Former atheist turned Christian apologist Lee Strobel said when his wife converted to Christianity, his first thought was to divorce her, but God had other plans.
He described in a new edition of his book, “The Case for Christ,” how his wife’s conversion to the Christian faith affected him and their marriage.
Strobel had been an atheist since he was a teenager and believed that God was nothing more than an “absurd” invention that stemmed from people’s fears.
"I thought that the mere concept of an all-loving, all-powerful, all-knowing Creator of the universe was absurd,” he said in an interview with The Christian Post. “I thought that God didn't create people, but people created God because they were aftraid of death — so they invented this idea of Heaven.”
He would mock Christians who believed that Jesus is God, and he displayed hostility toward the Christian faith.
In an article from Lifeway, Strobel recounted how his relationship with his dad affected his life and eventually his path to becoming an atheist.
“I was always trying to achieve things to impress him and earn his love, but I felt like I fell short,” Strobel said. “He told me he didn’t have enough love for me to fill his little finger.”
He had a heated argument with his father the night before he graduated from high school. After that time, he lived far away from home and kept a civil relationship with his dad but never truly reconciled with him.
He built his career, earning a journalism degree and a law degree, and becoming an award-winning legal editor at The Chicago Tribune. And he lived his life as an atheist.
His adherence to atheism was disturbed when his wife, through a woman who lived in the same building they did, was introduced to Jesus Christ and converted to Christianity. At the time, he considered divorcing her.
He was expecting her to change for the worst, but to his surprise, he found positive changes in her attitude and character. Intrigued by these changes, he studied Christianity using his skills as an investigative journalist.
“As someone trained to deal with facts and logic, I wasn’t willing to put my faith in wishful thinking or make-believe. I needed solid evidence that Jesus is, indeed, the unique Son of God,” he said, according to Lifeway.
Two years later, Strobel concluded from his research that Christianity was real.
“Based on scientific evidence, I became convinced that there’s a Creator of the universe, and based on historical data, I became confident [in] Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God. [He] backed up that claim by returning from the dead,” Strobel said.
In 1981, he surrendered his life to Christ.
Today, Strobel and his wife are enjoying a strong marriage together. Their story and their journey toward Christianity will be featured in a Pureflix movie production set for release next year.
"It's a love story," Strobel told The Christian Post, adding he was glad to have the opportunity to share his story to those who would otherwise not be interested in reading his 300-page book. "I'm excited because I think we'll reach a whole new generation of people and get the message to folks who may not otherwise hear it."