Apologist and former atheist Lee Strobel, who launched a series of books that began with The Case for Christ published more than a decade ago, recently released an answer book to frequently asked questions about Christianity.
The Case for Christianity Answer Book includes questions such as: Does the Bible contradict what we've learned from science? If God is loving, why does he allow tragedy and suffering? Is there solid evidence that Jesus really rose from the dead? Can you have doubts and still be a Christian?
Strobel, a former award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, is a best-selling author of more than 20 books and serves as Professor of Christian Thought at Houston Baptist University.
After studying the evidence for Jesus, Strobel became a Christian in 1981. He later served as a teaching pastor at two of the largest churches in the U.S. – Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, and Saddleback Church based in Lake Forest, California. He left to host the TV program Faith Under Fire.
The Christian Post recently asked Strobel why he wrote The Case for Christianity Answer Book. His answer is below.
Strobel: I believe Christians need to be innovating some fresh approaches to reaching out to spiritually curious people. Personally, I've found it's often helpful to give people resources to help answer their questions about Christianity and better understand the gospel. That's why I wrote my Case series of books. But those books can be overwhelming for some people because they go into a lot of detail. And so I've written The Case for Christianity Answer Book. It's a new genre for me – it's a "gift book" specifically designed to give concise and accessible answers to 60 top questions about God, the Bible, Jesus, and faith.
My hope is this book will equip Christians by giving them basic responses to the kind of questions they may get from their friends, neighbors, colleagues, and family members. But even more importantly, it's a book that Christians can actually give to people who are checking out Christianity. For instance, it's a book that can be given to high school and college students who are returning to classes this fall, or to people for their birthday, graduation, or Christmas. My prayer is that it will stimulate their spiritual curiosity, clarify the gospel for them, and clear away some of the questions that might be roadblocks in their progress toward Christ. The book also points readers toward more in-depth resources if they want to pursue deeper answers.
So many parents have teenagers who are openly doubting Christianity. I hope a book like this will help them deal with their questions in a short, understandable, but compelling format. As an evangelist who cares about spiritually lost people, I'm always looking for seeds that I can plant into people's lives. I wrote this book so that I can have something to give to seekers who have no particular background in science, ancient history, and theology, but who nevertheless want reliable answers that they can readily understand. Now the book is available to help people like me to reach out to folks in their lives.
CP: I notice you are doing an e-newsletter with material from the book. How is this book being expanded into a resource in different ways?
Strobel: It's important these days to use a variety of approaches to reach people. I recently re-launched my free e-newsletter, Investigating Faith, which is published by Biblegateway.com. As a bonus, we've been excerpting a few of the questions and answers from The Case for Christianity Answer Book and including them in the newsletter, which comes out about every two weeks. This will expand the number of people we can help. People can sign up for free at www.biblegateway.com or www.LeeStrobel.com. We also created a free Bible Quiz, which people can take at www.LeeStrobel.com/answerbook in order to test their biblical knowledge in a fun way. In addition, I've done some short videos on answers to some of the questions in the book; they can be found at the www.LeeStrobel.com/answerbook site.
And to encourage people to reach out to others, anyone in the U.S. who purchases The Case for Christianity Answer Book at Barnes and Noble until September 15 can go to www.freeanswerbook.com and get a free bonus copy of Billy Graham's book, The Heaven Answer Book. We want to use as many channels as we can to help Christians grow in their ability to answer spiritual questions and to give them a resource that they can use as a gift to others.
CP: What else is going on in your life?
Strobel: I'm excited to be joining Woodlands Church in The Woodlands, Texas, as a teaching pastor. It's a terrific church, pastored by my friend Kerry Shook, and this will provide me with an opportunity to speak on a regular basis to Christians and spiritual seekers. It also gives me better proximity to Houston Baptist University, where I'm a professor of Christian thought. My next goal is to learn how to speak Texan!