As the 20th anniversary of Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ approaches, the author comments on the significant changes that have occurred in society as it pertains to the prevailing view of Jesus. “The internet has been a powerful force for spreading confusion and misinformation about Christianity in general and Jesus in particular. For instance, the web has rekindled the long-refuted claims that Jesus never lived and that He is merely the product of ancient mythologies and mystery religions.
OPEN DOOR FOR CONVERSATION
Strobel confirms that though scholars have answered these allegations a century ago, the internet has a way making them popular all over again. The positive aspect to these inaccurate challenges is that Christians have an open door to respond carefully to these misguided statements and present a compelling case for the Jesus of the New Testament.
Strobel also notes that he has found people more willing than ever before to engage in spiritual conversations. “Everyone seems to have an opinion, one way or the other, about Jesus—and they’re generally very to open to talking about their beliefs.”
He encourages Christ followers to keep courtesy and respect for others at a premium when discussing divergent faith issues. “When we’re respectful; when we do more listening than talking; when we validate the other as being valuable in the eyes of God; when we’re patient and gentle; and when we let people proceed at their own pace on their spiritual journey—then terrific dialogues can take place.”
Strobel adds that Christians should never be afraid of questions, because they have the truth on their side. Even when asked something for which they don’t have an immediate answer, the perfect response is, “That’s a great question, and I don’t have a clue how to answer it! But let’s investigate it together.” This type of dialogue opens the way for further conversation and researching the topic together.
Though many Christians may consider themselves unprepared to answer difficult theological questions that come up, Strobel recommends a painless method for gaining essential evidence or theology in his apologetics devotional, Today’s Moment of Truth, co-authored with Mark Mittelberg.
REVIEW THE FACTS
Strobel simplifies the key fact of Christianity as this fact: “Jesus died and rose again, demonstrating His divinity and opening the door of heaven for all who follow Him.” Strobel likewise suggests Christians review the historical evidence for the resurrection so that they can put the facts into their own words when questioned about their faith beliefs.
He encourages those in the retail and publishing realms to maintain a team mentality as as they seek to bridge the gap between themselves and potential buyers and readers. “When I write a book, I typically read a hundred books for background; I travel 20,000 miles or more to interview the best scholars I can find; and I spend a year or so striving to put the material in the most accessible format. But all of that means nothing unless a publisher produces and markets the book and the retailer—in a one-on-one encounter—puts my book into the hands of a reader.”
He firmly believes that God will reward the entire team for their faithfulness in getting God-honoring resources to the people who need them most. The author’s hope is that as Christians take the time to “always be prepared (1 Peter 3:15)” that God will multiply their efforts and give them the confidence to speak the truth with a respectful boldness that will incite others to dig more deeply into Christianity for themselves.