We have a universe of stunning complexity. We have a planet Earth uniquely fit for life. Life is dependent on the extensive information found in DNA. DNA tells the story of the past, shapes the present and points to the future. Human beings experience consciousness, and individual humans eventually wonder: What force is responsible for all of this? Where did it all come from?
Think of it as a crime scene, urges J. Warner Wallace. There's a pivotal question in a crime scene investigation: Was this situation caused by something inside this room, or did something outside of this room intrude and act? Are all the answers right here, hidden in plain sight, or are we processing a trail of evidence that will identify an external suspect?
He applies this logic to the chosen case, leading us to ask: Is the force behind the 'crime scene' of our universe natural, unguided processes, or was there an involvement from outside the 'room' of time/space/matter? And what would the nature of such an involvement be?"
Chapter by chapter we look for the evidence of "an inside job" or "outside intrusion" in all of those areas: the origin of the universe, earth's ability to support us, the genetic code that powers life, and the experience of consciousness and its attendant questions of free will and morality. As in any carefully crafted case, expert witnesses testify, represented here by quotes and excerpts of their work. These witnesses include cosmologists, physicists, evolutionary biologists, philosophers, theologians, and ethicists.
"God's Crime Scene" is packed with information without being overwhelming. A whole library of books couldn't exhaust all of these issues, yet this single volume is a great orientation. Many charts and graphics help us grasp the arguments and a running "Suspect Profile" at the end of each chapter shows the evidence building up. Yes, J. Warner Wallace wants you to learn, but he also wants you to enjoy the process.
In the introduction he quotes a former field training officer who loved to get involved in a good pursuit. The FTO would look over to the rookie in the passenger seat and say "Saddle up, partner!" He passes the same advice along to us- Saddle up! Following this evidence is a wild ride.
I'm happy to add this book to my shelf next to his first book, "Cold Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels." Two or more re-reads would be required to get a handle on the material here, so I'm far from done with "God's Crime Scene."
If you want a thoughtful treatment of the "Was-God-Involved" question from an author who is utterly respectful of others viewpoints, look no further.
I have to thank David C Cook publishers for sharing a review copy with me in exchange for an honest opinion.