Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
How can we know there’s a God? Answer
What if the cosmos is all that there is? Answer
If God made everything, who made God? Answer
Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer
How do we know the Bible is true? Answer
How can the Bible be infallible if it was written by fallible humans? Answer
Is Jesus Christ a myth? Answer
Archaeology—Have any burial sites been found for the people involved in Christ’s life and death? Answer
Is Jesus Christ God? Answer
Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer
|Featuring:|| Mike Vogel … Lee Strobel
Erika Christensen … Leslie Strobel
Faye Dunaway … Dr. Roberta Waters, Purdue University Professor of Psychiatry
Robert Forster … Walter Strobel
Frankie Faison … Joe Dubois
L. Scott Caldwell … Alfie Davis
Mike Pniewski … Kenny London
Kevin Sizemore … Dr. Gary Habermas, historian, New Testament scholar, and philosopher of religion
Rus Blackwell … Dr. William Craig, analytic philosopher, theologian, apologist and historian
Tom Nowicki … Dr. Alexander Metherell, M.D., Ph.D.
Brett Rice … Ray Nelson, Lee’s atheist skeptic mentor
Jordan Cox … Bill Hybels
Renell Gibbs … James Dixon
Haley Rosenwasser … Alison Strobel
|Director:||Jon Gunn—“Do You Believe?” (2015), “Like Dandelion Dust” (2009), “Mercy Streets” (2000), “My Date with Drew” (2004)|
|Producer:||Triple Horse Studios
|Distributor:||Pure Flix Entertainment|
“The only way to truth is from facts,” so says the banner hanging in the Chicago Tribune office on the day that Lee Strobel (Mike Vogel) is brought onboard as their newest journalist and soon to be legal editor. He is successful, has a beautiful wife, a young daughter and is sitting on top of the proverbial world.
Lee is also an atheist who, as he explains to his daughter, only believes in what he can “see and touch.” His wife Leslie (Erika Christensen) has been of the same mind until one day when a tragedy is narrowly averted and the nurse, Alfie (L. Scott Caldwell), who saves their daughter remarks that they should thank Jesus.
• What should we thank God for, and how should we praise Him? • Are you thankful to God? • THANKFULNESS—Tips for New and Growing Christians
While Lee is grateful, though untouched by that statement, Leslie begins her own search for God which will lead her to believe in Jesus and become a Christian. Lee is so disappointed in his wife’s abandoning of reason that he begins his own quest, unknown to his wife, to debunk Christianity and all it stands for, in order to regain the rational wife he feels he has lost.
“The Case for Christ” is based on the powerful true story of Lee Strobel’s investigation to disprove the deity of Christ. In the film, he challenges every tenet of Christianity, including: the existence of Jesus, whether or not he ever died, his resurrection and more, but instead finds the evidence is strongly against his theory, eventually putting the award-winning journalist at odds with truth itself.
There is barely any objectionable material of concern in this film, making it a family-friendly movie. Lee and Leslie are seen kissing on several occasions, verbally fighting during others and the harshest words spoken are “jerk” and “prostitute,” and the latter is not directed towards Leslie, but is a reference to a biblical character. Alcohol is noticeable several times, as Lee drinks beers both at home and at a bar. On one occasion, he is seen in a drunken stupor during which he violently throws some kitchen pots down, but apologizes soon after.
Fatherhood: The most unexpected issue visited has to be that of the importance of fathers. Lee’s relationship with his own father is an estranged one and has kept them apart for years. When we finally meet him, he is cold, seemingly aloof and disinterested in his successful son Lee. There is incredible insight as to how this can impact one’s ability to relate to God our Father in Heaven. Suffice it to say that the Word of God is clear on what the role of fathers is to be in children’s lives—and the long term importance of loving guidance.
“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” —Ephesians 6:4
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” —Proverbs 22:6
Seeking God: Both Lee and his wife Leslie are shown seeking the truth about God, although their intentions are vastly different. Leslie is beginning to see how God has always existed, even in those years that she spent denying Him, and now she is earnestly trying to connect with her Lord. The Bible has good news for those like Leslie:
“I love those who love me; and those who diligently seek me will find me.” —Proverbs 8:17
Unfortunately, this is in stark contrast to Lee’s biased search for empirical proof that Jesus is only a myth.
“The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him; all his thoughts are, ‘There is no God’.” —Psalm 10:4
Faith: Lee is quick to mock Christians, and in turn his wife for what he understands is baseless faith. Although the preponderance of evidence he uncovers goes contrary to his ‘rational’ based atheism, Lee’s likewise non-believing mentor points out that denying God also requires a leap of faith, because not everything is ‘knowable.’ A God that can create the universe and all that it encompasses will never be completely understood by man. Praise God He has given us enough to find Him and not merely through His Creation, but through His Word and his only begotten Son who died for us.
Humility: Before Lee comes to his final conclusion, he is humbled greatly through a misreading of the facts on a criminal case he is working on. Understanding that your own bias will affect how you treat a story and craft the narrative is a lesson that is lost on many journalists today, but one that humbles the formerly proud Lee and makes him a better reporter and person.
The main cast does a fine job, especially in the key supporting characters of Leslie (Christensen), Alfie (Caldwell) and the likeable co-worker Kenny (Mike Pniewski), with some less important characters, unevenly played, being given appropriately less screen time. However, the solid portrayal of Lee Strobel by Vogel is imbued with the realistic skepticism and self-righteous fervor that is crucial for the role.
In “The Case for Christ,” as in life, there is no abrupt realization of the truth, but rather a slow shedding of the falsehoods that are built up over a lifetime, and the film does a remarkable job of letting the audience feel what that must have been like. Highly recommended.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
…“The Case for Christ” makes a strong argument for mass appeal… breaks the mold of Christian films, delivering a rich and compelling narrative along with the steadfast message of Christ's love. …[4½/5]
—Ryan Duncan, Crosswalk
…a terrific drama reminiscent of ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN, with its own examples of excellent acting… the facts win the case… [4/4]
—Ted Baehr, Movieguide
…An intriguing faith-based detective story… the movie likely will impress even dedicated nonbelievers with its willingness to place as much emphasis on empirical evidence as on blind faith. …
—Joe Leydon, Variety
…prioritizes drama over evidence… The subplots keep the film moving, giving something for even nonbelievers to latch on to. …the meat of the movie is in the evidence the reporter amasses, and it’s here that both the devout and the doubters may be disappointed. Unlike the detailed arguments in the source material, the adaptation skims the surface of what Strobel found…
—Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times