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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Case for Christ is a faith-based drama that deals with issues/topics including marriage, family dysfunction, and the death of a parent; gangs and shootings are also discussed. Crucifixion is described in detail (from a medical perspective) and illustrated via painting details, and death is also discussed. A married couple kisses, and there are brief references to prostitution. Characters drink, sometimes to excess (one drives drunk on at least one occasion), and there's some cigarette smoking.
What's the story?
Based on Lee Strobel's autobiographical book of the same name, THE CASE FOR CHRIST tells the story of Strobel (Mike Vogel), a Pulitzer Prize-nominated investigative reporter, writer, and atheist who seeks to disprove God's existence. It’s 1980, and Strobel is happily married to Leslie (Erika Christensen) and has just been promoted to legal editor of the Chicago Tribune. But when the Strobels' daughter’s (Haley Rosenwasser) life is saved by an openly Christian nurse (L. Scott Caldwell), Leslie leans in to faith. As his wife's commitment to Christ grows, Strobel uses his journalistic and legal training to disprove the deity's existence. In the process, he fails to focus on a major police shooting case he’s been assigned to investigate, which has unexpected consequences.
Is it any good?
This faith-based film dramatically chronicles Strobel’s personal struggle with -- and difficult journey toward -- Christianity. It reveals how the facts Strobel collected from priests, scholars, psychologists, and medical doctors created a logical, medically sound argument in support of Jesus’ resurrection. The movie also highlights some of the gaps in the arguments of those who reject God’s existence, including the fact that Jesus was human and flawed.
Thanks to its more mainstream storytelling style, viewers may find The Case for Christ a little less preachy than similarly themed movies. The focus on journalism gives it a little edge, too. But the film still clearly and openly reinforces a Judeo-Christian belief system. Folks who enjoy Christian-themed dramas will enjoy and/or be inspired by it, but it may not appeal to broader audiences.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about The Case for Christ's messages and themes. Do you have to be Christian to appreciate them? Is that true for other/most faith-based films?
What specific facts did Lee uncover that led him to change his mind about the existence of God? Was it just facts that led him to change his mind? How does the movie depict the journalistic process?
- In theaters: April 7, 2017
- On DVD or streaming: August 15, 2017
- Cast: Mike Vogel, Erika Christensen, L. Scott Caldwell
- Director: Tom Gunn
- Studio: Pure Flix Entertainment
- Genre: Drama
- Character Strengths: Perseverance
- Run time: 112 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: thematic elements including medical descriptions of crucifixion, and incidental smoking
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