One of the first apologists (oops, he prefers Christian Casemaker, which sounds better admittedly) I came across after I was saved was J. Warner Wallace. I listened to all his podcasts, both Please Convince Me and Cold-Case Christianity.
Why did I like him so much? He’s a detective, and I’m a fan of Batman and Sherlock Holmes. This means he’s an evidentialist.
The book we’ll look at today is the second in a series, though it should be the first. It builds a case for a creator god, but not the God of the Bible.
God’s Crime Scene: A Cold-Case Detective Examines the Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe
“There are four ways to die, and only one of them requires an intruder. Suicides, accidental, and natural deaths can occur without any evidence from outside the room. But murders typically involve suspects external to the crime scene. If there’s evidence of an outside intruder, homicide detectives have to prepare for a chase. Intruders turn death scenes into crime scenes.
Join J. Warner Wallace, former atheist, seasoned cold-case detective, and popular national speaker as he tackles his most important case … with you on the jury!
With the expertise of a cold-case detective, J. Warner examines eight critical pieces of evidence in the “”crime scene”” of the universe to determine if they point to a Divine Intruder. If you have ever wondered if something (or someone) outside the natural realm created the universe and everything in it, this is the case for you.”
I have the hard copy, not the 2.99 Kindle version, so this will be light on quotations.
J. Warner opens the book with a murder case from his past to highlight the methodology he uses to make a case for a divinely created universe. He’s quite the detective, appearing on Dateline multiple times.
He asks eight questions throughout the book.
- Was the universe an inside job?
- Who is responsible?
- Does the text require an author?
- Is there evidence of an artist?
- Are we more than matter?
- Are real choices even possible?
- Is morality more than an opinion?
- Can God and evil coexist?
At the end of every chapter, he builds a suspect’s profile behind the creation of the universe. As a trained graphic designer before becoming a cop, the book is filled with art he drew to paint a picture for us. It’s not long blocks of text that puts you to sleep.
As you read it, you’ll gain the skills to think more like a detective. Which is cool.
J. Warner makes his closing statement to the jury, which is the readers. Then he looks at the counter-arguments in the secondary investigation.
Here’s what I find really cool. In the expert witnesses section, he names his sources for both the opposing argument (like Alex Vilenkin, Stephen Hawking, Lawrence Krauss) and the side arguing for a creator (like William Lane Craig, Quentin Smith, Paul Copan). Followed by over 30 pages of footnotes from both sides.
I gave the book 5 stars. I’m primarily an evidential apologist myself. When times are tough, I fall back on the evidence as much as I do my own experiences.
This will help Christians reason why they believe, gives non-theists something to think about, and give Christian parents the tools to answer their kids’ questions instead of referring them to the pastor.