What’s a detective to do in a death case with no body or crime scene? Imagine, further, trying to solve the case when it is 2,000 years old. That is just what retired detective and author J. Warner Wallace set out to do in his latest book, Person of Interest: Why Jesus Still Matters in a World That Rejects the Bible.
On May 13, Reasons to Believe, a local Christian apologetics ministry, is partnering with Main Street Baptist to bring J. Warner to Georgetown to discuss how Jesus’ impact on the world demonstrates who He is and who He said He was. Chapter President John Murphy says Wallace is the best speaker he has seen in 20 years, and Dateline correspondents call him ‘the evidence whisperer’.
Mr. Wallace says, “When you ask people to make a case for Jesus, most will talk about how He changed their life, rather than making a case for him. Many could make a case for a sports team but can’t do the same for Jesus. I hope to use my time to open people’s eyes to how someone like Jesus—with no education or family—was able to change everything. It is very unlikely that a fictional person, or ‘just another guy’ in history could have done so.”
J. Warner started his career following in his father’s law enforcement footsteps. He began as a patrol officer and worked his way up to robbery-homicide. He picked up unsolved homicides as collateral duty and it soon became a full-time job.
Normally, he says, a cold case might take 15 to 20 years to solve. “Some people commit crimes and leave no clues. When you have no body or crime scene, you treat the murder like a bomb. The fuse is the information about what the victim and POIs did leading up to the murder. The fallout is the ‘debris’ of what the POI did after the event. That’s what I use to build a case.”
COMING TO FAITH
When he retired from the force, he was introduced to the idea that Jesus was the smartest man who ever lived and it provoked him to purchase a Bible to see if it was true. Over time, he became convinced that what the Gospels were telling him was true and he has been writing and speaking about it ever since. “I am accustomed to direct evidence and eyewitness testimony. I applied my process to Christianity and, after all, isn’t part of being a Christian about wanting to tell others about Jesus?”
A CERTAIN SET OF SKILLS
In his book, J. Warner invites readers to become better historians by leveraging detective skills, which he says are pretty interesting to most people, to test things for themselves.
“No one watches the I.D. channel to become a historian.”
He explains, “Look at the fuse of the tensions rising in the Roman Empire, and the things Jesus did before and after the crucifixion. Everything the first century Christians did was the fallout and the Book of Acts is the eyewitness testimony to the ‘bomb’ that was Jesus.”
All are encouraged to attend his free keynote presentation in Georgetown (no registration or tickets needed) to hear more about the impact that speaks to Jesus’ deity in our modern reality. “Jesus never points to a blind faith. He basically said if you don’t believe in the things I’m saying, believe in my miracles, or believe my eyewitnesses. The Scriptures are all the direct and indirect evidence we need.”
For those unable to attend, click to purchase his book.