Book Review: The Case For Hope

The Case For Hope, by Lee Strobel

[Note: This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/Zondervan Press in exchange for an honest review.]

In this continuation of a series of books, like The Case For Christ and The Case For Grace, Strobel shares the struggle for hope by his own personal discussion of his life, along with the struggle of others, from reformed criminals to a proud stunt driver [1] to his own stubborn stepfather. Although the book deals with an important subject, one I have struggled with all the days of my life, the book is less substantial in size than previous books of his I have been familiar with. In terms of its presentation, one of my roommates remarked when I received this book that it looks like the sort of material that would be sold in a hospital gift shop, and that is a fair judgment. Indeed, between the 30-day journal of the reader’s journey to faith that this book contains and the story of how Strobel’s father-in-law confessed his sins and made confession presumably by the sinner’s prayer to the author during his last cogent conversation before the stroke that took his mind, a near death-bed conversion, this material is well suited for reading by people in hospitals, whether as patients or as families.

In terms of its contents, the book contains 8 chapters that cover about 200 short pages, many of which are filled with quotes, making the book a shorter one even than its pages are, with the quotes from the Bible or from the book as a sort of filler to make the book look more substantial than it is. The eight chapters of the book cover the following topics: finding hope in a hopeless world, the source of real hope in God and Jesus Christ, hope of a transformed life through God’s Spirit, hope for today and tomorrow, hope that transcends doubt, the hope of heaven, hope for every person, and a thirty-day journey of hope, which consists mostly of a journaling exercise with a particular Bible passage. Although the book is particular short, it is a worthwhile introduction to the subject of hope for those who have not thought about it, and far from exhaustive in its approach, leading those who wish to read more about the subject free to feed their curiosity in other books.

Aside from the book’s somewhat typical approach in a journaling devotional and the altar call that the book makes, there are a few noteworthy aspects of this book that are worthy of discussion in light of the contents of the book. In contrast to some writers, the author does not attempt to deal with the problem of evil or of happiness in a definitive fashion, which would have required a much longer, and much less accessible, book [2]. Additionally, the author speaks in a highly personal way about his own early cynicism and dysfunctional family background, and comments knowingly that those who have melancholy or contemplative personalities and who have struggled with abuse and abandonment have a far harder problem with doubt and hope given their own insecurity about the love of God in light of the torment of their lives. In addition to this, the author makes a strong and intriguing case for the validity of the resurrection of Jesus Christ based on a “minimal facts case” that appears to be borrowed from the author’s previous books on Christ and Faith, but one that is compelling and worth reading a second or third time. Although the book could easily have been longer and deeper, it is a book that ought to give comfort and encouragement, and that appears to be what it was designed to do. Mission accomplished.

[1] None other than Robert “Evel” Kinevel:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/book-review-evel-the-high-flying-life-of-evel-kinevel-american-showman-daredevil-and-legend/

[2] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/book-review-if-god-is-good/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/book-review-happiness/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Bible, Biblical History, Book Reviews, Christianity, History and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Book Review: The Case For Hope

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Adam | Edge Induced Cohesion

  2. Pingback: Book Review: Facing Trials: Thoughts For Meditation | Edge Induced Cohesion

  3. Pingback: Book Review: 60 Days Of Happiness | Edge Induced Cohesion

  4. Pingback: Book Review: Answering The Toughest Questions About Suffering And Evil | Edge Induced Cohesion

  5. Pingback: An Introduction To The Apostolic Fathers:  Part Three (Relevance) | Edge Induced Cohesion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s