The Case for Christ is a surprising film with no surprises. The movie tells the well-known journey to faith of well-known American evangelical pastor and author, Lee Strobel. It is based on the book by the same title, first published in 1998. Meet Strobel (Michael Vogel), an award-winning investigative journalist with the Chicago Tribune in the late 1970s. Strobel and his wife, Leslie, (Erika Christensen) are confident in their atheism. As young parents they plan to raise their children free of faith in God.
A seemingly coincidental experience leads Leslie to search out the reality of a God. As she commits her life to Christ, her husband responds with incredulity and hostility. In an attempt to save his wife and their marriage, Strobel embarks on his own investigation into the historicity of Jesus’ death and resurrection and the New Testament.
Pure Flix, the production company, is committed to producing and promoting works that have a faith-supporting, family-friendly message. As such, this film has all the potential for being saccharine and trite. It is anything but.
The screenwriter chose to carry the storyline through the marital tension as well as a parallel police shooting investigation, allowing the transcendent themes to follow. While the filmmakers capture the era well, the conversations that Strobel seeks out with experts are at times stilted. Still, the film is sincere without being preachy. It tells Strobel’s story and leaves the viewer free to respond.
From 1987 to 2000, Lee Strobel served as a pastor at Willow Creek Community Church, the church he first attended with Leslie in 1980. Strobel has written over 20 books and continues to preach and teach. He recently returned to Willow Creek to speak about his journey of faith and the pending release of the film, which you can watch at willowcreek.tv.