I Have a Movie Recommendation for You

Movie review-The Case for ChristI was pleasantly surprised when I recently 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. Christian films have a reputation for being predictable.

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 several 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. (See my previous post if that topic interests you.)

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 right 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”!

Update:  I’m starting artwork for my next kids’ book, The Friendly City. I’ll keep you posted!

6 thoughts on “I Have a Movie Recommendation for You

  1. Yes, I’m surprised this movie didn’t sell more tickets with word of mouth. It looks like it dropped out of all NoCo theaters this weekend. I’m not a movie snob and I appreciate most Christian themed movies, but Case for Christ really was well done.

    People always gripe that Christian based movies lack quality acting, dialog and realism. Well this one has all those, but many Christians will still avoid it because a character’s faith is a significant plot development and that is automatically “cheesy”.

    Thanks for the review.

    • Agreed, Travis!
      I kinda wonder if a different title could’ve brought more unchurched people to the movie. But on the other hand, “The Case for Christ” is a well known book title in evangelicalism, so maybe it was smart to use the more familiar title. Maybe it will do well as a video on the strength of its word of mouth reputation. At any rate, I agree that we should give credit where credit is due.

  2. Scott,
    You are making a difference for THE KINGDOM. Seeing you in St. Louis after your father’s home going was a privilege. Praying for you and your precious family.
    Sue Marsh

  3. Kathy and I went to see it with a couple of friends. Actually, I did not want to go. I knew the story very well and just wanted to stay home and read a book – typical me. But I’m glad I went. I agree with everything you said Scott. It was very well done – written, directed, and acted. I also really liked your point that the atheist was not depicted as an evil person but someone with a moral compass. This is very important for our theology, our preaching, and our interaction with those who do not know Christ. I highly recommend this movie … and I’m glad Lee Strobel is “on our side.”

    • I went with a large group of people and none of us had seen it. I went on the strength of the trailer which impressed me with the Strobel character’s awesome 1980s hair. Thanks for your affirming thoughts!

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