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Lanier tackles questions with courtroom logic

Life presents tough questions. W. Mark Lanier, J.D., a prominent Houston trial lawyer and author of Christianity on Trial, offered answers to several of them during talks Monday on the Abilene Christian University campus.
Speaking in Chapel, Lanier posed two life-defining questions: “What really counts?” and “What are the two most important decisions you will ever make?” With a mixture of what he called “lawyer humor” and a sprinkling of free marital advice, Lanier offered his answers to the crowd in Moody Coliseum. (Watch the Chapel video here.)

Mark Lanier talks to students after Chapel.
Author Mark Lanier talks to students after Chapel.
And for the record, Lanier said, the most important decisions are “not the job you’re going to take and not where you’re going to live.”
Lanier spoke later at a luncheon sponsored by the ACU Center for Building Community, examining the topic of morality and the law with the same logic used by attorneys in a courtroom. (Watch the luncheon video here.)
“I will never have any trouble getting people to admit to me that what happened in Nazi Germany was an atrocity,” Lanier told the luncheon audience composed of students, faculty and members of the community. “What happened in Nazi Germany was evil; it was not just morally bankrupt, but morally horrendous. And as I look at those pictures and I read about it, there’s part of me that’s a lawyer that kicks in.
“What if a judge had said to me, ‘Lanier, I want you to represent Hitler for war crimes.’ How would I have done it? If I had no choice, if I were in a position to truly try and walk Hitler for war crimes, how would I go about doing it?” he asked himself. One of the first things he would do, he said, is try to empanel a jury of people who do not believe in God.
“If you don’t believe in God, there are some really, really tough arguments that exist that would run in support of walking Adolph Hitler,” said Lanier, who appears frequently on network TV news programs as a legal expert.
His talk was based on a chapter in his recently released Christianity on Trial: A Lawyer Examines the Christian Faith. “I’ve gotten more feedback – some of it flack – on this chapter more than any other chapter, including that on the resurrection,” Lanier said. “I believe the reason why is this really hits a nerve.”
Though Lanier has written several books on legal issues, Christianity on Trial is his first religious book. In it, he uses his legal experience to examine the plausibility of the Christian faith. Proceeds from book sales go to the Lanier Theological Library Foundation.