This Weekend, Movie Goers Have a Chance to See The Case for Christ
It should be old news by now: The Christian faith is under persecution in our country. Granted, it’s not the way it is in some parts of the world. Few of us lose our jobs, and even fewer lose our lives for our faith. But notice what Jesus said about it in Matthew 5:11: “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” He’s got it sandwiched in between being reviled and being lied about, as if he thinks they belong together.
Ask a Christian college student what it’s really like when other students laugh at her moral views. Ask another student what it’s like when a professor ridicules Christian faith as “believing what you know isn’t true.” Professor Peter Boghossian of Portland State University wrote an entire Manual for Creating Atheists, which relies on distorted definitions for faith like that one. Indeed, the more he can get people to think the faith is irrational belief, the more atheists he’s likely to create.
In truth, faith is the heart’s attitude of trust toward what the mind has good reasons to believe is true.
So how do we keep faith strong when we’re under this kind of pressure? Having good reasons to believe sure helps! In fact, when Christians in the first century came under fire, God gave them reasons to keep on trusting. He let them know that Christian faith was good thinking.
One great example is in the book of Hebrews. In fact you could say it is the book of Hebrews. The whole book is an extended persuasive case, a list of solid reasons to hold on to faith in Christ when the pressure was on to abandon it.
The sorts of reasons the Hebrews needed then aren’t the same as we need now. They were different people in different circumstances. Still, the point’s the same: When there’s pressure to abandon faith in Jesus Christ, we need to know there are good reasons to stick with it. And there are. You can find those reasons throughout the Bible itself; you can find them in history; you can find them in science.
And once in a while you can even find them in popular entertainment.
This week a new movie, The Case for Christ will do just that. Starring Mike Vogel, Erika Christensen and Faye Dunaway, and directed by Jon Gunn, The Case for Christ tells the story of Lee Strobel, an atheistic Chicago journalist who went looking to prove Christianity wasn’t true. What he found instead was a powerful list of reasons in history, science and more, to believe it is true. The screenplay is partly autobiographical: It is Brian Bird’s adaptation of Lee Strobel’s book of the same name. It’s the story of a tough investigative reporter, a newsroom, a marriage under stress, and confrontations with a whole new way of thinking and believing.
Early word on the movie is that it’s has a strong story, and not merely a strong message, as some other Christian films have been prone to be. Produced by PureFlix, it opens nationwide this Friday.
I’m looking forward to enjoying it for the story in it; and also to have my faith strengthened — for whatever may be coming our way.