The Case For Christ movie is currently playing in theaters nationwide. The subject of the movie is the evidentiary odyssey of Lee Strobel, an investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune, who set out to debunk the Resurrection of Jesus Christ...but wound up becoming a Christian, and eventually a Christian pastor.
The movie, which largely follows Strobel’s first-person account of his investigation in his book of the same name, is frank about his initial intention, which was specifically to disprove the historicity of the Resurrection. He sought to establish it as a pleasant myth embraced by persons with a need to believe it. That desire arose from his wife’s surprise conversion from atheism to Christianity, which upset him greatly, as is often the case in marriages in which one spouse experiences such a transition. Strobel was certain at first that he could demonstrate objectively that the Resurrection could not have occurred. Ultimately, he amassed such a mountain of evidence for the Resurrection that he could no longer maintain his own atheism.
Most faith-centered movies are unimpressive. They share the fault of most faith-centered fiction: excessive preachiness. The Case For Christ is free of that flaw. Nor does it exhibit any other flaw of significance. It’s well done in every dimension: script, acting, sequencing, pacing, and conclusion.
As I’ve written before, propositions such as the Resurrection of Jesus Christ can always be rejected by one determined to do so. Even one who personally witnessed the Resurrection, if sufficiently nimble of mind, could concoct unfalsifiable alternative explanations for the event. What Strobel’s book and movie do for us is to assemble a mass of evidence sufficient to armor a believer against the barbs and scorn of today’s vociferous militant atheists.
I found one specific segment of the movie particularly impressive: After a number of “false starts,” Strobel seeks to disprove the Resurrection by establishing that Jesus didn’t die on His Cross. In confronting a medical expert deemed an authority on the subject, he tells the expert – himself a Christian – that “You’re hardly an impartial source.” The expert replies that Strobel would find the same to be true of everyone who had undertaken his journey. There’s a lot of food for thought in there.
Believers will come away from The Case For Christ reassured and refreshed. Non-believers will mostly refuse to see it...which is a great pity, as it would do a lot to soothe the acrimony that exists between Christians and skeptics today.