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MOVIE REVIEW: The Case for Christ

Click HERE to watch the 2-minute trailer for "The Case for Christ!

"What does your husband believe?"
"Just the facts." - Leslie Strobel

MOVIE REVIEW:
"The Case for Christ", based on the book by Lee Strobel, was strategically released yesterday as we approach Easter, and I saw it late Friday night. The movie follows the real-life story of Mr. Strobel, who was an award-winning journalist when he worked at the Chicago Tribune, and had a Master's in Law from Yale Law School.

He was also a devout atheist.

The movie tells the true story of his wife, Leslie, coming to faith at Willow Creek Community Church under the teaching of Bill Hybels. (This is the church that puts on the leadership summit each year that Rockland attends.) Lee does NOT like his wife's newfound faith, so he puts all his investigative journalism skill to work and sets out to prove the Christian faith wrong.

movie

He gets advice from another journalist to focus on the resurrection. If that is false, the faith crumbles, and Jesus was 'just a lunatic that was martyred'.

Lee, in a desire to prove his wife wrong and re-assert himself as the most important thing in her life, sets out to the accomplish that task, and ends up coming to faith himself.

5 reflections from the movie:
1) It is not just for believers. It is not a cheesy, Christian movie, and most of the acting and dialogue is well-done. Although the Christian message that Lee comes to believe is clearly stated, the movie does not come across as preachy. Even the secular entertainment website Variety says "the movie likely will impress even dedicated nonbelievers with its willingness to place as much emphasis on empirical evidence as on blind faith."

2) As an atheist, he asked good questions. The arguments that he raises when investigating were not oversimplified, easily shot down statements. He did not come across as stupid as an atheist and smart as a Christian. The questions he asked were fair, direct, and insightful. The answers he found were not too simplistic and naive, but logical. It treated the skeptic fairly and I think that is both wise and admirable.

3) I was reminded of the uniqueness of the faith, especially the Bible. We get watch Lee Strobel ask questions about the faith to atheists, agnostics and Christians alike who give him answers that reinforced in my mind the veracity of the Truth we know, especially the Bible. It was a faith-bolstering experience for me.

4) The philosophical discussions about 'Truth' are well done. He asks many questions about the nature of 'Truth'. "We can't know its true unless we can use the scientific method on it, right?" The responders in this movie don't just chalk it up to 'faith', scorning science, fact, and reason. (They don't have to!) Doctors pull out medical journals, archaeologists show artifacts, and smart, educated, scientific minds weigh in to remind us of the historical facts upon which our faith is built.

5) Conversions are supernatural. When someone comes to faith it is a supernatural event, period. It was fascinating to watch a movie that gets into apologetics (defending the faith), yet not boil everything down to A+B=C logic. It had a good measure of logic and faith since our faith is built on facts.

The movie is well-enough done that I really want to bring my 12 year-old and watch it with her. (I'm happy to talk to parents about what ages this movie is appropriate for.) I think believers will be strengthened and affirmed in their faith, and those that are not believers yet will be given something to chew on without feeling manipulated or preached to.

The movie did a good job of taking us on the true, believable journey of following a brilliant skeptic seeking to disprove the Christian faith, and watch him come to faith himself.

He found out about Christ, what we knew all along...

(Spolier alert)

It's true.

-Jim

Holy Week 1