Did the Resurrection really happen?

Review: The Case for Christ

(PG) Mike Vogel, Erika Christensen, Faye Dunaway

*Win your copy of The Case for Christ here*

The basis of the Christian faith lies with the unwavering belief that Jesus, the son of God, died for our sins and was resurrected. To debunk this historical event would be to expose shaky ground a whole religion is based upon and that is exactly what Chicago Tribune investigative reporter Lee Strobel set out to do.

After the international success of the novel, with the same name, how will this true story translate to the big screen?

Will his documented attempt to disprove the resurrection of Jesus be taken serious by today’s audiences?

The film follows Lee Strobel (Mike Vogel) as he puts his analytical skills to the story of biblical accounts of the New Testament. During his time as an award-winning journalist and outspoken atheist he is confronted with the impact of Christianity in his own personal life. Due to a traumatic life experience and his wife’s decision to become a follower of Jesus, Strobel sets out to expose this religion as being a centuries old hoax.

Strobel embarks on an expedition to support his scientific point of view and to show Leslie (Erika Christensen) that she has chosen the wrong path of belief. Throughout his investigation, Lee has the opportunity to interview some of the leading minds in theology, archaeology and science, which leads him down a path to startling results that will have an impact on his life, his family and those who meet him along the way.

Being based in the 1980’s, the production team is given a gift of portraying an era that has become the latest fascination for moviegoers. A time when journalism was managed through personal interviews, phones that were connected to the wall and when news was still primarily found on AM radio and sought after from newspapers.

The production quality is exceptionally well handled throughout and provides a believable backdrop for Strobel’s life-changing story. The production is accompanied by a strong cast and solid writing that is reminiscent of 2015’s Spotlight.

At the heart of the story, the relationship between the Strobels and the passion on both sides of this theological quest makes for praiseworthy entertainment and introduces the compelling evidence found in the book. It does conclude with a stereotypical ending for this genre, but this should not dissuade anyone from considering this cinematic gem.

For many Christians, Strobel’s book has become a mainstay for the discussion of theological apologetics and could mean that they will be familiar with the content of the script. This should not deter fans of the book from getting along to see this well-crafted drama for the sake of their viewing pleasure as well as for encouragement.

For those who are not acquainted with this book or the details of Christianity, The Case for Christ does make for an enjoyable time at the cinema and it may even inspire others to consider a personal expedition of faith.

This is a surprisingly good film that should be a consideration of film lovers, regardless of their current faith position.

Looking Deeper

As seen in the film, there have been a myriad of books and articles written on the topic of the resurrection of Jesus. Like Lee Strobel, many skeptics have attempted to debunk this significant event in history. If you find yourself in the position of wanting to investigate this topic, here are a few areas to consider first and then some key links for further study on the subject.

Questions to consider

  • How reliable is the historical evidence in relationship to the resurrection?
  • Can we trust documents that have an apparent religious bias?
  • Who were the witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection? How do they provide credibility or cause concern for the evidence?
  • Regardless of your opinion of God, theism and atheism are all faith-based positions. How great is your faith in that position? Why?

Resources

This article first appeared on ABC Online Opinion and Analysis
A personal faith: from doubt to convictionAn interview with William Lane Craig

Russell Matthews works for City Bible Forum Sydney and is a film blogger




2 thoughts on “Did the Resurrection really happen?

  1. Robert Landbeck

    Exposing “this religion as being a centuries old hoax” is certainly about to happen but not by the likes of Mr. Strobel’s wishful thinking, books or film, although ironically, his critique of Christianity, like those of so many other atheists, can be given some credit for the courage to confront religious hypocrisy, both intellectual and moral, softening up the ground so to speak! Yet this ancient theological counterfeit is going down not to atheist raving, but to the same scientific paradigm of Enlightenment thinking that many atheists would say they hold too? We shall see. For as truth exposes what is untrue, so a right choice can be made among many competing claims, the catalyst is much more profound!

    The first wholly new interpretation for two thousand years of the moral teachings of Christ has been published. Radically different from anything else we know of from theology or history, this new teaching is predicated upon the ‘promise’ of a precise, predefined, predictable and repeatable experience of transcendent omnipotence and called ‘the first Resurrection’ in the sense that the Resurrection of Jesus was intended to demonstrate Gods’ willingness to reveal Himself and intervene directly into the natural world for those obedient to His Command, paving the way for access, by faith, to the power of divine Will and ultimate proof!

    Thus ‘faith’ becomes an act of trust in action, the search along a defined path of strict self discipline, [a test of the human heart] to discover His ‘Word’ of a direct individual intervention into the natural world by omnipotent power that confirms divine will, law, command and covenant, which at the same time, realigns our mortal moral compass with the Divine, “correcting human nature by a change in natural law, altering biology, consciousness and human ethical perception beyond all natural evolutionary boundaries.”

    So like it or no, a new religious teaching, testable by faith, meeting all Enlightenment criteria of evidence based causation and definitive proof now exists. Nothing short of an intellectual, moral and religious revolution is getting under way. To test or not to test, that is the question? More info at http://www.energon.org.uk

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  2. Warren Bird

    Nothing to do with ”enlightenment criteria”. Goes back as far as the apostle Paul who said that if Christ is not risen (that is bodily, after actual death) then our faith is pointless. No amount of gobbledygook masquerading as wisdom can deflect from the significance of this issue. (And BTW gobbledygook masquerading as wisdom was also something the apostle Paul wrote about, often, dismissing it as inferior to the foolishness of God in Christ and the historical gospel. I share that sentiment and choose the foolishness!)

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