When I first saw the trailer, my immediate thoughts were “oh great, another Christian movie that’ll most likely be awful.” Let’s be honest here, a lot of them are just plain terrible. Only handful of them are good such as Ben-hur, Passion of the Christ, and Hacksaw Ridge. The fact that so many awful Christian movies exist makes the community look bad and embarrassing. I went to a Willow Creek service to see Lee Strobel get interviewed by pastors and said they already saw the movie and thought it was pretty good. Of course that did nothing to change my skepticism because it sounds biased. Lee admits how terrible Christian movies can be but assures this won’t be bad. So I decided to give the movie a chance before immediately writing it off. So how does The Case for Christ stack up? It’s actually quite decent!
I knew of The Case for Christ book for many years since I own a copy of it, but shame on me for not reading it (yet). What really caught my interest was Lee’s desire, as an atheist, to debunk the existence of Christ and the faith. The story starts when his wife became a christian after a friend sharing the gospel with her. This enrages him because this new purpose of life his wife found is taking away her away from him. It’s actually amusing of him to think that she’s cheating on him for Jesus. So there begins a journey of Lee, as a professional journalist, to seek the origins of Jesus trying to find loopholes to prove Christianity wrong that it’s nothing more than a cult. Long story short, he finds enough solid irrefutable evidence that concludes God does exist, Jesus is the real deal, and converts to the Christian faith. There’s a certain theme in this movie that does a fine job depicting truth. When someone looks into a case with presupposition or bias, that prevents them from seeing the whole picture.
Yes, I’m quite surprised the movie was pretty good. Some scenes were well shot especially the cathedral where Lee walks in. The acting was decent throughout. No one annoyed me. The pacing was consistent. Aesthetically, I’m not too sure about this. It takes place in the 1980s so there were some questionable things like the lifestyles during that time. One scene that nearly teared me up was the father and son relationship of Lee and his pops. It’s a very relatable thing for me since I struggle that same issue. What’s interesting is, I never knew that most well known atheist had either abusive fathers or were abandoned by them. This was addressed in the movie by a psychologist Lee meets in the 3rd act of the movie.
As for my criticisms, nothing major but some personal nitpicks. First is how watered down this movie is compared to what Lee’s testimony really was. He described himself as a profane drunkard who would come home and kick a hole in the wall making his wife and kid cry. I guess they really wanted to keep the PG rating in order to make this movie friendly enough to the youngsters. 2nd, I really wish they went into more detail of the evidence that was shown here, but that would run the risk of info dumping making the movie dry and boring. Nonetheless, it went straight to the point. I’ve heard some criticisms about scenes not actually happened in real life, such as Lee’s family in the restaurant incident in the beginning of the movie. Now I haven’t read the book so I have no clue. Whether this was true or not is irrelevant to me because it’s dramatized and the main focus is the investigative journey. For the sake of the script, there had to be a catalyst to get the plot going. There’s not a single movie based on history or biography that’s 100% accurate. If it was, I doubt anyone would had the attention span to sit through the entire thing. Heck, this even includes fictional book movie adaptations.
Other than that, I think this movie is worth the watch at least once, whether you’re a Christian or not. It dwells straight into the apologetics without too much detail. I don’t think it’s that good of a movie to own but it does deserve a recognition for being one of the better Christian movies out there.
Here’s a hilarious review from David Wood. Watch it!
Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt. – Exodus 23:9
When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God. – Leviticus 19:33-34
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. – John 3:16-17
Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval. – John 6:27
The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. – Acts 17:24-25
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. – John 15:13
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. – Revelation 3:20
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. – Matthew 5:3-11
Of course, there’s plenty more to post but I think I’ll stop here for now. For any truth seekers out there, I just want to let you know that there’s a God who loves you unconditionally. 🙂
I’m currently reading this book called No God but One, and have come across this amazing text.
It is virtually impossible to study these matters objectively. Not only do we all have a vested interest in defending the faiths we and our social circles have believed for years, but our beliefs color the way we receive information. The same data will be interpreted differently by people from disparate worldviews…our presuppositions affect the way we interpret the evidence, and we often see what we want to see.
What a compelling observation. That is one of the most intellectual things I’ve read in years.
As everyone knows, the law has passed meaning all 50 states allows gay marriage. Personally, as a heterosexual man, I could care less. It’s got nothing to do with me and brings no harm. One of my best friends is gay and he’s not living in this country. When I found out about his sexuality, did it change the way I treat him? Absolutely not! He’s one of the nicest friends I’ve ever met and I owe him so much for everything he’s done for me. Thank God for a friend like him. As much as I dislike homosexuality, I can never hate on homosexuals. They’re human beings like myself.
One thing that does bring me to attention is the church aspect of things. If a pastor or priest rejects gay marriage ceremonies being held in their churches, they get fined with lawsuits or possibly arrested. I find this completely ridiculous. A church should have every right to reject the ceremony. It practically brings down the very foundation of what the church stands for. I feel sorry for all the church leaders who have to face this staggering issue because it goes against the very core of their beliefs. Besides, why would a gay couple want to hold a ceremony in a holy place that stands contrary to what they’re doing? It’s like the law requires churches to congratulate sinners for sinning. I seriously worry about this country’s future on its society. While many say this country is finally one step in the right direction, I beg to differ. I fear that persecution will arrive – Christians and Catholics being the dominant targets. It’ll be the book of Acts all over again. I find it strange to see heterosexuals to be marching with the gays/lesbians. What does it have to do with them? Are they supporting the cause because one of their family members or friends is one of them?…. Or is it a pedestal for atheists to rise their hate against religion & faith? I don’t know. It’s really sad when the Ferguson news was happening, most people projected their attention to the something else other than the victim’s family who was in need of heart to heart support. They simply used that event to justify their own rights, and thus, all that violent protest and looting. I could imagine the same happening here. If the court has given the choice for same sex couples to marry, then why not give churches the choice to reject?
I understand times change, but redefining biblical things from a cultural and political stance to a point where it becomes a law is unacceptable. There’s a reason why churches have some conservatives within their foundation. All I can do is pray, love, and forgive them as Jesus did for us.
For a bible adapted TV show, this is surprisingly decent. But then again, I’m a christian so that means my opinion will be biased.
The show starts with the crucifixion of Jesus, but the real meat of the story begins where his disciples go back to Jerusalem to spread the gospel after Jesus ascends to heaven. In other words, the book of Acts. The biggest problem I have with many bible tv or movie adaptations are sanitation to make it family friendly for mainstream viewers. Thankfully here, most of the content wasn’t held back. What’s interesting here is the show combines the biblical stories with the historical events, so we get to see what’s happening on the Roman’s side that never recorded in the bible while all apostles are spreading the word of the gospel. I think Peter’s actor is perfect for the role where it actually felt like Peter. I had to read the book of Acts again to confirm how true the show was to the source material. Right now, the current episodes are at where Saul is now Paul thanks to a certain encounter out in the desert and from that point on, things get really interesting. Based on multiple sources, the first season will be 12 episodes total. It’d be a miracle to see a 2nd season announced. The production levels are decently high, but not Game of Thrones level. I’ve shown the series to both my pastor and mother, so far they’ve been impressed.
If I really had any criticism at this point, it would be some of the cliche special effect that’s commonly used in many Hollywood movies. I’ve heard complaints on the acting being over dramatic but considering the times back then, people were very touchy on their beliefs. But to see a show like this aired on network television? Now that’s an achievement.
You can watch the most recent episodes for free here! http://www.nbc.com/ad-the-bible-continues/episodes
Based on an article I was reading…
4. Christianity Supports Science
Collins said if he were given the opportunity to debate Bill Nye, he would start out “by insisting that the Christian faith gives us grounds for scientific enterprise because it assures us that the God who made the world also made our minds so we can understand the world and manipulate it.” Christianity presents an understanding of the world uniquely suited for scientific discovery.
Meyer agreed, referring to the history of science. “It is a widely recognized point by leading historians of science that science in its modern form came out of an early Christian milieu that the world would submit itself to rational investigation precisely because the world had been made by a rational creator who had also made our minds,” he said. Christians in the late medieval period investigated nature “to figure out how God put it together because they realized God was free and could have made it any number of ways.”
THIS! So this!
There was a certain sermon that my pastor preached upon that deals with God’s way of doing things whether it sense or not. It was the most thought provoking thing that occurred to me up to this day. When it comes to the birth and the resurrection of Jesus, nonbelievers will dismiss that as utter nonsense because it makes absolutely no sense to them. My pastor said, “A God that makes sense isn’t a God, but a God that doesn’t make sense is a God.” Sounds illogical while at the same time it’s logical. Being reminded about Jesus, the thought totally sunk in. God works in mysterious ways we’ll never understand. Because humanity is so self righteous and prideful, people will call it BS when things are beyond our understanding. But what does this have to do with the article? Well let me explain. People who don’t know about God (not atheists) wants science to prove the existence of higher power. Science is an absolute necessity for humanity, however it has its limits. And those limits are us, as in human beings. We humans were created by our creator. Get it? I’ll put it to you this way. For example, let’s just say I’m god and I created the world and people. I give them a fraction of my knowledge that’s sufficient for their needs. If I give them everything, then the whole purpose of “God” renders meaningless because they won’t need me or worship me. Everything I’ll do will easily compute since their level of understanding is the same as mine. Hopefully that clears it up. To those people who are clinging to science to prove the afterlife or anything spirituality, well you’re at a dead end. As long as we’re alive, we’re capped by what we have. Coming to that realization, everything became clear to me and my faith in Christ is 100% secure. The question is do you accept creationism as the truth or do you reject it?