The Case for Christ has hit cinemas and is one you won’t want to miss. Based on his 1998 book of the same name, Lee Strobel’s story of his journey from atheism to faith, is intriguing to watch, and leaves no stone unturned.
Set in the late 70’s, early 80’s, Lee Strobel (Mike Vogel – The Help) is right where he wants to be—successful and flourishing. As a newly published author with a soaring career in journalism; a promotion to Legal Editor for the Chicago Tribune; married with a daughter and another baby on the way, life is looking all roses—that is, until a choking incident almost takes the life of his daughter, Alison. With seconds to spare, a nurse appears in the restaurant and saves Alison’s life.
The encounter with the nurse, what she has to say about Jesus, and how she wasn’t meant to be at that place and time, all points to a miracle. As a result, Lee’s wife, Leslie (Erika Christensen – The Upside of Anger), begins to find faith in Christ, much to Lee’s disdain. Strobel desperately fights to save her and his family from this ‘cult’ and secretly launches his own thorough investigation: to disprove the existence of Jesus Christ and the faith that has survived against the odds for centuries.
A proud self-proclaimed atheist, Strobel is driven by facts, believing only in what is tangible and seen. He sets up appointments with historical, medical and psychological experts, amongst others, and seeks to put an end to this faith once and for all using evidence. The cross-examination in these scenes is very interesting as he investigates things like: the chance of mass psychosis of the 500 followers; cross-referencing of historical texts; textural criticism; did Jesus fake his death; what drove people to die for it?
Strobel’s assault against Christ, occurs in parallel to his investigation of a local police shooting for a story for the Chicago Tribune. The subplot of the shooting very cleverly interlocks with the main theme, to bring a more pronounced understanding of how the role of evidence-collection plays out in both of these investigations. With all intentions of putting the suspect behind bars, Strobel gathers enough evidence to shape the conviction.
As he progresses with the investigations, one lead by convenience and the other by jealousy, Lee’s main struggle is with Leslie and her growing relationship with Jesus. Feeling in competition with Jesus, Strobel is determined to make his case against Christ, even at the cost of his marriage.
After exhausting all other avenues, Strobel is faced with the reality of truth.
As the evidence stacks up for the case of Christ in ways that even the atheist experts cannot dispute, Strobel’s frustration grows and this is confronting and believable. He is relentless, persistent and thorough, and the question is put to him by Dr William Craig: “When is enough evidence, enough evidence?”
In the end, something more powerful than evidence steps in, and you’ll just have to go see the movie to find out what that is!
The message of this story is: if you believe and receive, you may just become…