Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

The Case for Christ opens nationwide in theaters today(4/7/17). The Pure Flix drama stars Mike Vogel, Erika Christensen, Faye Dunaway, and Robert Forster. Directed by: Jon Gunn/Written by: Brian Bird. Rated PG (for cigarette smoking and medical descriptions of the Crucifixion). Running time: 112 minutes.


Synopsis (from the film’s website): A hard-driving journalist, Lee Strobel was exactly where he expected to be at work: on top. His award-winning investigative reporting recently earned him a promotion to legal editor at the Chicago Tribune. But things weren’t going nearly as well at home where his wife Leslie’s newfound faith in Christ went against everything Lee believed—or didn’t believe—as an avowed atheist.

Utilizing his journalistic and legal training, Lee begins a quest to debunk the claims of Christianity in order to save his crumbling marriage. Chasing down the biggest story of his career, Lee comes face-to-face with unexpected results that could change everything he knows to be true.

Review: Besides making a genuinely strong case for the reality of the Resurrection, Pure Flix, the studio perhaps best known for the dramatically tone deaf God’s Not Dead, takes a giant step forward in resurrecting its film-making credibility. That’s thanks largely to a strong and realistic script by faith-themed go-to guy Brian Bird (Captive, The Shunning, When Calls the Hear, Touched by an Angel) and taut direction by Jon Gunn (Mercy Streets).  Their respective efforts are well served by strong performances from the cast, particularly stars Mike Vogel and Erika Christensen as the couple caught in the crossfire of faith and reason — who ultimately discover that there’s no conflict at all.

The film, of course, is based on Lee Strobel’ bestselling book which would seem to have been more of a basis for a documentary rather than a drama. But the drama works surprisingly well. On a personal note, I worked as one of the producers on Lee Strobel’s PAX TV series Faith Under Fire. He was great to work for and though he sometimes spoke of his conversion experience, the film really helps me appreciate his story in a way I didn’t comprehend before.

The Case for Christ works both as drama and logical persuasion, making it a very successful faith-based film that is Highly-Recommended.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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