In The Case for Christ, audiences everywhere can experience the development of several relationships - the marriage of Lee and Leslie Strobel and the love of both Strobels for the heart of God. Crafted as a moving, emotive drama by writer Brian Bird and directed by Jon Gunn, the cinematic version of the Strobels’ story stars Mike Vogel and Erika Christensen, with supporting roles by Faye Dunaway, Robert Forster, and Frankie Faison. A Pure Flix production, this is a true story that everyone who has a relationship with Jesus Christ, and those who are considering one, should see.
Available now on Digital On Demand, the film has earned an A+ Cinemascore and a 79% fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Based on a period in the Strobels’ lives from the 1980s, it shows how Lee set out to disprove Christianity as a hard-driving investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune. Spurred on by a desire to save Leslie from a cult (which is actually Willow Creek Church), he uses a series of interviews with experts in Biblical fields to gather information. But what he finds actually convinces him, not Leslie, to change his ways.
Interviewing Biblical scholars like Dr. Gary Habernas (New Testament expert on the resurrection of Jesus) and Dr. William Lane Craig (the existence of God), as well as fellow skeptics like Dr. Roberta Waters (Dunaway), an expert on psychiatry, Lee begins to see that what he once held true is anything but the truth. He’s also challenged by several people who love and care about him, like his editor and his wife.
In the film, which is also based on the couple’s book Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Marriage, Leslie’s heartfelt prayers (and refusal to give up) provide an emotional edge to what might have been a mental exercise. Here, we see the way that the Strobels’ marriage is forged by fire, as they both come to explore faith tangentially, even as they’re growing as spouses and parents.
While some films, books, and arguments paint a “straw man” presentation of the feelings and perspectives of those who don’t believe, the book and cinematic version of The Case for Christ allow us to see that atheists can be smart, well-intentioned, kind, loving, etc. One of the most powerful pieces of the narrative is watching the Strobels grow together - because Leslie needs to grow, too. Even while Lee is becoming a man of faith, Leslie is growing as a wife; their commitment to each other is what allows Lee to actually see and accept the truth for himself. Otherwise, it would have been trite, verbal affirmation with no heart change.
In The Case for Christ, the powerful transformation of faith and relationship rise above everything else, because what is presented here is the true life story, the way it really happened, delivered by actors at the top of their craft.