J. Warner Wallace

Author, Cold-Case Christianity

Why Make the Case for Christianity, If God Is in Control?

I’ve written a Christian apologetics book that makes the case for making the case. I argue that Christians ought to embrace a more evidential, thoughtful faith and accept their duty to become Christian case-makers. Many people, after reading the book and thinking about this call to become better case makers, have asked, “If God calls His chosen, can’t He achieve this without any case-making effort on our part?” I also pondered this question as a new Christian, and I think the following analogy is helpful, although certainly imperfect.

When my son David was a young boy, he hated mushrooms. If salvation were dependent on voluntarily ordering a mushroom pizza, David would never experience heaven because he would never, on his own accord, order such a pizza. In fact, I once took David to a pizza restaurant and cleverly removed the mushrooms from a pizza in an effort to convince him to eat it. He refused. “I can see the shape of the mushroom right there!” He knew it had been poisoned by “mushroom juice,” and no amount of effort on my part could change his mind, in spite of my best mushroom-pizza case-making efforts.

But what if there was some way to remove David’s hatred of mushrooms prior to entering the restaurant? If David no longer hated mushrooms, he would be open to my mushroom-pizza case-making efforts. Then, if I was able to make a “five-point case for the deliciousness of mushroom pizza,” David would, under his new nature (having had his hatred for mushrooms removed), choose to voluntarily order the mushroom pizza.

In this admittedly imperfect analogy, David’s salvation was clearly dependent first on the role God played in removing his enmity for mushrooms. But once this enmity was sovereignly lifted, David was open to my case making. God allowed me to play my role as a case maker, and David responded to my effort in a way he never would have if God hadn’t first moved.

God’s incredible love for us is evident in this process. God loved my son enough to remove his hostility, and He loved me enough to disciple and encourage me. Even though God is clearly sovereign, He graciously allowed me to play a part in reaching David. I got to make the case for what I know is true about salvation, and in the process, my confidence grew as I mastered the evidence for Christianity. God’s sovereign purposes and amazing love were ultimately expressed both in the son He called and in the son He encouraged.

This short article was excerpted from Forensic Faith: A Homicide Detective Makes the Case for a More Reasonable, Evidential Christian Faith. For more information about this third book in my Christian Case Making trilogy, please visit www.ForensicFaithBook.com.

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, Christian Case Maker, Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity, Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, God’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith.

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About J. Warner Wallace

J. Warner Wallace is a cold-case homicide detective, popular national speaker and best-selling author. He continues to consult on cold-case investigations while serving as a Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He is also an adjunct professor of apologetics at Biola University and a faculty member at Summit Ministries. J. Warner’s professional investigative work has received national recognition; his cases have been featured more than any other detective on NBC’s Dateline, and his work has also appeared on CourtTV and Fox News. He also appears on television as an investigative consultant (most recently on truTV) and had a role in God's Not Dead 2, making the case for the historicity of Jesus. J. Warner was awarded the Police and Fire Medal of Valor “Sustained Superiority” Award for his continuing work on cold-case homicides, and the CopsWest Award after solving a 1979 murder. Relying on over two decades of investigative experience, J. Warner provides his readers and audiences with the tools they will need to investigate the claims of Christianity and make a convincing case for the truth of the Christian worldview. You can follow J. Warner Wallace on Twitter @JWarnerWallace

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