Last night my wife and I went to see The Case for Christ, at our local cinema.
I must say that I was pleasantly surprised, although there are some concerns, which I’ll get to later.
The movie is the story of Lee Stobel’s attempt to disprove the resurrection of Christ, ultimately leading to his own conversion to Christianity.
It starts with a chance encounter leading to his wife’s conversion. Lee’s response to his wife’s conversion was one of anger and frustration. When talking to another reporter at the Chicago Tribune, he was told “Christianity is built on the resurrection of Christ. If you can destroy the resurrection of Christ the whole thing will come crumbling down like a house of cards”.
Being an investigative reporter Strobel approaches the resurrection the same way he would approach any journalistic assignment. In the quest to disprove the resurrection he speaks to a number of experts on a variety of subjects, such as an archaeologist, a medical doctor, a psychologist, and others.
Interwoven in his quest is the story of the stress he put his family through.
It is an engaging story which will keep you interested from the beginning to the end!
As I said, there are some concerns;
While the movie does a good job of examining the evidence for the resurrection, I was disappointed that there was no clear presentation of the gospel. Without the gospel, there is no reason for the crucifixion, or the resurrection!
There is no discussion of sin, or the fact that it separates us from God for eternity.
In a movie about the resurrection of Christ there is no discussion, or even mention, of the reason for its occurrence!
The Church in the movie is Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, Illinois. This is the church founded by Bill Hybels. This Church is deep into the “seeker friendly” errors, and is associated with Saddleback Church of Rick Warren, and the Purpose-Driven crowd. I wrote a chapter in The Spirit of Prophecy about the myriad of serious errors in Rick Warren’s book.
Willow Creek is also heavily into “Dominionist” and “Kingdom now” theology, which is a serious theological error. Closely related to this is “Replacement Theology” which denies that God has a plan for national Israel. This would account for the fact that Senior Pastor Hybel’s wife, Lynn Hybels, is a sponsor of the “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference in Bethlehem, Israel, which is nothing less than an anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, hate-fest!
Willow Creek Church also promotes Contemplative Spirituality, which is nothing less than an invasion of the Church by Pagan practices! There is nothing Christian about Contemplative Prayer!
The Willow Creek Association is nothing less than fulfillment of Jesus words of Matthew 24:5
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Just because someone names the name of Christ, it does not mean that they are theologically sound! Very often false teachers use a Christian testimony as a means to gain credibility in order to teach error to a larger crowd! I hope this is not the case with Stobel.
Still, Lee Strobel is no longer at Willow Creek, though I have no information if it is because of theological differences, or merely that he took a job out-of-state.
The archaeologist he spoke to in the movie is a Roman Catholic Priest. While there was nothing wrong in the evidence the priest presented, the problem I have is that this tends to give credence to Rome and their wicked system. There are lots of protestant experts in the biblical texts. I wish he had spoken to one of them!
Really there was nothing about doctrine of any sort in the movie!
Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. I Timothy 4:13
So, those are my concerns with this movie, and if you keep these in mind the rest of the movie is still worth watching.
For further research;