So, after “a personal investigation that spanned more than six hundred days and countless hours,” Lee Strobel has come to his intellectual decision. But he knows he has to make it experiential, and refers to John 1:12.
The key verbs in that verse spell out with mathematical precision
what it takes to go beyond mere mental assent to Jesus’ deity and
enter into an ongoing relationship with him by becoming adopted
into God’s family: believe + receive = become.
(“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”)
He goes through his testimony a bit, about how “bad” and skeptical he was, etc. Then in explaining the “receive” part–“Every other faith system I studied during my investigation was based on the ‘do’ plan.” In other words, you have to DO something in order to “deserve” God. “Christianity is unique. It’s based on the ‘done’ plan–Jesus has done for us on the cross what we cannot do for ourselves”.
As Strobel describes it, he came to the moment of making an “unedited prayer… There were no lightning bolts, no audible replies, no tingly sensations…”
He concludes the book by reminding the reader of his request at the beginning to approach the study with an open mind; and if you have come to the believe part, he urges you to continue to the receive part.
On the other hand, maybe questions still linger for you. Perhaps
I didn’t address the objection that’s uppermost in your mind.
Fair enough. No single book can deal with every nuance. However,
I trust that the amount of information reported in these pages
will at least have convinced you that it’s reasonable–in fact,
imperative–to continue your investigation.
But he reminds the reader that even if you need to research more, there is an urgency: what if it IS all true? “We ourselves–and not merely the truth claims–are at stake in the investigation.” (Michael Murphy)
He has a huge long list of all his reference material at the end of the book. The one he mentions before the list sounds neat: “The Journey, a special edition of the Bible that’s designed for people who don’t yet believe it’s the word of God”. (emphasis mine)
SO ENDS OUR STUDY ON THE CASE FOR CHRIST!!
(The tags cover posts made for over a year about this… if you want to start back at the beginning, the first one was made February 3, 2010.)