I grew up reading Josh McDowell's Evidence That Demand's a Verdict. More recently, Lee Strobel has sold millions of his Case for . . . books. Into that tradition of popular apologetics enters J. Warner Wallace. From his perspective as an experienced detective, he has written God's Crime Scene: A Cold Case Detective Examines the Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe.
Wallace's style and approach is readable and enjoyable. He introduces each chapter with details from different crime scenes he has investigated. Using crime scene investigation as a metaphor, he introduces different classic theistic arguments to determine if evidence points to an actor "inside the room" or "outside the room."
Readers familiar with Christian apologetics will recognize traditional theistic arguments: origin of life, evidence of design, universal morality, the problem of evil, free will and others. Wallace engages these arguments from a philosophical perspective, while providing his crime scene illustrations to keep it fresh and relatable for the non-philosophical reader.
His bottom line: that philosophers have been unable to come to a consensus on an "inside the room" explanation for the evidence. The best explanation, he argues, calls for "an 'external' suspect" who is "non-spatial, a-temporal, non-material, and uncaused. . . . also powerful enough to create everything we see in the universe, and purposeful enough to produce a universe fine-tuned for life." Further, the only being that fits all of those descriptors is, of course, God.
Wallace's arguments are cogent and well-reasoned. How effective are they? I don't know. I am a Christian, fully convinced of all Wallace argues. Yet I found my mind wandering. I don't know how well equipped I would be after reading this. I also don't know how convincing Wallace's arguments would be even to an open-minded agnostic. However, given the right reader, or the right conversation partner, Wallace's book can be a great resource for defending the reasonableness, perhaps even the inevitability, of theism.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!