A woman, Leslie Strobel, converts to Christianity in the new Pure Flix film The Case for Christ (2017) and, wisely, it is depicted with subtlety. Her husband Lee also converts (at the end of the film), but by then subtlety is gone. The unbelievers in the audience squirm. The Case for Christ is ALMOST squirm-proof, however, as it proffers some interesting material about a busy atheist and his uncommon marriage.
Lee and Leslie are real-life persons, Lee being a former Chicago journalist. Selfish and loutish, he cannot accept Leslie as a Christian and he tries to discredit the faith through interviewing skeptics and Bible experts about the Resurrection. The info in the interviews supporting the Resurrection we have long been familiar with, but Lee Strobel in the late 1970s was not familiar with it. To be sure, it isn’t quite as intellectually strong as screenwriter Brian Bird and director Jon Gunn think it is, but it is strong. All the same, Kevin McLenithan is right that “Brian Bird’s great contribution [to the film] is to make Strobel’s marriage, rather than his investigation, the centerpiece of the story.” It is this that is interesting. Leslie tells a frustrated Lee that now that she has found Jesus Christ, she loves her husband even more than she did previously, and it rings true. The very thing, this, that no atheist or agnostic can possibly, truly understand.
As Lee and Leslie, Mike Vogel and Erika Christensen are splendidly persuasive, and effective also are Alfie Davis and Robert Forster. The movie has a knowing, talented cinematographer in Brian Shanley.
Onward, Pure Flix, and next time, more subtlety!
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