Believers are commanded in 1 Peter 3:15 to always be ready to “to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” Being able to provide such a defense requires the believer to have a practical understanding of the faith in which they have placed their hope. Part of this effort involves the practice of apologetics. Moreover, developing a good apologetic for the faith includes utilizing the vast amount of evidence available in support of the faith. Having valuable tools on hand which outline in a helpful manner this fount of evidence is also essential.
It can be argued that approaching the evidence for the validity of the faith from the perspective of an investigator is a great method for not only exploring the truth but also for ensuring all the relevant facts are examined thoroughly with little doubt left in the end as to what is true. It is this methodology which is employed by J. Warner Wallace in his latest book aptly titled Forensic Faith.
For those not familiar with Wallace’s previous works or his journey to faith in Jesus, he was a former atheist who spent a career as a cold-case homicide detective. His career developed in him a keen understanding of how to identify, review, and parse evidence, in particular in homicide cases where the evidential trail had become thin. This investigative background was part of his investigation of Christianity, which eventually led to his embracing of the merits of the faith.
In this particular book, Wallace focuses on providing believers the needed skills to make a reasonable, thorough case based on the available evidence for Christianity. This is a tutorial of sorts, an investigative handbook replete with valuable information that will empower the believer to make a powerful defense and an air-tight case for the hope within them that would stand up to even the most vigorous cross-examination.
Where this book shines, brightest is in its practicality. Scattered strategically throughout the book are vignettes called “Forensic Faith Profiles,” “Forensic Faith Assignments,” “Forensic Faith Challenge,” and “Forensic Faith Definition.” These provide the reader with nuggets of information to chew on if you will, informative tidbits that serve as useful road maps on the journey to understanding and employing one’s defense of the faith.
In this vein of practicality, also of note are the “Forensic Faith Practice” portions. Given this book is intended to serve as a training manual of sorts, including the opportunity for the reader to put into practice what they are learning is invaluable. It is after all one thing to simply read information and quite another to put what you have learned into practice in a meaningful way. Wallace helps drive home the bounty of information he provides by giving the reader these practice sessions.
Forensic Faith by J. Warner Wallace is a book I highly recommend. In an age where we need more than ever to understand what we believe and more importantly, to be able to coherently and cogently declare the glorious message of the gospel, this book will serve as an excellent field manual for defending the faith.