Athe­ist on cru­sade to de­bunk Chris­tian­ity

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ster­na­tion, it isn’t long be­fore his wife be­comes born again. Dur­ing a heated ar­gu­ment about her new­found faith, he bit­terly com­ments that he’s “go­ing to file a miss­ing per­son re­port”.

Des­per­ate to con­vince his wife that her be­liefs are mis­taken, Lee de­cides to in­ves­ti­gate Chris­tian­ity for the pur­pose of de­bunk­ing it.

One of his col­leagues sug­gests he prove that Je­sus didn’t ac­tu­ally rise from the dead, not­ing that such a rev­e­la­tion would cause the re­li­gion to fall apart “like a house of cards”.

And so Lee doggedly pur­sues his story, lin­ing his base­ment with notes and pho­to­graphic ev­i­dence as if he were track­ing down a se­rial killer. He con­sults ex­perts in var­i­ous fields, in­clud­ing medicine, archaeology, re­li­gion, and, most amus­ingly, psy­chi­a­try, the last in the form of a fa­mous shrink (Faye Du­n­away) who in­stantly di­ag­noses that he has daddy is­sues. And in­deed he has, as ev­i­denced by a scene in which Lee’s par­ents come to visit their new grand­child and Lee coldly re­buffs his fa­ther (Robert Forster).

The story of Lee’s anti-Chris­tian­ity quest is in­ter­wo­ven with an­other sto­ry­line in­volv­ing his in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the shoot­ing of a po­lice of­fi­cer. But while the sub­plot strength­ens the char­ac­ter’s jour­nal­is­tic bona fides, it adds lit­tle to the story other than pro­vid­ing the op­por­tu­nity for Frankie Fai­son, play­ing Lee’s hard-boiled ed­i­tor, to ful­mi­nate like Perry White.

That Lee is an athe­ist is made man­i­fest by his con­stantly act­ing like a jerk, in­clud­ing drink­ing heav­ily, ac­ci­den­tally ter­ri­fy­ing his lit­tle girl, and whin­ing to Les­lie “You’re cheat­ing on me with Je­sus!”

She, on the other hand, dis­plays in­fi­nite love and pa­tience with her hus­band, prov­ing that – as was also shown in the faith-based film War Room – Je­sus makes an ideal mar­riage coun­sel­lor.

It isn’t hard to guess the film’s con­clu­sion, in which Lee learns the er­rors of his ways and fi­nally em­braces faith, although, as re­li­gious dec­la­ra­tions go, “All right, God, you win!” doesn’t ex­actly feel di­vinely inspired.

Vo­gel, sport­ing the sort of ’ 80s mous­tache favoured by male porn stars, does well by his lead­ing role, and Chris­tensen makes her char­ac­ter’s con­ver­sion dra­mat­i­cally cred­i­ble. The ap­pear­ances by Du­n­away and Forster are brief, but the old veter­ans none­the­less de­liver like the pro­fes­sion­als they are.

The Case for Christ won’t gar- ner many new con­verts, es­pe­cially since the ev­i­dence pre­sented, at least in the film, proves sketchy at best. But it will cer­tainly please the faith­ful, and proves more en­gross­ing than most films of its ilk.

The movie is also notable for the unique MPAA ex­pla­na­tion of its PG rat­ing: “For the­matic el­e­ments in­clud­ing med­i­cal de­scrip­tions of cru­ci­fix­ion, and in­ci­den­tal smok­ing.” – The Hol­ly­wood Re­porter

The Case For Christ.

Mike Vo­gel plays in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist Lee Stro­bel in

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