The Case for Christ is a perfect example that love, not hate, can restore relationships.
Adopted from Lee Strobel’s book, the Case for Christ tells the true story of an investigative journalist’s journey from atheism to believer. Lee’s life mirror’s Saul’s(Paul’s) life from the New Testament when he is forced to challenge every misconception he ever had about the church and Christ when confronted by God. But whereas Paul met God directly, Lee finds God’s hand in the people he talks to, some Christians and some non-Christians. And they all have a lasting impact.
In 1980, Lee seems to have it all—a promoted position at the Chicago Tribune, a lovely wife and a cute daughter. His world is stable until one night, while dining out, their daughter chokes on a gumball. A nurse saves her life, which has ramifications that Lee couldn’t have guessed. He’s grateful, of course, to the nurse, but Leslie(his wife) is far more affected when the nurse tells her it’s Jesus and that she was planning on eating out somewhere else but something told her to go there that night. This leads Leslie on a spiritual journey, and she becomes a born-again Christian.
When Lee finds out, he sets out on his own crusade to prove the gospel wrong. The Christian faith hinges on whether Christ was resurrected from the grave. If that is proven to be false, Christianity crumbles. So, he questions everything, from the empty tomb to the reliability of the manuscripts to whether 500 people really saw him alive after his death. He talks to medical professionals, historians, archeologists, and theologians. He realizes that debunking the Christian faith is harder than he thought it would be.
This leads to tension and arguments with Leslie because of his frustration at not being able to make his case and Leslie’s unwavering devotion to this “Jesus cult”, an obsession he was hoping would just fade away. Through it all, Leslie never stops loving him, even when he acts like a complete jerk at times.
While investigating Christ’s Godhood, he also looks into the story of a gang member who is accused of shooting a cop. I don’t want to spoil what happens, but this story is a direct parallel to Lee’s faith: that he doesn’t want to see the truth. And the reveal is absolutely ingenious.
The end shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the title, but the true journey of a man from atheism to a believer, is far more important than knowing the ending. Love permeates the movie in all aspects. God’s love can change hearts, can transform a heart of stone into a heart of flesh, a prayer Leslie prays for Lee over and over, a prayer she got from Ezekiel. But it’s also her love that has an impact on him because he even tells her that it wasn’t just the evidence. It was her. She never stopped loving him.
The Case for Christ is appropriate for everyone from all ages (though toddlers probably wouldn’t want to sit through it lol) to various walks of faith, even atheists. Believers will be able to see how to answer those tough questions where non-believers can see that our religion isn’t based on just faith, but on evidence. And hopefully, they can be impacted spiritually.
This is an amazing transformative journey. I give it a 5/5. I can’t recommend it enough.