After a phenomenally successful box office opening weekend, there's an electrifying buzz surrounding Christian director Jon Gunn's latest religious drama movie, but just what is The Case For Christ really about?
Based on the hugely popular book of the same name written by Lee Strobel, an atheist investigative journalist-turned-Christian author, The Case For Christ traces Strobel's journey from becoming an adamant unbeliever to finding faith in a fascinatingly unique way.
In the wake of his wife becoming a Christian, Strobel sets out on an epic mission to investigate the "case for Christ" and disprove Jesus's existence — but as you might expect, things don't go quite to plan. So open your hearts and minds because here's a thorough look at what The Case For Christ is really about.
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Why An Atheist Journalist Made A Case For Christ
Lee Strobel was one of the Chicago Tribune's leading journalist back in the early eighties. Ambitious, outspoken and with a MA in law from Yale under his belt, Strobel excelled in his role as the paper's courtroom analyst and soon found himself in the legal editors chair.
But things were not going so well in his private life. Having discovered Christ and welcoming Jesus into her life, Lee's wife Leslie's new-found faith began to put enormous pressure on their relationship. With Lee being an adamant atheist, the couples vastly divergent world views were causing a massive gap to grow between them - until Lee's colleague challenged him to use his investigative skills to make "a case for Christ" and prove once and for all whether Jesus truly was the son of god.
The Case For Christ Lay In The Truth Of Jesus' Resurrection
Faced with the incredibly daunting task of proving Jesus's existence as the son of god, Lee's colleague gave him some advice by arguing that the real key to corroborating whether Christ was in fact the holy savior lay in the truth of his resurrection; if he didn't rise, Christianity truly was nothing but a pack of lies.
Where various fractions of Christianity diverge somewhat on their beliefs surrounding the resurrection, some more liberal branches reading his resurrection as metaphorical rather than actual, Strobel decided he was much more in line with a classical model of Christianity in which Christ really did rise from the dead.
The Investigations That Led Lee To Make A 'Case For Christ'
- Investigation No.1: Was Christ's resurrection just a myth to help us stop fearing death?
- The Case For Christ: There are many eyewitness accounts of people claiming to have seen Jesus risen from the dead — including 500 people simultaneously. Strobel meets a psychologist who explains that it's virtually impossible for hundreds of people to share a hallucination at the same time. Further, many Church leaders went to their deaths defending their claims that they had witnessed his resurrection.
- Investigation No.2: But just how reliable are the Biblical texts surrounding Jesus's resurrection seeing as they were written many years after it happened?
- The Case For Christ: Strobel takes this particular line of investigation to a Catholic priest who also happens to be an archeologist and somewhat of an expert in ancient texts. Here he tells Lee that in relation to Homer's "Iliad' or Plato's 'Dialogues" there are many, many more copies of the early Christian Gospels which suggests their validity.
- Investigation No.3: Did Jesus actually die on the cross? Maybe he just temporarily slipped out of consciousness.
- The Case For Christ: For this line of query, Lee meets was a physician who, when taking the brutality of the execution method and the circumstances of Jesus's crucifixion into account, tells Lee that he absolutely could not have survived it.
The Final Outcome? Lee Finds The Case For Christ Has Certainly Been Made
Ultimately, Lee finds himself at a completely different place from where he started. His lines of rigorous enquiry lead him to question everything he thought he knew about himself, the world around him, and the nature of life itself. Whether a different person following the same line of enquiry would have reached the same outcome remains to be seen, but certainly for Lee, the case for Christ was certainly made.