Lee Strobel wasn't just a non-believer. He was, in his own words, a "militant, hostile atheist" - and then his wife, Leslie, became a Christian. A Harvard-educated investigative reporter with the Chicago Tribune, Lee set out to build a case to disprove his wife's newfound faith.
However, after a two-year in-depth investigation of Christianity, including numerous interviews with biblical scholars and historians, Lee found his heart, mind, and entire worldview radically transformed.
Lee's incredible story of moving from spiritual skeptic to dedicated believer is now the subject of a major motion picture from Pure Flix, appropriately titled "The Case for Christ", based on Lee's 1998 bestseller of the same name. Set in the late 1970's, "The Case for Christ" is a moving, heartfelt drama set focused on Lee's investigation itself, its impact on his relationship with his wife, and how, exactly, it led him to become a Christian.
During the red carpet premiere for "The Case for Christ" in Chicago on Friday, Lee told The Gospel Herald he believes this film will appeal to both the skeptic searching for answers and the seasoned believer.
"It's an opportunity to reach a whole new crowd with the truth of Christianity in creative way," he said. "It's a story of spiritual journey, absolutely. But, it's also a love story between myself and Leslie; it's a father and son relationship; it's a story of big-city journalism - I believe this film will spark conversations."
Screenwriter Brian Bird - a 30-year veteran of the Hollywood film and television business and an old friend of both Lee and Leslie - told GH "The Case for Christ" is "the most meaningful thing that I've ever done." He expressed hope that the film helps Christians "inoculate themselves against doubt."
"Our young people are falling away in droves because the culture's a better teacher than we are," he said. "We're not discipling our kids, and the tsunami has already hit. It's a huge problem. The people who already have faith need an inoculation against doubt."
For those who don't believe, Bird said, "The Case for Christ" will "stir up deep, soul cravings" that "can be answered because the research is so profound."
"It's an avalanche," he said "I pray that those cravings will drive people to the door of the church where pastors can do the rest, real relationships. Because our movie is a picture on a wall, it's a catalyst. We ask great questions, but those questions need to be answered...in relationship with real, flesh-and-blood people who can hand over the great cure for everything."
"The Case for Christ" is directed Jonathan M. Gunn ("Do You Believe?") and produced by Michael Scott, David A.R. White, Karl Horstmann and Brittany Lefebvre. The film stars Mike Vogel ("The Help") as Lee Strobel, Erika Christensen ("Parenthood") as Leslie Strobel, Faye Dunaway ("Bonnie and Clyde") as Dr. Roberta Waters, Robert Forster ("Jackie Brown") as Walter Strobel, Frankie Faison ("The Wire") as Joe Dubois and L. Scott Caldwell ("Lost") as Alfie Davis.