Lee Strobel is a highly acclaimed author, professor, Yale Law School Alumni and fellow follower of Jesus Christ. His faith-journey is also the plot line of a new movie based around his best selling novel The Case for Christ.
The 65-year-old has been chasing after Jesus for years, but unlike many before him, he found his faith by using science and facts to actually disprove the belief that Jesus rose from the dead.
Strobel was the legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, and he was widely known for his skepticism, saying, “I needed evidence before I’d believe anything.”
After his agnostic wife, Leslie, explored her beliefs through a period of spiritual investigation, she told Strobel that she’d decided to become a follower of Jesus Christ.
“I thought, ‘You know, this is the worst possible news I could get,’” he explains.” I thought she was going to turn into some sexually repressed prude who was going to spend all her time serving the poor in skid row somewhere. I thought this was the end of our marriage.”
Leslie did change, but to Strobel’s surprise, the new version of his spouse was a welcome presence in their home.
“I saw positive changes in her values, in her character, in the way she related to me and the children. It was winsome; and it was attractive; and it made me want to check things out. So I went to church one day…mainly to see if I could get her out of this cult that she had gotten involved in.”
In his visit to the church, Strobel says he heard the message of Jesus taught in a way that was far different from what he’d experienced before—this time he could understand it. The pastor explained that forgiveness is a free gift, and Jesus died for our sins so that we could spend eternity with our almighty and all-loving father in heaven.
“I walked out saying—I was still an atheist—but also saying, ‘If this is true, this has huge implications for my life.’”
Strobel spent the next year and nine months putting his legal training and experience in journalism research to investigate whether or not there was any credibility to Christianity—or any other faith system.
Through all of his research, Strobel came to the conclusion that it would require more faith for him to continue being an atheist, than it would for him to follow Jesus and become a Christian.
“To be an atheist I would have to swim upstream against this torrent of evidence pointing toward the truth of Jesus Christ. And I couldn’t do that. I was trained in journalism and law to respond to truth.”
So on that day—November 8, 1991, Lee Strobel received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. No longer atheist and agnostic beings, the Strobels were now sons and daughters of the most High.
“Just like with my wife, my life began to change. Over time my values, my character, the purpose of my life began to be transformed over time in a way that, as I look back, I can’t imagine staying on the path I was on compared to the adventure and the fulfillment and the joy of following Jesus Christ.”
Strobel took his findings and turned them into a series of novels, including The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith, The Case for the Creator, and a handful of others that dive into the history of Jesus, the existence of God and the beliefs of Christianity.
The Case for Christ has now been made into a feature film, and is set to hit theaters on April 7.
“We felt like there’s a lot of people who are curious about faith and wonder whether there’s any real evidence that God exists and that Jesus is who he claimed to be, and we thought, you know, if it can help people come to some resolution of that or begin their own investigation, then it’s worth kind of putting ourselves out there that way,” Strobel explained in an interview with Newsmax TV.
He says the historical evidence that the resurrection was an actual event that took place is persuasive and powerful. It’s what led him to become a Christian.
Though he admits it was “disconcerting,” to watch his own life portrayed on the big screen, Strobel is adamant that the film is not your typical Jesus movie.
“What I love about the film is that it doesn’t preach. Yet, the message of Jesus is woven into it in a creative and very compelling way.”
“A lot of faith-based films tend to be, if we’re honest, a little cringeworthy, a little cheesy. And there’s none of that in this movie. This is a movie that is so well done from a production standpoint, the acting, the script, that we really are convinced that Christians will go to it, they’ll be encouraged.”
Check out the film’s trailer below, and be sure to catch The Case For Christ in theaters April 7.