I understood that this book was written by a cynical journalist whobelieved as a result of his investigation. While this may be true, thebook was written several years after his conversion, and is notpresented in an unbiased manner.
Let's begin with the time factor. The author's bio on the back coverindicates that the author has been a Christian since 1981, but thisbooks is copyrighted in 1998. The last chapter of the books states thatthe author went to books and research materials in his quest, ratherthan to experts as he did in this book. I would have been moreinterested in a collection of those research materials than I was in theinterviews with the experts.
At the end of each chapter there are 'study' questions, which are reallyaimed at bible study groups, or groups of Christians. The whole tilt ofthe questions is 'How does this help you believe more strongly inChrist.' For example, after a chapter on possible corroboratingevidence, the questions include 'What do you consider to be the mostpersuasive corroboration that Yamauchi [the interviewee] talked about'?
The chapter on dissenting evidence also pointed out the author's bias.Rather than go to an 'expert' who was a dissenter, the author went to an'expert' who could rebut the dissent! Why, in a truly unbiased work,would you not go to one of the dissenters? Then, if needed, go to therebuttal expert.
I had high hopes for a book that was objectively written, but this oneis not it. Because the author's belief system so clearly taints theproduct, I can't put any faith in his conclusions. He may be right, butI would have to do all of the research for myself, as I don't trust himto be fair to the evidence. It's unfortunate that he is so obviouslybiased; an unbiased examination of the 'reality' of Christ would havebeen interesting. As it is, while the investigation the author undertookmay have been without a slant, this book is definitely slanted. Perhapsit is just as well that the author did not disguise his bias; if he had,I might have placed my trust in his report, without realizing his bias.