Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospel

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Last fall Breakpoint’s John Stonestreet interviewed J. Warner Wallace, author of Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospel, on the topic of whether the evidence for Christianity is enough to convince a jury that the Bible is true.

Here’s an excerpt from the write-up about the interview by Shane Morris at Breakpoint:

For thirty-five years, J. Warner Wallace was a vocal atheist. But as a homicide detective, Mr. Wallace knew that truth is tied to evidence. Once he considered the evidence for Christ, everything changed…

As a decorated cold-case homicide investigator, it was Wallace’s job to put together circumstantial evidence, the seemingly unrelated fragments left behind by a murder, into a picture capable of dispelling all reasonable doubt, and convicting a suspect. But his world was a material world, devoid of the supernatural knowable by observation alone.

“I was a very committed, obstinate kind of obnoxious…my dad would say I was an angry atheist,” he confesses. Wallace had a dedication to his atheism which he ascribed to his zeal for evidence. And it caused him to butt heads with his coworkers in the police force who seemed to apply a different standard to spiritual issues.

“I had coworkers,” he recounts, “who had a very high regard for evidence in their professional life, in terms of the work we did as detectives, but when I would push back against their Christian beliefs, they really were flat-footed and didn’t seem to have a very high regard for evidence in their spiritual lives, and I got really impatient with it…That’s why I think I stayed away from Christianity for as long as I did.”

But all of that changed when Wallace and his wife began attending a church whose pastor challenged his congregation to think through their faith, and discover how reasonable it is. Wallace says they went seeking a Christian cultural climate and perhaps nuggets of wisdom accessible to secular sensibilities. But instead, he found himself launched into a full-scale investigation of the Christian faith and Scripture, to determine whether its claims stood up to scrutiny:

“I spent months and months applying the same template I use to test the reliability of witnesses. I applied that same template… to the Gospels, and it took me a while. I was stubborn to the very end. But once I determined that these were reliable accounts about a guy named Jesus, I was forced to do something with what they ultimately describe.”

In his book, Wallace lays out the case which resulted from this investigation, and demonstrates using many of the same techniques and criteria employed by homicide detectives that a reasonable person cannot dismiss the claims of Christianity, or the Gospel accounts of Jesus.

You can listen to the interview here.

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Click here for more information about the book.

You can read a review of Wallace’s book at the Stand To Reason website here.

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