Lee Strobel’s journey from atheism to Christianity has captivated readers since the year it was published, in 1998. After he finished the final draft of The Case for Christ book, he had no idea how successful it would become. After all, books based on apologetics were not in high demand at the time. Nobody imagined that his book would sell over 5 million copies, with nearly 10 million in print!
Lee Strobel was newly appointed to legal editor at the Chicago Tribune when his wife made a decision that changed his world forever: she gave her life to Jesus. Strobel’s atheistic worldview was suddenly incompatible with Leslie Strobel’s lifestyle. With the hopes of convincing his wife to abandon her newfound faith, Lee set out to investigate the validity of Christianity.
What ensued was a series of interviews with the top scholars and scientists in the US, including Dr. Roberta Waters, Dr. Gary Habermas, and Dr. Alexander Metherell. Faced with an overwhelming mountain of historical, scientific, and medical evidence, Lee Strobel was led to the conclusion that the life-changing account of Jesus’ death and resurrection are irrefutable. He knew he had a choice: either give his life to God or to utterly reject Him. Following in Leslie’s footsteps, Lee Strobel made the momentous decision to accepted Jesus as his personal savior.
Lee is now the successful author of over 20 books and a professor at Talbot School of Theology. Undoubtedly, Lee Strobel’s compelling life story has deeply impacted countless people. There have been hundreds of accounts of individuals who have had their faith strengthened by The Case for Christ book. There are also those who have been challenged to further investigate Christianity themselves after reading the book.
Actor Mike Vogel (Cloverfield, The Help), who played Lee Strobel in the film adaptation, is one of the countless people whose lives have been impacted by Lee’s book. At the red carpet event in Chicago, Sonoma Christian Home spoke with the cast and crew of The Case for Christ movie about the impact the film will have. Associate Entertainment Josiah Aviles reports.
During the interview, Vogel shared how the book touched him personally when he read it at 17 years of age. He said, “it was the point in my life where I was raised with the belief system of my parents, and I hit a point in life where I had to make it my own or go a separate way. For me, it was a reaffirming of my faith.” He went on to say that the book “intelligently pointed out these are actual historical events that we can research, we can quantify, and we can put under the lens and microscope of research. Seeing those things for the first time made it tangible for me.”
It’s undeniable that God used Lee Strobel’s book The Case for Christ to stir in people’s hearts a desire to fully know the Truth. How much more will he use the film, in a generation so heavily influenced by media, to reach the lost and strengthen the faith of believers?
Screenwriter Brian Bird (Captive, When Calls the Heart) had this to say about the movie: “I think that the movie will operate on two levels. It will be an inoculation against doubt for people that already have faith… and it will strike the cravings in people who are skeptics.” In other words, the film adaptation will reaffirm the faith of Christians, and allow them to have a deeper and closer relationship with God. On the other hand, The Case for Christ is also a powerful outreach tool. When nonbelievers watch it, it has the potential to spark within them a desire to know the truth, just as Lee Strobel did.
When skeptics leave the movie theater, it may cause them to rethink what they believe. As Oscar-nominated actor Robert Forster (Jackie Brown) put it, they’ll begin to ask themselves “all the big questions: Where did I come from? What is my purpose? Where do I go when I die? Is there God?”
Director Jon Gunn (Do You Believe) said, “I always love the fact this is a movie that I think encourages seeking and asking questions. I think it’s healthy. I think if you’re going to have faith in something you can dedicate your life to, you have to ask questions. And I think this is a movie that says, fact or error, you have to look for it. So to ask questions, and to seek boldly and aggressively.”
How can you support a film that both encourages believers and challenges nonbelievers? Well, there are a few ways. First, if you haven’t already, be sure to catch The Case for Christ in theaters! Doing so allows the filmmakers to continue producing movies that give God glory. Another way to support the film is to simply get the word out. Tell your friends about The Case for Christ! Spread the word on social media. Invite your friends to watch the film, and follow up with some conversation!
There are so many ways that God can use this film to advance His kingdom. In a world filled with hate and fear, the message of Christ’s love, so clearly presented in the movie, has the ability to cut to the core of today’s political and social issues. While so many try to water down the gospel, diluting and twisting it, The Case for Christ does just the opposite. It brings us back to the solid foundation of Christianity and presents the Gospel in a way that’s clear, straightforward, and genuine.