“What is truth?” This is a question that every person who has ever lived has asked at some point. It is the question that Pontius Pilate once asked Jesus (John 18:38). Ironic — that even when face-to-face with Truth Himself, Pilate did not recognize it. It is the same question that award-winning journalist Lee Strobel (former Legal Editor, Chicago Tribune) would wrestle with over the course of two years as he investigated the claims of Christianity and the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. And it is the question that many will be faced with as “The Case for Christ” arrives in theaters on April 7, just nine days before Easter.
A skeptic’s search
“The Case for Christ” is based on the worldwide best-selling book by the same name, originally published in 1998. The book and film tell the real-life account of former atheist Lee Strobel as he uses his expertise and investigative prowess to put the case for Christ to the test. When Lee’s wife, Leslie, becomes a believer, Lee feels like his life and marriage are falling apart. He grows bitter towards the love that Leslie has for God, and he sets out determined to prove that she has been duped. But as you can guess, along the way, Lee is confronted with quite remarkable and inconvenient truths that ultimately lead him to no longer deny the reality of Christ and the salvation he offers.
One of the things I enjoyed most about the film was how they paralleled and juxtaposed two investigation stories simultaneously. In the film, while Lee is researching Christianity, he is also under an assignment to look into a police shooting incident. In both cases, Lee initially assumes that he has all the facts straight, but will later come to realize, again on both accounts, that he couldn’t have been further from the truth. In fact, he is challenged with the idea that he has been missing the truth because he didn’t want to see it. The film continues to unpack this theme of truth as characters discuss how our feelings and desires do not equate to truth. What we want and don’t want have no impact on reality.
In short, Lee’s findings can be summarized by the Five E’s for the resurrection: Execution, Early Records, Empty Tomb, Eyewitnesses, and Emergence of the Church. These facts are nearly indisputable, and they greatly stem from Dr. Gary Habermas’ “minimal facts” argument for the resurrection which is also akin to C.S. Lewis’ postulation for accepting the most logical argument as the truth. Lee was truly chasing down the biggest story of his life, which might just change everything he’d ever believed in. But in the end, he would find both the truth and freedom. “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
Invite your friends and grab some popcorn
One caveat: I have not seen every film that PureFlix has produced. Notwithstanding, this one is by far the best one I’ve seen. The production quality, acting and editing are on a whole other level from what PureFlix has done in the past. “This is one of the most powerful evangelistic movies I have ever seen. It connects on every level — logically and emotionally” exclaims Pastor Greg Laurie. “This is a film you can take your non-believing friend to and not cringe.”
I have to give kudos to Lee for his humility and willingness to share even the most unsavory parts of his story. It is a clear testament of his sincere and simple pursuit of the truth — nothing less and nothing more. He advocates for the film, stating that viewers will “experience a compelling story, hear the evidence for Easter, and encounter the Gospel in a powerful and persuasive way.” I don’t often promote a film this strongly, but in this case, “The Case for Christ” is a must see. You’ll definitely want to support the film and its mission of sharing the evidence for the resurrection.
The Case for Christ is directed by Jon Gunn (Do You Believe?; Like Dandelion Dust) and stars Mike Vogel (Cloverfield; The Help) as Lee Strobel, Erika Christensen (Parenthood; Traffic) as Leslie Strobel, and L. Scott Caldwell (Lost; The Fugitive) as Alfie Davis. For more information visit: TheCaseForChristMovie.com
Finley is a doctoral student researching Organizational Leadership. He can be reached at: email@example.com