping) actual pages is the best reading experience. But I’m no e-reader hater. I even like audiobooks (gasp!). I was kind of snobby about it all for a long time, but I’ve come to appreciate the pros and cons of all sorts of reading. In the end, reading an e-book is better than not reading any book. (You have to re-read that last sentence out loud…I’m on a roll today!)
Have you read any of “The Case for” books? Which is your favorite? (Mine is The Case for Faith.) What’s your take on e-books? Are you a proponent? Opponent?