In 1998, Lee Strobel wrote the book, The Case for Christ. The book was a result of this former reporter for the Chicago Tribune, with a journalism degree from The University of Missouri and a Masters of Studies in Law from Yale Law School, and a devout Atheist. Shortly after his marriage, and while working at the Chicago Tribune, Strobel began to question the claims of Christianity shortly after his wife became a born-again Christian. As a result of his studies, the book explains that he interviewed 13 Evangelical Christian Scholars regarding their defense of Christianity. After the process, Strobel later became a Christian himself after being convinced by the evidence that he had studied and discussed with scholars from various groups, including non-Christians.
“I spent my entire career as a journalist uncovering the truth. Until the day my wife presented me with the biggest story of my life – The Case for Christ. From that moment on I set out to prove to her and to the rest of the world that they were wrong.” Mike Vogel (plays Lee Strobel), The Case for Christ
Pure Flix is a film production company that has of late been making numerous Christian films, some of them as of late have done well at the box-office and as a result, they decided to work with Strobel to make this film. Strobel told me in an interview that he agreed only after making sure he could dictate the director of the film and the screenwriters to ensure that they got the story right. I am convinced that Stroble’s involvement in the process is one of the reasons the film comes across as nicely as it does. I have had issues with some of the earlier, and heavy handed films done by Pure-Flix, but as of late, they seem to be becoming a reputable film company and the production of the new movie, A Case for Christ helps illustrate their journey in a positive direction.
The Case for Christ is in many ways as much of a love story as it is an Evangelical film trying to prove its supports of Jesus Christ as the Son of God. It presents the struggles of Strobel, played very nicely by Mike Vogel, known for his television work as well as work on such films as Cloverfield, The Help, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Erika Christensen known for her work in the films Parenthood, Swimfan and others do a nice job as Strobel’s wife Leslie. The chemistry between the two actors and supporting cast. One of the things this film also does not become so preachy that it turns off those in the non-Christian audience.
The film presents in an honest way, an honest search for the truth regarding Jesus Christ and his claims to be the Son of God. I suspect that many Christian’s, just as in the God’s Not Dead movies will appreciate and support this movie, as to whether the movie has the potential to reach across and bring in the nonreligious community is yet to be seen. It deserves that audience and it deserves an open and honest discussion regarding the conclusions of the film. I suspect the film also has the potential to continue to divide people of faith and the non-Christian community, if however, people are open to open and honest discussion, with mutual respect for each other, the film also has the potential to open up dialog regarding the serious issues of faith specific to the person of Jesus Christ.
I have to comment on the insistence that Lee Strobel had to make sure the film presented an honest portrayal of himself. That took some courage as there are times Strobel, prior to his becoming a Christian comes off as nothing less than a jerk. I met Strobel a number of years ago and found that surprising as the time spent with him when I met him, as well as the time I spent interviewing him for this film. For me, he came across as a pleasant, easy to get along with guy who takes his faith seriously but has a respect, appreciation and legitimate concern for those he spends time with, despite their religious beliefs.
The Case for Christ is not a great film, it is however for Pure-Flix one of their best films and this one compared to any other film holds its own as an entertaining, thought-provoking story that has the viewer caring about the characters and thinking about the subject matter covered. For that reason, I can recommend the film and would have no difficulty watching and discussing it with any of my friends, Christian or not.
On a scale of 1 – 10, for the number of letters there are in the name of a man I admire now more than ever, Strobel, I give a deserving and entertaining 7.
THE CASE FOR CHRIST is distributed by Pure Flix and produced by Michael Scott, David A.R. White, Karl Horstmann and Brittany Lefebvre, and is set to release theatrically in the spring of 2017. Check here for official release dates and to find a theater near you. Fathom Events
Watch the trailer:
Photo Credit: Pure Flix Entertainment & Lovel/Fairchild Communications