An Atheist’s Journey to Faith: A Movie Review of “The Case for Christ”

 

case movieLast night I went with my church family to see the movie, “The Case for Christ.” I read the book several years ago and had been greatly anticipating seeing the movie since I heard they were making it. I was not disappointed.

Although it was not as good as the book (movies seldom are), it was well done and brought forth a great message. The movie is based on the life of Lee Strobel.  Lee was an atheist that decided to investigate the Christian faith, and specifically the resurrection of Jesus, after his wife became a Christian.

case for faithWanting desperately to prove his wife wrong, he set out on a journalistic investigation by meeting up with some of the top experts in the fields of science, psychology, medicine, philosophy, and yes, theology. Although the movie does not bring this out, Strobel’s investigation took approximately two years to conclude. As a top notch journalist for the Chicago Tribune who was also an atheist, all he was looking for were the facts to prove the Christian faith wrong.

The movie follows Strobel’s journey through this process to the point of his ultimate conclusion. One important moment in the movie is where Strobel had published a story about a man involved in a shooting before he had acquired all the facts. As a result, the man was convicted of the shooting and later badly beaten in prison. Strobel eventually apologized to the man for reporting on the incident before having all the facts. The man looks at Strobel and says, “You did not want to see all the facts.”

caseStrobel realizes that this man’s statement was not only true about the shooting, it was also true about the resurrection and the Christian faith. After gathering facts and investing for two years to disprove the resurrection and the claims of the Christian faith, Strobel comes to this conclusion; it would take more faith to remain an atheist than it would to become a Christian. (Again, the movie does not bring this out as strongly as the book does.)

If you have questions about the Christian faith and you enjoy movies I would encourage you to see “The Case For Christ”. If you enjoy reading and you have questions about the Christian faith, it would be even better to read the book of the same title.


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The Shack: A Study in Theology Pleasantly Disguised as a Movie

ShackoverSeveral years ago I read “The Shack” (actually, I listened to it on CD) and recently I watched the movie. I have come to a similar conclusion about the movie as I did the book. It is a study in Theology pleasantly disguised as a novel or a movie.

It gives us a study of the Trinity, redemption, forgiveness, judgment, the relationship between God and humans, etc. I am not saying I fully agree with everything the movie may have taught about these subjects. To be honest, I do not agree with everything I hear taught in a typical church Bible study about these subjects, either.

The movie did seem to hint at universalism (the belief that everybody goes to heaven). I say it seemed to hint at it because it did not directly teach universalism. There are some aspects of the movie that could be taken that way. I do not know if that was the intent of the movie producers. They left this unclear. (Just for the record I do not believe in universalism).

shack_0I enjoyed the movie. It touched me emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I would recommend this movie to a believer or an unbeliever.

Is it perfect Bible teaching? No. But neither is all of the Bible teaching in our churches. Do not get me wrong, I believe the Bible is the perfect Word of God. However, those of us who teach it are very imperfect, even in our understanding of the Bible. (Yes, I do include myself in this.)

Rich Mullins once said, “I think if we were given the Scriptures it was not so that we could prove that we were right about everything. If we were given the scriptures it was to humble us into realizing that God is right and the rest of us are just guessing.” We all have a messed up view of the Bible in some way. If we did not, then we would not need the Holy Spirit’s involvement. Let us speak the truth in love and hopefully, where we are clueless about the truth love will overcome.

So, if you do not want to watch “The Shack” then do not watch it. If you do want to watch it then do so. Come to your own conclusion.

The Bible is truth. I am sold on that. “The Shack” is a good movie that goes much deeper into some of those biblical truths than most other movies (even other Christian movies). Maybe it will drive you to get deeper into the Bible for yourself. A Bible study curriculum could very easily be set up around this movie.

If you like emotional movies with a strong intellectual and spiritual component you will probably enjoy this movie. If you do not, well, you probably won’t.

For those of you who have read the book or seen the movie, what say you?


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message.

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