Book Review: Forensic Faith
A great deal of discussion has occurred in recent years about the Millennial Generation. This generation has recently reached adulthood, and its unique perspective has been cause for question and concerns about the future of society.
In the church, the most disturbing trend among Millennials is the rapidity with which they are abandoning the faith of their parents and the rampant secularization of society which is occurring. What is causing this mass exodus, and how might it be stopped?
In his latest book, Forensic Faith, author J. Warner Wallace suggests the cause and the solution to this Christian concern.
Wallace has quickly risen to prominence in the community of Christian voices because of his entirely unique approach to defending the faith. As a former atheist, the story of Wallace’s conversion to Christianity is intriguing, and the method by which he converted is the same method in which he continues to defend the Christian worldview.
Having spent most of his life as a police detective, and a good portion of that in cold case forensics, Jim uses the same skills he employed to crack homicide cases in order to prove the truths of the Bible.
Since there is no direct evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, or the existence of God, Jim is able to form a very robust circumstantial case using the same abductive reasoning that cold case homicide detectives use to convict criminals.
In his first book, Cold Case Christianity, Jim showed through the eyewitness accounts of the Gospels, as well as other contemporary sources from the first century, that the resurrection of Christ was all but a historical certainty. In his second book, God’s Crime Scene, he used abductive reasoning to show the existence of God.
In Forensic Faith, Jim defends the use of Christian Apologetics – the act of using facts to show the truth of Christianity – as essential in today’s world.
Jim posits that the reason so many young people are leaving Christianity is that the Church has failed to answer their questions. In a world wherein science and culture have been weaponized as tools to attack Christianity, the Church has been wholly unprepared to defend itself. Falling back on pleas to “just believe”, arguments for the truth of Christianity have seemed particularly weak.
Forensic Faith shows that this need not be the case. A church which is well informed of scholarship, philosophy, science and logical reasoning can show young people that there are concrete reasons why Christianity is true, and supports itself as the correct way in which to view the world.
In his years as a cold case detective, Jim spent a great deal of time reading over old witness testimonies and crime reports. He employed a skill known as Forensic Statement Analysis; a skill which allowed him to determine the motivations, truths and falsities behind these statements. Jim uses this skill in order to analyze scripture, and to look at the motivations behind attacks on Christianity. In his new book, Jim teaches this skill and many others to the reader. Jim argues that Churches which attempt to shield young people from the world do them a great disservice, and are almost certain to lose them when these Christians encounter other worldviews for which they are not prepared.
Don’t teach these students, Jim says, train them. Prepare them not just to encounter, but to rebut the attacks which will be forced upon them.
In Forensic Faith, Jim – who spent many years as a youth pastor – teaches the reader exactly what to teach the students and how to train them.
This book is well written as an instructual guide, and it is essential to the modern church.