What would you feel if the story of your life was made it into a feature film? And what would it be like to sit down in the theater and take it in?
Lee Strobel is one of the very few who knows the answers. The Case for Christ, a movie celebrated by audiences and critics alike, tells the story of Lee’s quest to disprove his wife’s newfound faith in Jesus.
He explains what an odd – but joyful – experience this has been.
“Well, it’s not only weird, it’s a little uncomfortable. Because I’m not proud of a lot of my behavior before I was a Christian. We knew as we made this film that we had to be honest about everything, and so we decided it was worth the risk of some embarrassment in order to get out the story and get out the Gospel.”
“So that’s a little uncomfortable – to see some of the private arguments that Leslie and I had. And some of my drinking and misbehaving before I was a Christian put on the big screen. But I think it’s certainly been worth it.”
To tell a story of years in a two hour feature film usually means the story gets changed in fundamental ways. But Lee says the filmmakers did a splendid job. He only notes one variance. Facial hair.
“I didn’t have a mustache! That was artistic license. I wish I could grow a mustache like that. I’ve never been able to.”
But he says The Case for Christ really captures the spirit of his story.
“You have to have some composite characters. You have to do some time shifting and so forth, but I’d say about 85% of it is accurate. Some of it is so accurate that it just sends chills down our spines to see it up on the big screen.”
“They do a great job – the cast was terrific. Brian Bird, the screenwriter, really captured our story. We had spent about a week with him really going through our story. And, of course I’m a friend of Brian’s, so he’s known me for years. John Gunn, the director, was really careful to say, ‘We want to respect your story and honor it.’ So yeah. There are some compromises, but overall it’s a very accurate picture.”