Review: The Case for Christ DVD
A film adaptation of Lee Strobel’s best seller The Case for Christ (1998) was released by La Mirada Films on September 11. Strobel, a former legal reporter for the Chicago Tribune, and an atheist, was determined to disprove the miracles and resurrection of Jesus Christ after his wife converted to Christianity. His two-year investigation of the historical and scientific facts about Jesus, his life, and his resurrection, and the logical and philosophical reasons for believing the record, led to his deciding it would take more faith not to believe on Christ than to accept the evidence where it was leading him: that Christ is the son of God, who rose from the dead, just like the New Testament claims.
The distribution channel of Lionsgate, a major Hollywood film company, makes this DVD available through major chain stores like Walmart and Best Buy. Dr. Ted Baehr, Christian film critic, was overjoyed that Hollywood is promoting the gospel in this way. He gave this film his highest rating “exemplary” on MovieGuide.org and spoke of it glowingly on World Net Daily. The official film website is StrobelFilms.com, which contains a film trailer and other resources.
The Case for Christ DVD supplements Strobel’s earlier film release based on his third book, The Case for a Creator (2005) (see book on Amazon.com). A film adaptation of his second best-seller, The Case for Faith (2002), is being considered.
Also released this September is a new, updated book on Jesus by Lee Strobel, The Case for the Real Jesus. This book is subtitled, “A journalist investigates current attacks on the identity of Jesus” – i.e., attacks in The Da Vinci Code and the Gospel of Judas (04/09/2006) and others that have arisen since The Case for Christ was first published in 1998.
We cannot say enough good about this film. Everything about it – the content, the delivery, the graphics, the music, the scholarship – is exceptional. Lee Strobel has one of the most compelling conversion stories in recent years. Hard-hitting reporter, no-nonsense journalist, discerner of valid evidence, lover of science and skeptic of all religion (especially Christianity), he made a project of investigating the accuracy of claims about Christ – and asks that we do the same with an open mind.
Lee is a great writer and an enthusiastic speaker. On the DVD, he interviews a number of leading Biblical scholars and philosophers, who add their insight and expertise to his unfolding case. He asks hard questions. He leaves no stone unturned in his investigation. Interspersed within the story are personal glimpses into his marriage and family – the human dynamic that was propelling his investigation to a verdict. Women viewers will relate to the conflict that Lee’s wife experienced, and the final resolution that brought great joy to both of them. These elements provide a warm and appealing balance to the factual material. Strobel’s ending invitation is reasonable and respectful. He only asks that we each make it a project to examine the evidence for Jesus with an open mind and be willing follow the evidence where it leads.
The bonus features on the DVD include Q&A by the scholars interviewed for the movie, and personal glimpses into their own conversion stories – whether from orthodox Judaism, atheism, or a Christian childhood needing independent support in adulthood. The original score by Mark Edward Lewis can also be heard for its own standalone enjoyment. Resources for further study are listed. Everything about this DVD is top-notch. In fact, La Mirada Films and Revelation Studios have raised the bar of documentary filmmaking to a whole new level. We are glad to see a major Hollywood producer recognizing the market for quality Bible-based content. Show them they made the right choice by purchasing this film at the chain store outlets and we will see more like it to offset the usual parade of sex, lies, violence, silliness and nonsense.
This is a fulcrum issue that must be faced: who is Jesus Christ? Several recent TV documentaries and books have spread lies, distortions and half-truths about “the historical Jesus” with clear liberal, skeptical bias. Then, farces like The Da Vinci Code have captivated millions with outright fabrications for which there is no evidence whatsoever. The DVD has an insert that advertises Lee Strobel’s updated book, The Case for the Real Jesus, which answers the new attacks that have arisen since his first book (see information on LeeStrobel.com).
Christianity stands alone in inviting scrutiny into its historical foundation. All other religions ask you to suspend reason and leap into the mists of human imagination, or when claiming to be fact-based, they discourage unbiased critical investigation of their historical claims by outsiders. Lee Strobel, with long experience in legal investigation, a skeptic but with respect for evidence, was the perfect choice to test the Biblical case. He found it solid. Beyond that, it changed his life for the better – as his wife and daughter found. If you are not a Christian, you owe it to yourself to find out whether the claims of Christ can be trusted. What better way than this documentary? Watch it, study the bonus features, and follow up on the resources listed for further investigation, till you arrive at your own verdict. Read the Bible. Study, think and learn. At least make an informed decision about this important subject rather than trusting your emotions, your background prejudices, or whatever your friends happen to think.
If you are a Christian, you will be strengthened and motivated by this DVD. Ted Baehr urged people to get it and share it with family members, neighbors, co-workers – everyone you know. In light of the crisis over Christ seen in academia (see next entry), we heartily concur. We also encourage students at Olivet, Baylor, SMU and other colleges to respectfully share copies of it with their Darwin-loving professors – after first getting their response to Strobel’s prior (and equally outstanding) DVD on intelligent design, The Case for a Creator. Anyone still holding onto their skepticism might just reveal ulterior motives for denying the evidence.