The Case for Christ
As a freelance editor, I have a natural bent toward critical analysis. It’s my job to catch mistakes and to consider how a piece of writing could be improved.
This is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because I actually get paid to do something I love that comes naturally. But that editor mind-set doesn’t turn off when I’m trying to read a book for pleasure.
Movies are a little easier for me to relax and enjoy because they keep moving (by definition). So even if I have a problem with something, it’s over quickly and I can move on to the next thing. And there’s very little in a movie that’s in writing, so I don’t have to proofread for typos or errors in punctuation and spelling … much.
Although my critical perspective limits the number of books and movies I can simply enjoy (without finding things I think should be tweaked or corrected), when I do find one, it’s that much more of a delight!
Unfortunately, I’ve had an especially hard time finding a Christian movie that meets my tough standards. While I may connect to the storyline or the characters or the message, if it’s not well acted, well directed, and well produced (without an obviously low budget), I usually walk out of the theater disappointed. And asking, Why can’t Christians make top-quality films?
When I saw there was a movie out called The Case for Christ, I was intrigued. I’d heard about this classic book for years, probably even owned a copy of it. But wasn’t it nonfiction? What would a movie based on that book be like? Not wanting to spoil it for myself, I went to see the film without reading any synopsis or reviews.
To my great surprise, this was an extremely well-made movie. It follows the journey of the author of The Case for Christ book, Lee Strobel—an investigative journalist and self-proclaimed atheist who sets out to disprove the existence of God after his wife becomes a Christian. The storyline is dear to my heart since my husband is an agnostic. Many of the comments Lee made in the movie sounded just like my husband’s arguments against the Christian faith. Knowing that this man went on to write a classic book in favor of Christianity, there was no doubt he would accept Christ as his Savior by the end of the movie. But the circuitous route he took to get there kept me captivated the entire time. And I found the responses of his wife during the process quite inspiring. I particularly like how she prayed God’s promise from Ezekiel 36:26 over her skeptic husband: “I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart” (NLT).
I highly recommend this movie for any believer or seeker. If you have an unsaved loved one, it will revive your faith in the power of God to reach anyone. God saved the Christian-killer Saul of Tarsus, and he became a powerful advocate for the Lord. God saved staunchly atheistic Lee Strobel, and he went on to write several powerful books proclaiming the reality of the Creator, Christ, and faith. (Both of his children grew up to believe and write Christian books too.) If God can give Saul and Lee hearts of flesh in place of hearts of stone, He can do that for your unsaved loves ones too!