You Should See This Movie…

Mike Vogel as Lee Strobel

I was pleasantly surprised recently when I went to see The Case for Christ. Grab your spouse or a friend and see it while it’s still in theaters.

As an artist who is also a follower of Jesus, I guess I’m supposed to be a movie snob, especially when it comes to “Christian movies.” I think I’m not supposed to publicly admit that I loved this movie. But I did.

The movie tells the story of atheist Lee Strobel coming to faith in Jesus. (Whoopsie. I guess I just gave away the ending. That’s part of why I didn’t have high hopes for the movie. I expected another predictable Christian film.)

But you know what? I knew how my dinnertime was going to end last night but I’m still really glad I sat down at the table.

The movie highlighted the Strobel family’s journey to faith, and the relational tension that ensued during the process. That story was believable, well-written, and well-acted. It felt like a love story to me, full of characters that I was moved to care about.

Some Things I Liked
Maybe it was just me, but the movie touched on a lot of things I’ve been thinking about lately.

I’ve been dialoguing with some atheists for several months, and the portrayal of the atheists in the film felt familiar to me. I liked that the atheist Strobel wasn’t made out to be an evil character. He deeply loved his wife and was a great dad. He had a strong moral compass and sense of justice.

I’ve been doing some reading about brain science and social psychology. I’m fascinated with how and why people change their opinions when confronted with information that challenges their worldview. (Or how they don’t, as is usually the case.) It was fascinating to watch one person’s process, knowing that it was a true story.

A big surprise was a direct reference to the “father wound” issue. I’ve been a bit obsessed with this issue for several months, and I’ve come to think that it’s widespread and profoundly important. In the near future I’ll post more on this topic specifically.

Also, an important truism for me is that biblical faith is evidential. This idea directly contradicts what “New Atheism” preaches – that faith is “belief despite the evidence.” The “New Atheists” are demonstrably wrong about what the Bible says about faith. It was nice to see a correct perspective on the screen.

Finally, on an incidental note, The Case for Christ is not a white Christian film. The story takes place in Chicago and several black characters figure prominently in the journey. We see blacks and whites working, attending church, and doing life together. This isn’t talked about; it’s just assumed, as it should be.

I don’t recall anything inappropriate for kids, but very small children might be bored with it just because it’s an adult conversation. At any rate, I say “two thumbs up”!

Speaking of kids, it you haven’t already done so, please sign up on my email list at my kids’ storybook website, RIGHT HERE!


8 comments on “You Should See This Movie…

  1. Larry says:

    Thanks for sharing your review of this film. Positive & uplifting.

  2. I don’t recall whether I saw the film or not, but I read the book years ago when Strobel first wrote it. I found it engaging on a popular level, which makes for a good read for those who may find academic material too dry.

    I’m pleased you pointed out the fallacious definition of “faith” propounded by atheists. I cringe every time an atheist (or even many Christians for that matter) define faith as something opposed to reason or evidence, which is actually along the lines of fideism, not Biblical faith. Biblical faith is only opposed to one thing, i.e., empirical observation of the object of faith. In other words, we walk by faith, not by “sight” or empirical observation. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t have empirical observation of evidence by which we can infer the object of our faith. Nor are we left without sound philosophical arguments by which we can reason and draw an inference to the best explanation. And for the believer, we have the inner testimony of the Holy Spirit which, while that may not serve as a form of evidence for those to whom we witness, provides the believer himself with a sufficient ground for holding to his faith as properly basic.

    Thanks for the great film review!

    • Well stated Frank! i completely agree. There are certainly religions out there that would employ the “new atheist” definition of faith, but biblical Christianity is not one of them. It’s not that difficult to see. If the new atheists are literate enough to hold advanced degrees and write best sellers critical of faith, I don’t think it’s too much to ask that they understand what they’re criticizing.

      I would add another defining aspect to your excellent description. I notice that faith is often spoken of as if it is a mystical force, trait, or feeling, like optimism. But I would contend that biblical faith is always relational, and has God as its object.

      “Biblical faith is always trust in the person of God, based on historical acts, demonstrations, and interactions that God has specifically provided to show Himself trustworthy. This is explicitly stated in the Bible, and it is unique to the Bible. In the Bible, people are never told to believe without good reason” ( from a 2013 post on the subject: )

  3. Porthog says:

    You are correct – the ‘Father wound’ is widespread (and spreading more [virtually unchecked] with each new generation) and important. What I have experienced during my 20+ years work as a foster parent confirms this.

  4. Alison Rogers (Ramsey) says:

    Is that all the thumbs you have?!?!

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