It's a rare thing when a fundamentally religious movie manages to excite both believers and non-believers alike, but Jon Gunn's latest Christian flick has managed to do just that in his re-telling of the true story, The Case For Christ.
Based on the autobiographical novel of the same name by author Lee Strobel, the true story of #TheCaseForChrist focuses on Strobel's journey to faith after starting out as an atheist investigative journalist who ends up delving deep into the validity of Christ's resurrection, and ending up as a Christian convert.
With an all-star cast including the likes of #MikeVogel, Erika Christensen, Faye Dunway and Robert Forster, and with an impressive 75 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the Christian drama is sending out religious shockwaves far and wide. However, just what is the true story behind The Case For Christ movie? Let's investigate.
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Meet The Real Lee Strobel: Atheist Journalist-Turned-Christian Author
Meet the real life Lee Strobel. Back in 1980, Lee was a law graduate from Yale who was one of the Chicago Tribune's highest flying investigative journalists, jumping from being the paper's courtroom analyst to becoming the legal editor. He was also an adamant atheist and his wife had just converted to Christianity.
In the behind-the-scenes trailer clip for The Case For Christ, Lee articulates that his training had led him to adopt a specific worldview:
"I'd been a sceptic most of my life, my background is in journalism and law so that tends to give you a sceptical edge, a person that seeks evidence...You want journalists to be sceptical but I went further than that and became cynical."
'I Was Going To Divorce Her... I Didn't Want To Be Married To A Christian'
Naturally, when Lee's wife Leslie converted to Christianity, this caused a huge rift in their relationship. Lee struggled to understand or empathise with his wife's new-found faith, especially considering his background in reason, facts and scepticism. Ultimately, things got so serious that he considered ending their marriage, telling The Case For Christ interviewers on the behind-the-scenes trailer clip:
"I thought I was just going to divorce her and leave, because I didn't want to be married to a Christian."
To Save His Marriage, Lee Set Out To Prove Whether Christ Truly Was The Son Of God
As a final attempt to save his marriage to Leslie, Lee decided to use his wealth of training as an investigative journalist to make The Case for Christ and to ask whether there truly was "any credibility to Christianity." On his journey, which lasted an impressive year and 9 months, Lee spoke with various experts in their fields including psychologists, archeologists, professors, physicians and 13 evangelical Christian scholars to rigorously ascertain whether there was any truth to the story of Jesus.
His conclusion? Well, setting out to save his marriage, Lee also ended up saving his soul:
"I came to the conclusion ultimately that based on the avalanche of evidence that points so powerfully to the truth of christianity, it would have taken more faith for me to maintain my atheism then to become a Christian."
Lee Put Pen To Paper, Writing Over 15 Books & Aiding Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of the Christ'
After officially becoming a Christian on November 8 1981, Lee went on to become a teaching pastor for over 13 years between 1987 and 2000 before focusing on developing his TV show. However, in 1998, Strobel decided to document his unique conversion process and wrote the book The Case for Christ based on the true story of his life.
From here, Strobel went on to pen a litany of Christian books including The Case for Faith, The Case for a Creator, The Case for the Real Jesus, The Case for Christianity Answer Book and even co-wrote the novel Experiencing the Passion of Jesus as a guide for Mel Gibson's acclaimed movie The Passion of the Christ. With a further 8 Christian books to his name, it could be a very real possibility that we'll see more than just Strobel's The Case for Christ getting the Hollywood treatment in the future!
Watch 'The Case For Christ' Behind-The-Scenes Mini-Movie Here: