Did Lee Strobel Interview Any Non-Conservative Christian Scholars for His Book, “The Case for Christ”?

Image result for image of the case for christ?

This is an ongoing review of The Case for Christ by former atheist and investigative reporter, Lee Strobel:

 

Strobel It wasn’t a call from an informant that prompted me to reexamine the case for Christ.  It was my wife.  …That’s what this book is about.  …I’ll take you along as I interview thirteen leading scholars and authorities who have impeccable academic credentials.  pp. 14-15

Gary:  When I review books I like to do so chapter by chapter.  I don’t wait until I have finished reading the entire book.  So I have no idea at this moment in time the answer to the following question:   Were any of the “thirteen scholars and authorities” whom Lee Strobel interviewed regarding the reliability of the Gospels non-conservative Christians???  Any liberal Christians?  Any moderate Christians?  Any non-Christian theists (Jews or Muslims)?  Any agnostics or atheists?

I will have to wait and see, I guess, but what is my point:  Whenever you investigate a controversial topic, read and study both sides of the issue!  Read the research and opinions of experts on both sides.  You cannot consider yourself fully informed listening to only one side of any debate.

Did Lee Strobel do that?

(A good investigative reporter would!)

Image result for image of lee strobel

 

5 thoughts on “Did Lee Strobel Interview Any Non-Conservative Christian Scholars for His Book, “The Case for Christ”?

  1. Referring to your illustration: And if one guy claims that he heard that 500 people had the same vision of something impossible, but produces none of their names, and no eyewitness reports from any of them, then it’s more likely that he is mistaken than that the impossible thing is true.

    After all, my cat can speak Spanish. And my dentist told me that she heard that there were 500 people that heard my cat speaking Spanish, so you know it’s totally true.

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    1. Very true.

      I will bet that this “Five Hundred EyeWitnesses” claim was based on a mass illusion, similar to the event last summer in Knock, Ireland, where hundreds of people “saw” the Virgin Mary.

      The quote is correct that multiple people cannot have the same hallucination, but multiple people can experience the same illusion in the same place and at the same time. Conservative Christians have created the false dichotomy that it was either a mass hallucination or a real event. They do this because they assume that the detailed stories in the Gospels of a walking, talking, fishing eating Jesus was the only way in which Jesus could have appeared. They don’t imagine that the appearance claims could have been based on the same “evidence” that people today see miracle appearances: clouds, bright lights, shadows, etc..

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    2. Also consider the context: Paul says that the risen Christ “appeared” first to Peter, then the Twelve, then to five hundred at once, then finally to him. There’s no indication that he thought the type of “appearance” was different; and since Paul’s own experience seems to have been a visionary one, rather than any claim of physical encounter, we may suppose that as far as he knew, that’s also how Peter and the Twelve experienced it (contrary to the fleshly encounters of the later gospels).

      And in that case, presumably, the five hundred also had a visionary rather than physical experience — and then it becomes more explicable. Is it possible that five hundred people shared some kind of visionary experience? I would say so: even today, there are groups of (I’m not sure of specific denominations) Pentecostals and so on who share ecstatic group experiences where I’m quite sure they’d all agree they felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. Why could not a group (whether five hundred is a real or exaggerated number) have a similar experience of Christ in the 1st century?

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      1. Good points. I would suggest, however, that the claims of Jesus appearing to groups were more likely based on illusions—perceiving (ie, seeing) something real in your environment but misinterpreting that real phenomenon as something else (seeing a bright light and believing it to be a dead person). This is what happens in modern sightings of the Virgin Mary. Saying that a group of people had a “visionary experience” implies to many people, especially conservative Christians, that you are implying that a group of people all experienced an hallucination at the same time and place and that all the individual hallucinations were one and the same. Modern medicine tells us that no two people can experience the exact same hallucination.

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  2. Consider the context: Paul says that the risen Christ “appeared” first to Peter, then the Twelve, then to five hundred at once, then finally to him. There’s no indication that he thought the type of “appearance” was different; and since Paul’s own experience seems to have been a visionary one, rather than any claim of physical encounter, we may suppose that as far as he knew, that’s also how Peter and the Twelve experienced it (contrary to the fleshly encounters of the later gospels).

    And in that case, presumably, the five hundred also had a visionary rather than physical experience — and then it becomes more explicable. Is it possible that five hundred people shared some kind of visionary experience? I would say so: even today, there are groups of (I’m not sure of specific denominations) Pentecostals and so on who share ecstatic group experiences where I’m quite sure they’d all agree they felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. Why could not a group (whether five hundred is a real or exaggerated number) have a similar experience of Christ in the 1st century?

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