The bottom line: Logic and reason challenge all faiths and subsequently prove there is only one champion.
Religion on Trial develops an empirical method to verify the claims of religions in general. Using this technique, author Craig Parton, a trial lawyer, intelligently demonstrates that almost all religions fail the test for the admissibility of evidence, have non-verifiable claims, and are not based on eyewitness testimony of historical events. Parton does conclude that only one religion—Christianity—is vindicated and survives comprehensive “cross examination.”
Moreover, the empirical process consequently refutes the fallacy that all religions are making the same or similar truth claims.
The first third of Religion on Trial is devoted to developing the method to evaluate religions, and this process is applied with abysmal results. Here, Parton effectively describes how most religions make fallacious claims that fail to pass even the most basic legal standards. The final two thirds of the book places Christianity on trial and scrutinizes its truth claims. The author concludes that not only are its claims admissible as legitimate evidence, but that evidence also has practical value for people’s lives. Two sections that I thought were particularly interesting are gauging the reliability of ancient documents (i.e. the bibliographical test, pgs. 45-52) and the question if the very existence of evil negates God’s existence (pg. 79).
The only negative comment I have to say about this book is that in the final chapter, the author drifts from his “interrogation” of the so-called facts and extrapolates the virtues of the Christian faith as it has added social capital throughout history. The information is worthwhile but observing a faith’s effects does not necessarily correlate to its validity or its truth claims.
Essentially, this book is a concise yet powerful apologetic for the Christian faith in a world saturated with so-called religions and subjective spirituality. It excels by revealing that in pursuit of the truth using reason and logic, subjective hearsays are debunked for the frauds that they are and only one resilient religion remains. Parton invites all readers to fully embrace their secular and logical minds, and the post-critical stance yields very thought provoking and illuminating dividends. I expect anyone who believes and embraces reason will find this book very valuable. And, after reading Mr. Parton’s book, you may find yourself agreeing with atheists—that most religions indeed are hocus-pocus.
Dr. C. H. E. Sadaphal