Saturday, December 26, 2009


'The Case for Christ,' by Lee Strobel

Not bad, for what it is. But cheesy almost to the point of smarminess.

YB, my son-in-law, agnostic, more or less, had it foisted on him by some young earth creationists of his acquaintance. I told him I'd get him somethin' better. Feel free to make your own recommendations in the comments!


"I told him I'd get him somethin' better."

Good luck. The real case for Christ is more Al-chemistry and Mystery than rational. Grace, central to Christ, is not easy to justify in any biological or cultural system.
I meant a better book to give him things to think about, not a better case for Christ.

I think God, ultimately, makes God's own case, or not. But it do take a little thinking, I think, for one to decide what to do with Jesus, and what to do with Christ.

I told him that I try to be Jesusy; that Jesus trusted/"believed in" God, and that sometimes all I can muster is to trust Jesus, and let him worry about God. He thought that was OK.

And, sometimes, I said, in the dark night of the soul, I throw myself onto the Cosmos, clinging to my pitiful little "understandings" and faithing in the Cross/Jesus/Christ and trust that I'll be caught.

So, what book kinda goes into something like that. I want it to be a Christian book per se. ... Maybe something from the Phoenix Affirmations people.
BTW, i was going to go to my church away from church down here in spring, tx, tomorrow, but in light of the wx, i think we're gonna take off earliet to try to get home before dark and the melt-and-refreeze.
If YB is as smart as Little Bird, maybe you should give him something that explains Christianity in a mystical way as it abuts against another mystical way.

Try Thomas Merton's "Zen and the Birds of Appetite".

Let him swim in the pool at the very bottom of all the various approaches to God and see if he can stay afloat.
+1 for Thomas Merton.

Another might be Huston Smith's "Illustrated World Religions." Smith is a Christian, but he is able to bring out the best in every religion, and show how there are common, universal themes working in each. I don't know if that's up your alley - but it seems to me that the most spiritual/religious people I know are more able to talk about what unites all people in a common spiritual quest than what divides us.

The book is a little soft on critical analysis - but it's only meant to be a "religions as their best" sort of book.

But other than that.... Thomas Merton fa' sho'.
Mere Christianity, by CS Lewis. That book was the final straw for me. He's not trying to stuff it down your throat, he's not overly sentimental, he just says it how it is.
Hmmm. "Mere Christianity," while it has its flaws, *would* be good. Thanks.
Mere Christianity?
No, not that one.
How can Christianity be "Mere"?

Lewis cuts the book up into what Christians believe, then how Christians behave, and finally Christian's homilies.

Somehow beliefs, behaviors, and homilies don't sum to the whole of Christianity. Every Religion has the same set as these.

If you want to sell YB just these then I don't know why he would buy.
Well, you're right drlobojo, Mere Christianity certainly isn't a comprehensive survey of Christianity. It certainly changed the outlook of this former atheist, however. I don't think you need to explain everything. No one ever came to Christ on the basis of purely intellectual information, they came to Christ because Christ called them. I suppose, if you insist on an authoritative work, that the only book you could possibly consider would be the Bible itself.
Not trying to sell YB anything. just trying to find a "better" single book that "The Case for Christ." ... May "Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time," or "Reading the Bible Again for the First Time," by Marcus Borg. YB does have a nominal Episcopalean background...
Oh, it just hit me: There may be a book called "Christian Agnostic," or "Agnostic Christian" or if not a book that takes that idea head on. That might just do.
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