Letter From Hank

September 2014

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Dear CRI Partner:

If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be sufficient evidence to convict you?

As the battle for truth heats up, that’s a question we all might ponder.

But here’s a more fundamental question:

If your Christian beliefs were put on trial by a jury of determined atheists, would the preponderance of evidence acquit you?

I’m hoping the answer would be yes. But the sad truth is that many Christians today would simply wither under the prosecutorial fire of well-educated secularists.

That’s scary. But what’s scarier still is that younger Christians today are largely biblically illiterate. Scientifically literate and philosophically sophisticated secularists would eat their lunch! If that concerns you regarding children or grandchildren, you have good reason to be concerned!

That’s why I want to be sure that you’re personally well equipped to stand your ground. There’s just far too much at stake to seriously entertain the alternative.

You see, as the antagonism toward Christianity grows more acute and more blatant each day, I want you to be able to do more than just “hold your own” against the assaults on biblical truth. I want you to be able to winsomely persuade others about the truth of your faith because the evidence is on your side!

That’s why I want to send you a copy of a new book: Christianity on Trial: A Lawyer Examines the Christian Faith.

But before I provide some glimpses into this timely read, you need to know just a bit about the author, Mark Lanier. Mark is one of the nation’s leading trial attorneys. But along with being one of America’s best lawyers, he’s also a Bible scholar and theologian.

As someone gifted with incisive analytical skills and the well-honed ability to quickly spot the weakness in arguments of the opposition, Mark poses and answers the really tough questions that Christians need to be able to handle today…

How? By putting on the witness stand some of the most influential thinkers in history…

Who are some of these witnesses?

On the topics of evolution, morality, and free will, Lanier cross-examines such notables as Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche, Adolf Hitler, and twentieth-century behavioral psychologist
B. F. Skinner.

On the topic of right, wrong, and the morality of God, Lanier
puts on the witness stand Otto Ohlendorf, a Nazi war criminal
who was executed after his conviction at the Nuremberg trials.

Testifying against Ohlendorf and the Nazis is Hermann Graebe,
a German engineer who witnessed first-hand the mass murdering
of Jews and provided heart-wrenching accounts of the genocidal
atrocities of the Nazis.

Providing a bitter account of the toll exacted when the value of human life disappears in the wake of godless ideologies, Lanier notes:

One of the saddest facts of the twentieth century is that scholars cannot decide between Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong or Joseph Stalin as the person responsible for the most deaths. More people died under Mao (40 million), but it is difficult to determine how many were deliberate deaths and how many were passive deaths from the economic restructuring and famines. For more “deliberate killings,” Hitler rises to the top with 34 million, but his numbers include military deaths in battle. If only cold-blooded murder of unarmed combatants is counted, Stalin leads with 20 million.

When it comes to issues of “Who God Is Not!”… “Who Is God”… “Reality and the Truth of God”… “The Audacity of the Resurrection,” and “Death and Eternity,” Lanier calls to the witness stand such luminaries as:

Heraclitus, Plato, Descartes, and Einstein
G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, and J. B. Phillips
Augustine, Anselm of Canterbury, and Chuck Colson
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
Paul, Polycarp, Josephus, and Tacitus

Needless to say, there isn’t a lightweight on the list. But don’t let that scare you. Unlike some books, this isn’t like reading a tax manual written in German! It’s very readable and very engaging.

But not content with the sheer power and prestige of personality or reputation, Lanier submits his witnesses to the demanding standards of trial rules and principles — methods of “truth finding” that have been honed by a legal system some 600 years in the making.

He analyzes the credibility of witnesses including their mental condition, their motives, and their character in his search for “the burden of proof.”

He considers direct witnesses of Christ’s resurrection (Matthew, John, Peter, Paul), along with secondary witnesses such as Mark, Luke, and the early church martyrs.

Beyond historical witnesses, Lanier considers the “witness” of creation. For example, at the micro-scale he notes that the period at the end of a sentence has 100,000,000,000 (one hundred billion) atoms of carbon. At the macro-scale, our universe has at least 170 BILLION galaxies, each with well over 100 billion stars!

If you were to hitch a ride on a beam of light — traveling at 186,000 miles per second, it would take you 100,000 years just to cross our Milky Way galaxy! If you traveled at the same speed, it would take you 93 billion years to traverse the known universe! And the grandeur of these galaxies simply manifests the glory of our God!

In short, the outcome is a compelling case for Christianity that you won’t want to be without.

I want to send you Christianity on Trial for several reasons:

First, at a time when many Christians are “surrendering the fort” because they feel they’re out of apologetics “ammo,” this book from one of America’s best trial lawyers provides a welcome
wakeup call. It’s a mini-arsenal of evidence and arguments from a gifted communicator that reminds us as Christians that Truth is on our side.

Second, I want you to be personally strengthened, encouraged, and equipped to stand for life and truth. As spiritually hungry but skeptical seekers look for answers to some of life’s toughest questions, I want you to have this important tool in your toolkit.

Third, I want this book to be my personal thank you for standing with CRI as we seek to equip and encourage other believers at home and around the globe to share the Good News with millions who are longing for lives of real meaning and hope.

For the difference you make and the lives you help to touch and transform through our ministry together, I’m eternally grateful.

Standing with you for life and truth,

Hanksignaturegold

President

P.S. One of the witnesses called upon by Mark Lanier — C. S. Lewis — once wrote, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” I’m confident that Christianity on Trial will help you and your loved ones to see even more clearly the rock solid Truth that millions are seeking but have not yet found.

More Questions and Answers with Hank

Heaven is Not a Lottery, and Q&A

The Importance of Apologetics, and Q&A

Real Questions for a Real Faith, and Q&A

Reaching the Global South, and Q&A

The Fine Tuning of the Universe, and Q&A