1. My parents were Christians.
2. I had an experience that convicted me.
3. I've been changed.
4. Because I choose to believe.
Some of those answers are better than others, but there is one key answer that is rarely used, and is being neglected to the detriment of the church.
I believe in Christianity because it is true.
Personal, subjective stories are wonderful, and they have their place. But Wallace, coming from his unique perspective as a cold-case homicide detective, makes a compelling case for treating Christianity as a question of fact first, and everything else, second. First, let's take a look at the background of the author, then examine his claim, and finally, I'll share my thoughts on the book as a whole.
One of the last people in the world that I would have expected to become a Christian apologist would be a homicide detective.
But Jim Wallace did just that, transforming from an atheist to an outspoken Christian. He was trained to look analytically at cases that had "gone cold," or older cases that had never been solved. Years after a crime was committed, sometimes decades after the fact, DNA evidence is probably lacking, eyewitnesses may all be dead, and very little about a case is still intact. Wallace is trained to convincingly summarize evidence for cases far less conclusive than the one that occurred in Palestine 2000 years ago. That's why he is prepared to lay out the extremely compelling case for the most important news event of all time.
The reason that Wallace's book matters is that our culture needs one particular truth like a drowsy student needs a bucket of cold water in the face.
Christianity is not "all the feels." It's not reducible to being good. Plenty of Muslims can say that their faith has changed them. Innumerable Hindus can claim to have had some personal experience that changed them. Christians can't base their rationale for belief on those alone.
Christianity is truly described as "good news." It isn't based off of ideals alone, like Confucianism. It's not based off of a vision, like Islam.
Rather, the validity of all of Christianity can be staked on one series of events. If the life, death, and resurrection of Christ occurred, it is inarguably true. If they didn't happen, it would be perhaps the vilest of lies.
That's why Wallace encourages us to focus on the evidence, or the case for Christ. His argument is based closely off of his experience in the workplace, but more importantly, it is in tune with scripture, which he cites frequently to make his point.
Let's start with the cons in this book. There is nothing glaringly wrong with this work. Wallace is a competent writer. However, I never felt a moment of wonder at an insightful analogy, and his pen certainly doesn't dance down the page. His style matches the content of the book. It is methodical, evidence based, and lacking frills.
But although it's not a book that tickles my fancy or specializes in wordplay, that is perfectly fine. That's not its purpose. This book promised to provide a case for a reasonable, evidential faith, and it did so clearly, with the efficiency of someone who truly is an expert at gathering and weighing evidence.
Don't read this book looking for entertainment. Read it because you would like to ground your faith.
This book is a great one to help you fulfill the commands of 1 Peter 3:15:
"but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,"
Read this book, so that when you are given an opportunity to speak on your faith, you can do so with clarity, cutting away the frills, and focusing your discussion on what matters, the overwhelming evidence of the case for Christ.