Synopsis (from the publisher): Intelligent, fair, and remarkably compelling, The Jesus Inquest argues the case both for and against the resurrection of Christ. Point-by-point, Foster, in turn as both barrister X and Y, leaves no theological stone or dissenter’s rock unturned as he digs for answers and the truth. In the end he is more convinced that Jesus is real, that He did rise again, and that He lives to offer forgiveness and hope to all who come to Him.
Overall Impression: I try my best to finish all the books sent to me for review, but try as I might, I couldn’t make my way through The Jesus Inquest. I got to page 140, but my brain really quit on page 121 with this sentence: “And if he had said this, X would be incandescent with barristerial indignation, blustering about late textual emendation for transparently apologetic purposes.”
*goes to eat an ice cream sandwich instead*
Overall, I liked the concept of the book — showing both sides of the argument for and against the resurrection of Christ as though two lawyers were going at it. But the writing style was extremely hard to follow, which is saying quite a bit since I’ve read many books on apologetics and theology and rarely have a difficult time with the language. It felt as though Foster was using the book to show he knew big words. The difficult language plus the odd format — the footnotes were helpful (they showed where the other half of an argument was located), but I did not have the desire to flip back and forth between the arguments — made it a DNF for me.
The voice of each of the “lawyers,” too, sometimes felt a bit flippant and sarcastic, which didn’t match the tone I felt the book should have. It could also be that my heart isn’t in the right place for cold, hard apologetics right now — I’ve been more into reading about social justice and the life of Christ as a model for behavior lately. This book would have appealed to me more when I first started looking into Christianity and had a lot of questions about the “proof” for things.
That being said, I’m sure there are people who would really take to this book. The science and research behind it are well done, and it’s very interesting to have both sides of the issue tackled in one book. For people who have difficulties with the history related in the Bible, this might be a good book to help calm (or confirm…this book gives both sides of the issues) some of those nagging doubts.
Other blogger reviews:
Thrifty Nifty Mommy: “Foster also makes no effort to make the book readable for the common person, often using terminology that admittedly goes over my head.”
Smell of Excellence: “I think that this book is a must-read for those interested in apologetics, as it really does a good job of trying to “prove” both sides of the argument.”
Johnstein: “The Jesus Inquest is a very informative read for both the believer and the skeptic…it will challenge your assumptions, but in a way that is encouraging and foundational to a deeper understanding of what truly happened.”
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson as part of their Book Sneeze Review program. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”