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J. Warner Wallace

Emma Tekstra > Book Review  > J. Warner Wallace
The Cumulative Evidence Proving God Exists
– J. Warner Wallace

I am not interested in police shows on TV. Dramas are bad enough; the last police show I watched was Hill St Blues back in the 80s. It was family viewing in my house in England. Back then I loved anything coming out of the US which is where I have made my home for the last 25 years. But reality TV shows that either watch police going about their daily jobs or true crime series that dissect the wrongdoings of criminals is not a good use of my time. I don’t need more evidence of the depravity human beings are able to enact on each other.


So I was unimpressed when it was announced a while back that J. Warner Wallace was going to be a guest speaker at our church for the weekend services. Wallace is a former Los Angeles Cold Case police detective and has become somewhat of a celebrity in these parts as he has appeared on Dateline several times (one of those true crime TV series) and even appeared in a movie (God’s Not Dead 2). I was pleasantly surprised by his delivery that weekend but the real kicker came this last December when it was announced he was teaching a 16-week college class on Tuesday evenings at Compass Bible Institute and I felt compelled to sign up.

The first reading assignment was his book God’s Crime Scene. A Cold Case Detective Examines the Evidence For a Divinely Created Universe. Many features of the book use police and criminal justice terminology such as Case Notes, Expert Witnesses, the Opening Statement. All of the analogies, examples and explanations use actual cold case murders that Wallace has worked on over the years, some of which have appeared on Dateline. The book starts off describing a murder scene. I have to tell you I thought I’d made a terrible mistake signing up for the class! But I’m a good student so I gritted my teeth and plowed on. By the end of the Opening Statement I was hooked.


I have read several books explaining how we know that God exists due to my own need for the truth but God’s Crime Scene lays out the case like no other. Wallace explains how he tackles the scene of any dead body that has no witnesses to figure out “has someone else been in the room”? Can the evidence inside the room rule out natural causes like a heart attack, an accident such as a fall or injury, or self-inflicted death by suicide. If not, the evidence inside the room points to an external culprit and this is therefore a murder scene.

Wallace uses this methodical approach to investigate the “crime scene” of the universe. It was a very real and personal investigation when he started, as for 35 years he was a committed atheist and tended to mock the Christians he came across.  But as Wallace explains it is important to come to any crime scene with no apparent biases. When a female body is discovered suspicion usually falls on the husband and that is correct in the majority of cases but if the detectives do not keep an open mind the real suspect could be missed. Wallace struggled with a bias that is common in our world today, that the supernatural and miracles do not exist. That everything we see and experience can be explained by natural forces.


God’s Crime Scene therefore delves deeply into a number of disciplines to probe whether everything in the universe can be explained by what we see here or points to something “outside the room”. It looks at the Cosmological Evidence that the universe had a beginning and appears to be fine-tuned for human life. It looks at the Biological Evidence that life appears to have emerged from non-life and that organisms have the appearance of design. It looks at the Psychological and Philosophical Evidence that consciousness emerged from unconscious matter and that as humans we are “free-agents” in an otherwise cause-and-effect world. And it looks at Moral Evidence of the existence of objective moral truths and why evil and injustice persist.


If you are typically an electronic reader I’d highly recommended a hard copy of the book as Wallace has included helpful illustrations throughout, a result of his Art Major background. It is laid out in an easy-to-read format with many sidebars profiling other “expert witnesses” such as scientists and professors as well as explanations from the criminal justice system on how conclusions are reached and the rules that must be followed. Best of all there are copious notes and references for you to examine the evidence yourself and build your own case.


God’s Crime Scene is actually one in a series of four books Wallace has written, all of which are highly recommended. The other three are:

Cold-Case Christianity

A Homicide Detective Investigates The Claims of the Gospels

Forensic Faith

A Homicide Detective Makes the Case for a More Reasonable, Evidential Christian Faith

Person of Interest

Why Jesus Still Matters in a World That Rejects the Bible

Emma Tekstra
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