Lawyer Puts Jesus on Trial
David and his brother, Rush, had an ordinary Mid-western childhood with parents who took them to Sunday school and church every week. David felt he had no need to distrust Christianity but over time, he began to have his doubts. By the time he was in college, David said he wondered about philosophical questions including Who God was and what He was like. “I thought I could bootstrap my way to an understanding of spiritual truths through my reasoning powers alone, largely unaware of the actual content of God’s special revelation in the Bible,” he says. He couldn’t comprehend why God would establish a system of salvation whereby salvation was attained simply by believing in Him. Without even investigating the Bible as a young adult, David had his serious doubts.
At one point, David realized how foolish and arrogant it was for him to pretend to form final conclusions about the Bible and Jesus Christ when he hadn’t studied Christian doctrine or Scripture. So he decided to examine the evidence. One Christmas, David was visiting with friends and the subject of Christianity came up. As David expressed his doubt, one of his friends, Steve, patiently retrieved a Bible and shared it with him. Steve showed David how the verses in the Bible were tied to others in content. “I was blown away. My ignorance was on display, but Steve wasn’t even remotely judgmental,” he says. Steve planted very important spiritual seeds that day. From that point on, David says his interest in learning about the Bible and theology intensified. In the eighties, David began studying prophecies. “Learning of these prophecies represented a tipping point for me,” says David. “I knew for the first time in my life that the Bible was the inspired Word of God. When it finally dawned on me that I was holding in my hands a written communication from the God of the universe, my life changed.”
At an early point in his Christian walk, David bought a book by Archbishop Fulton Sheen called Life of Christ. The book is one of David’s all-time favorites because it changed the way he thought about Jesus. Sheen pointed out 3 facts: 1. Jesus was the only one in history whose birth, life and death were prophesied. 2. Jesus impacted history so much that He split it in two, one before His coming and the other after it. 3. Every other person who came into this world came into it to live; He came into it to die. “His has been the only life in the world that was every lived backward,” says David.
JESUS ON TRIAL
A few months ago, David was having dinner with two longtime friends, both of whom were non-believers. One of them began talking about Christianity. At one point, David’s friend announced that he couldn’t understand how any person who uses his reasoning powers could possibly believe in Christianity. Within a few days, David’s publishers suggested he switch gears from politics to theology. They suggested that David use his legal background to investigate the truth and reliability of the Gospel. “In this book, I present evidence for the truth of Christianity’s claims and also address some of the nagging questions that persist in the minds of many Christians even after they accept the faith,” says David. His hope is that he can relate to non-believers in a way that some experts cannot because of his long-held skepticism and lengthy faith journey. “I believe I have a perspective that may allow people who don’t have faith to identity with me,” he says. “I don’t think Christians who have always believed fully understand the depth of the doubt that some people have.” For David, the emotional appeal at the end of a Christian service did not appeal to his intellect. Over the years as he researched the evidence, David discovered:
- Unity. The Bible maintains a unified, continuous message across its sixty-six books written over some 1,500 years by forty authors. “The Bible’s interconnectedness is so striking to me that on that basis alone I would be a believer,” says David.
- Prophecy. Predictive prophecy serves as an amazing apologetic for the truth of Christian faith and demonstrates God’s faithfulness and dependability. About half the Bible’s prophecies have already been fulfilled, giving us a firm basis to expect the other prophecies to come true.
- Reliability. When compared to any other ancient document or book, the Bible acquits itself objectively as more historically reliable. The Bible’s prophecies, its unity, the miracles and Jesus’ assertions assure us that the Bible itself is reliable.
- External evidence. Archaeological records can’t confirm everything in the Bible, but it does fill in many gaps and increases our knowledge of the life and customs of the people in those times. Archaeology has strengthened the case for biblical reliability.