Any time you debate a popular controversial issue—say, I don’t know, the existence of God—there is bound to be a time where you take some flack. There is a sizable chunk of emotion invested on both sides, and this can make for a potent powder keg. And sometimes this potential erupts into a conflagration of ad hominems and potty-mouth language. Needless to write, it can get pretty nasty out there for both the theist and atheist. So sometimes when you’re in the trenches with a fellow soldier, you got to watch his back. Semper fi, baby!
In my opinion, Lee Strobel is one of the most hated Christian apologists out there.
I would say Kent Hovind, Ray “the Banana Man” Comfort, Matt Slick and William Lane Craig. Hovind, Comfort and Slick are a little in over the heads. Craig, on the other hand, probably doesn’t deserve all the crap flung his way. The notoriety from his debates and the Kalam Cosmological Argument gushes a most beautiful, ruby-red that the sharks can’t help but bite. In his defense, Craig is a legitimate philosopher and is taken seriously by his atheist counterparts in academia. Philosophers such as Quentin Smith and others felt Kalam was worthy of a bona fide response. Alas, this post is about Strobel.
Now, I’m won’t argue Strobel is the greatest apologist this side of Aquinas or of this generation. I won’t contend he doesn’t make errors or is immune to criticism. But those who assert he is an idiot —mainly those of the New Atheist ilk—and his work isn’t worthy of consideration are out of line. Strobel is no moron; he’s an accomplished writer, who appeals to the layperson through his Case for a Creator, Case for Christ and Case for the Real Jesus books.
DISCLAIMER: I’m about to come off really pompous here. The reason why I have immense respect for Strobel is the fact he is a product of the University of Missouri’s Walter Williams School of Journalism, the same institution I’m enrolled in. So what’s the big whoop? For those who don’t know, MU’s journalism school is a Mecca of the discipline. It’s the oldest journalism program in the country and arguably, the world. I fully acknowledge I’m not impartial here, but MU’s reputation is well deserved. I’ve already gained professional experience reporting, writing and editing that many non-MU journalism students will not accomplish until out of school. But enough of me spreading the MU gospel.
The point is Strobel was trained at the best journalism school in the world. He knows how to be objective and investigate things better than most. Even when he set out as an atheist to disprove Christianity, he was able to put his personal bias aside. Strobel is not a weak-minded individual, but rather a great example of open-mindedness and free-thinking.
Obviously, I admire Strobel. His work is what introduced me to apologetics and continues to be a driving influence behind my efforts here.