Yesterday, I had the incredible privilege of seeing the brand-new movie “The Case for Christ.” To be honest, I was a bit skeptical before going to see it. Of course, I believe in the resurrection of Christ and all the scientific data proving that He was a real person, that He lived and died, and also that He is Lord and Saviour. However, I was a bit more skeptical of how they were going to pull it off. Lee Strobel is a brilliant mind and an incredible thinker. He is a great person to read if you are interested in scientific data, and logical reasoning. But, I wouldn’t say he’s necessarily the kind of person you would rush to for Saturday afternoon amusement, I was wrong.
The new “Case for Christ” movie is an incredible conglomeration between a documentary and a life-story. I believe it fits well into the category of “docu-drama.” The story unfolds Strobel’s life as a former ardent atheist who was shocked and upset when his wife, Leslie, became a Christian. Strobel set out to prove her faith null and void in the attempt to “win her back.” Yet, in the process, Strobel discovered that there was overwhelming evidence for Christianity and became a Christian himself. The movie focuses primarily on his testimony and progression to the faith, however, not without adding in some of those extra punch arguments that would be sure to convince even the hardest skeptics.
Later on that day, I attended a Good Friday musical production at a local church and picked up a free copy of “The Case for Easter.” Although I am quite familiar with the name “Strobel” I have to admit, I have never read any of his works, but the movie definitely made me interested in finding out more. So when I got home I immediately began reading and just finished the book a few hours ago. Strobel’s work is once again filled with strong evidence that the crucifixion indeed happened, that Jesus did die, and that the best explanation for His disappearance is that He was raised to life. Yet the real clincher for me is the way it impacts the way I see Christ. I have heard about the crucifixion for years and I am well aware that it is a horrendous process to go through, however, hearing how Dr. Robert Stein, a leading forensic pathologist describes the ordeal really puts Christ’s love into perspective for me. It is truly a sacrifice that none of us are able to compute because likely none of us would be willing to endure it. And yet Jesus did, not for His friends, but for those who were “far off” and “enemies” of God (Ephesians 2:13).
Even though the movie and the book were both amazing, my only concern is that many atheists have simply closed their hearts and minds to these very arguments. I do find it encouraging and refreshing to see that even people trying to prove Christianity wrong often end up believers (including C.S. Lewis), but still for some individuals no amount of evidence will steer them towards Christ. They have determined not to believe, and they are not interested in anyone trying to convince them otherwise. Strobel’s work is a great engaging message for anyone willing to “spar” with claims of truth, but to do so, I think there still has to be a significant amount of curiosity. Something that simply isn’t there in the “truth is relative” day and age.
Nevertheless, I applaud this new work and think it is a movie that will likely help other Christians formulate and articulate their own thoughts and arguments better. I also am elated that in the last few months two blatantly Christian films “The Shack” and “The Case for Christ” have hit the theatres. We often do not get many Christian films out and that two were released almost simultaneously is a great blessing.
Our world is still very much going in the direction of post-modernism and a disinterest in the Christian faith, however, the fact that Christian movies are now hitting Hollywood a bit faster does leave me with a bit of a question. Is it simply a mere coincidence or might there be something deeper? Is it simply that Hollywood jumps on Christian films at Easter, or might it be, that deep down people are crying out to fill this spiritual void and are willing to go to any length to find it – even if that include a bag of popcorn in one hand and a can of soda in the other?