I’m a sucker for a good police procedural. And I’m not alone. Some of the most popular and lasting shows are stuff like CSI, NCIS, and Law and Order. That’s what drew me to J. Warner Wallace’s first book Cold Case Christianity but what kept me was the engaging stories and good writing. God’s Crime Scene offers more of the same but instead of tackling the question of Does God exist? He’s looking at evidence for divine design in the cosmos—morality, fine tuning, free will, origins of life, etc.
Each chapter is structured around a crime scene investigation that Wallace worked during his time as a detective. He collects and examines the evidence seeking to determine whether the cause was “inside the room” or “outside the room.” You can see how this makes a great framework for examining evidence for divine design in the cosmos.
What I appreciate about Wallace’s approach is the way he examines all the evidence. He’s not just offering evidence that supports his own point of view. Through out the book he points his readers to experts for the “outside the room” point of view. The end of the book also has a robust further reading section for both “inside the room” and “outside the room” experts. And he’s not just basing his case for divine design on the lack of the “inside the room” arguments.
[W]e’re inferring supernaturalism on the strength of a positive case, given the cumulative evidence. In fact, the universe displays the very characteristics we would expect to find if it had been created by the Divine suspect we’ve described in our profile. (197)
Also, Wallace makes complex concepts simple. Issues like the origin of life or our experience of conscious can be daunting for your average person. These issues feel like expert level issues, but Wallace has a way of bringing them down to earth. Part of it is the engaging cases structured around each chapter and another part the aesthetic of the book layout and the other part is the engaging writing style.
Overall God’s Crime Scene is an engaging read. It would work well for a Sunday school class or even for teenagers going through public school as an alternate perspective to what they’re learning in class. It’s something you’ll want to have on hand.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. 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.
Mathew B. Sims authored A Household Gospel: Fulfilling the Great Commission in Our Homes and We Believe: Creeds, Confessions, & Catechisms (as well as several companion worship guides) and contributed in Make, Mature, Multiply (GCD Books). He completed over forty hours of seminary work at Geneva Reformed Seminary. He also works as the managing editor at Gospel-Centered Discipleship and the project manager for the Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Mathew offers freelance editing and book formatting. He is a member at Downtown Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC.