It would be unfair to criticise this book for being when its title clearly indicates that its mission is to set out the one-sided case for Jesus's existence as the son of God. However, between its covers, Strobel gives the impression of an unbiased search for the truth, complete with a sprinkling of courtroom anecdotes to imply a high level of scrutiny, which this book simply isn't. He speaks to not a single scholar who is not an evangelical Christian.
My first problem in this book came with the first two chapters which attempt to explain why we should believe what the gospels say. Here Strobel unfortunately falls back on circular arguments such as mentioning the good character of the gospel writers as reason for believing their accounts. However, the only evidence we have for their characters is in the gospels themselves, so one already needs to be convinced by the gospels to buy this argument.
These first two chapters are amongst the weakest in the book, which is problematic as many of the later arguments of the book are based on the reliability of the gospels, so if you haven't been convinced by that, many of the later chapters fall down too.
The biggest problem with Strobel's investigation is that while he asks some of the challenging questions of his academics that are often posed by sceptics, he swallows whatever explanation they give him with no further scrutiny no matter how implausible their explanations are. For example, at one point he asks how it is possible for the massacre of the infants by Herod to have taken place as Herod's reign does not fit in with the dates of other events in the Bible. The answer he is given is that there might have been another King Herod. This to me sounds like an attempt to validate a previously held belief, not an honest attempt at historical discovery. Yet Strobel accepts many answers of this calibre without hesitation, which is frustrating for the reader.
Another fatal flaw of Strobel's approach is that he adds no weight to the fact that one needs greater historical evidence to believe in miracles than to believe other things. For example, if there is a 2000 year old document that says Julius Caesar enjoyed drinking wine, we may well accept this to have a reasonable probability of accuracy, but if it said he walked on water we would probably ask for more evidence. Strobel does not appear to realise this.
He is also too eager to jump to supernatural conclusions. Even if we agree with him up to the point that the gospels are fantastic, reliable accounts from the time, the most likely explanation is still not that a man who is the son of a deity was sent to Earth and performed miracles. While Strobel dismisses explanations such as hoax, hallucination, misreporting, legendary exaggeration and lying, he fails to acknowledge that even if unlikely these explanations are all more likely than the supernatural explanation. Again, he requires someone who already believes elements of the Bible or in a god for this to convince, which is a shame as his aim is to convince us of Jesus's divinity by secular historical means,an aim which he fails to meet.
Ultimately, this book looks good on the surface, but falls down following the application of basic critical thought. It will convince those seeking to be convinced, but anyone with a genuinely neutral stance shouldn't be taken in.
It has been said that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Lee Strobel would do well to remember this.