As a rising star in his field, a young journalist made his living hunting for truth, earning awards and recognition for his top-notch investigative work.
To him, God was a myth and Jesus was not a newsworthy story.
But when his wife became a Christian, he became determined to use his investigative skills to prove to her that God, Jesus, and the Bible were just a bunch of make-believe.
Little did he know he was in for the shock of his life.
Lee Strobel’s journey to Christ – and a true story – is chronicled in his book ‘The Case for Christ’ and was recently adapted into a feature-length film.
The film, a tool to reach younger generations with the ideas laid out in Strobel’s book, is a more dramatic look at Strobel’s transformation and the beginnings of his commitment to share the facts of the Gospel with the world around him.
The story begins as his wife, Leslie, starts to explore Christianity. Both Lee and Leslie were committed atheists, their beliefs fueled by Lee’s assertion that “only the facts” are important.
After being invited to church by a friend, Leslie confesses that she has wondered about the validity of religion, but had chosen not to explore it because of Lee’s strong feelings about atheism and faith.
Leslie admits to her friend that she has a vague sense of desiring God, but feels as though He’s a million miles away.
In response, the friend tells her, “God is not a million miles away. He’s right here, right now, waiting for you to talk to Him.”
This truth is a theme that runs throughout the entire film.
Leslie answers God’s calling and soon gives her life to Christ.
But Lee refuses to accept her conversion and sets out on a course to “rescue” his wife from religion, telling coworkers and mentors, “I feel like I can’ get through to her before she gets too deep… I’m not going to lose my wife… to something I can’t reason with.”
With “reason” at the center of his argument, Lee forges ahead with what he does best – an investigative inquiry into the truth of Christianity.
A Christian coworker points him to the resurrection of Jesus as a starting point.
Confident in the obvious falsehood of the resurrection, Lee jokes, “For a guy who thinks I’m trying to assassinate Christianity, you sure you want to hand me that gun?”
“I’m pretty sure you’re not going to be able to pull the trigger,” is the calm answer from his coworker.
Determined to poke holes into the logic of Christianity, Lee embarks on his search, confronting his own assumptions about faith as he talks to theologians, doctors, academics, and apologists.
Lee’s conversations are useful for Christians and unbelievers alike, as viewers are reminded that faith is not an illogical endeavor. The evidence for Jesus’ resurrection alone may be new information for many viewers.
The film intertwines Lee’s study of Christianity with a police case he investigates simultaneously. The journalist is forced to confront his own opinions on what “the facts” actually are in both cases.
However, even as the journalist inevitably moves towards faith, his questions are legitimate inquiries into the reliability of the Bible and the validity of faith.
The greatest question of all comes as Lee stands in a cathedral, talking to a priest. “Why would He do it?” Lee asks. “Why…why allow Himself to be killed if He really is the Son of God?”
“It’s really very simple,” answers the priest. “Love.”
“Love,” Lee echoes, wondering if that’s what Leslie found when she went to church.
But for a journalist used to writing hard-hitting stories, it isn’t that simple. Lee struggles with each new piece of evidence as it’s presented, bouncing between his police investigation and his case for Christ, and growing more confused with each day.
It goes without saying that Lee comes to a knowledge of Christ by the end of the film, but the winding road to that decision is fascinating and moving.
The film is a captivating representation of what it means to grapple with questions of faith and to finally surrender to God’s work and His will. It’s an encapsulation of the first verse in Hebrews 11: “Faith is the evidence of things not seen.”
The Case for Christ is a family-friendly movie suitable for all ages. It can be a useful tool for high school and college students answering questions about their faith, as well as those who are struggling with their own beliefs.
The film is also well-made and emotionally moving. There are heartbreaking and hopeful moments alike that offer dramatic insights into the evidence discussed throughout Lee’s search.