The Divine Game of Clue: God’s Crime Scene by J. Warner Wallace

Unknown-2As I kid I loved playing the game Clue. Who murdered Mr. Boddy, with what, and where? My favorite culprit was Colonel Mustard, who loved candlesticks and libraries. I’d be that villain if I could choose. In the new book God’s Crime Scene, J. Warner Wallace takes us on a fascinating journey to another crime scene, a cosmic crime scene as big as the universe, seeking a culprit responsible for reality itself.

In the book, Wallace notes four phenomena within the physical universe: cosmological features (a finite universe and the appearance of fine-tuning), biological features (life and the appearance of design), mental features (consciousness and freewill), and moral features (objective morality and the reality of evil) and asks whether these features are best explained by other evidence “in the room (that is, by Nature itself) or whether these features require some sort of transcendent explanation. If these four features cannot be explained given the reality of Nature alone, then there is an intruder, someone or something outside the physical universe that best explains the physical universe. As Dallas Willard aptly noted, the universe is “ontologically haunted.”

Unknown-3Wallace concludes that the intruder is none other that that God of theism:

The evidence we’ve identified in the universe is best explained by an external suspect, and given the nature of this evidence, our suspect is clearly nonspatial, atemporal, nonmaterial, and uncaused. Our suspect is powerful enough to create everything we see in the universe and purposeful enough to produce a universe fine-tuned for life. Our suspect is intelligent and communicative, creative, and resourceful. As a conscious Mind, our suspect is the personal source of moral truth and obligation and the standard of goodness. Only one Being can be described in this way; only one suspect can reasonably explain the evidence in our “crime” scene: this is God’s “crime scene.”[1]

Those familiar with Wallace’s other major book, Cold-Case Christianity, know that the God of theism that he has in mind is the God of Christian theism. (see also my post “Don’t be an accidental Christian” for my thoughts on his visit to our campus at SWBTS).

For those interested in understanding the case for theism, God’s Crime Scene serves as the perfect introduction for the beginner. In each chapter, Wallace applies his considerable investigative skills to the phenomenon in question. He clearly states the key features to be explained for each phenomenon, considers leading attempts to explain them from within the room, and expertly argues that the best explanation must come from “outside the room.” For readers wanting to go deeper, the second half of the book includes a “secondary investigation” where Wallace further unpacks the relevant research on the topic. Illustrations, charts, and expert witness sidebars help keep each chapter readable and understandable.

If you are interested in grasping the strength of the case for theism but have tarried out of fear of being out of your depth, read God’s Crime Scene. Wallace shows, in a way accessible to all, that God is the supreme culprit—responsible for the whole Game. He did it without a candlestick too.

For a video presentation of some of the material from the book, see this:

[1] J. Warner Wallace, God’s Crime Scene (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2015), 199–200.

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