Journalists thrive on uncovering the truth, which is the case for Lee Strobel, legal editor for the Chicago Tribune. In the feature film, The Case for Christ, Strobel’s talent and wit as an award-winning investigative reporter earns him a much deserved promotion. Always looking for the next story to sink his teeth into, Strobel unexpectantly finds that his biggest breakthrough actually stems from a major confrontation in his own home. When his wife approaches him with her newfound faith in Jesus, Lee dives deep into proving that his wife (and consequently the majority of the world) is wrong.
No matter the state of our faith, we all harbor a little bit of doubt. If we didn’t this world would be a very different place. There are so many questions that the Bible leaves unanswered and we may never be content by the fact that God allows us to experience so much uncertainty. But the Bible, and all that it encompasses, reveals the truth behind one of the most important topics in the universe – who Jesus is and what His identity means to each of us personally. We’ve all asked this question, and The Case for Christ carries us through the process of discovery as it pertains to one couple – the Strobel’s.
Leslie, Lee’s wife, who was also once an atheist, slowly came to believe the claims of Christianity as she saw faith at work in the lives of others and in the circumstances of her own life. Through a chance meeting orchestrated by God, Leslie becomes close friends with a Christian who speaks freely of her own faith yet doesn’t push it on anyone but lives it out fully. When Lee learned that Leslie decided to become a Christian, his initial reaction was to divorce her and leave. He refused to be married to a Christian.
Lee’s approach to discovering the truth of Christianity was entirely opposite of his wife’s. Rather than opening his eyes and heart to see God at work, He was determined to disprove God’s very existence. He was hardened and unwilling to budge. So, he did what he knew best – he investigates. Strobel tackles the very root of Christianity by looking for evidence of the cornerstone of the Christian faith. He digs into the truth of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. As any journalist would do, Strobel interviews leading scholars on Evangelicalism and Christianity, offering them an opportunity to defend their views. What he discovers is an avalanche of evidence supporting Christianity and the truth about Jesus Christ. As Lee says, “It would have taken more faith to maintain his stance as an atheist than to become a Christian.”
During the time of Lee’s incessant digging, God didn’t give Leslie all the answers to her prying husband’s questions. But through Leslie’s prayers and tenacity, Lee discovered the truth on his own accord. Though her role was not direct in turning Lee’s heart toward God, she played an essential role in the result of Lee’s quest.
When any of us face people in life who don’t share the same beliefs, it can seem belittling and painful. Going to God in desperation is the only relief we will find. We must not feel the need to defend our faith, but rather stand firm in it as a demonstration of our trust and reliance on God. When someone doesn’t believe in Christianity, then they see Jesus, His disciples, God, etc. as fantasy. They see it all as fake. Strobel felt the same way. He was looking to see if there was any credibility in Christianity. In his desperate search to disprove Christianity, he learns about the reliability of the resurrection and how that becomes the base for the full authority of the Christian faith.
It took nearly two years for Lee to investigate Jesus. Many people battle with their cynicism longer. If they would just dig into the truth rather than pushing it off, they would find peace a lot sooner. The film The Case for Christ must be an example of how we must not take what we learn, hear, read or see for face value. We truly need to discover what we believe and how we think for ourselves. The world carefully crafts manipulations to pull us away from what is relevant and true, but when we begin to seek the truth entirely, it becomes more amazing than what we could think or imagine.
The journey of Lee Strobel occurred 30 years ago, yet his findings are still relevant today. The story of The Case for Christ led to the writing of the book by the same name, which has sold millions of copies and is a detailed description of Strobel’s findings. As you start your own search for the timeless truth of Jesus, be sure to watch the film, read the book and study God’s Word. Don’t just take what the world throws at you – seek reality and find hope in truth.