a man and his pregnant wife are at a café their daughter chokes on a gumball and almost dies but for the intervention of a nurse. the nurse says that she was directed to that café and not to another one by the Lord. this makes a huge impact in the wife who had a Christian upbringing but was turned off god by her atheist husband. the husband struggles with understanding his wife especially after she becomes a Christian following a further intervention of gods answer to prayer with saving the life of their baby boy. the husband becomes determined to prove Christianity and the message of the bible is untrue by exposing what he calls the myth of the death and resurrection of our lord jesus Christ. his journey takes him to several experts who confound him with the truth with which he struggles. finally he has to admit that the gospel message is true and he believes receives and accepts Christ as his saviour. it was based on a true story of a person who later wrote many Christian books about his journey to faith and he became a pastor and a teacher at a theological college. he is part of willow creek community church pastored by rick warren the author of the purpose driven life. at first his wife responds to the incident in the café by saying she was lucky that she met a Christian nurse. she soon changes her tune to one that acknowledges the influence of Christ in her life. she was the same nurse who helped to deliver both their children. she went to a local church. the nurse influenced her to go to church. the husband lee attacks the nurse verbally and tells her not to come near his family. he was working for the Chicago tribune newspaper. his Christian co-worker challenged him to go for the jugular and examine the truth behind the resurrection. he didn’t feel threatened by the potential that lee might be able to discredit his faith as a result. lee went to a medical doctor, a psychologist, pastors ( including a former archaeologist) as well as his atheist co-worker to obtain source material for his research. his travels took him to California. he found himself becoming increasingly enstranged from his wife as he found himself unable to reconcile himself with her newfound belief in something as opposed to nothing. she was angry at him when their daughter alley or Allison asks who is Jesus because the nurse at the café mentions the name of Jesus influencing her decision to choose the restaurant where alley was choking on her gumball. lee says that Jesus is a fairytale and doesn’t elaborate on who He is. He just says that they are a family of atheists and they don’t believe in God. his wife gets mad because she had previously decided with her husband to let their daughter decide for herself whether or not she believed in God. lee felt like his wife was cheating on him with Jesus. he was hurt when she said that meeting Jesus was the most significant event that had taken place in her life. he felt like he was playing second fiddle to Jesus. this is something we all must do. Jesus said anyone who doesn’t love me more than family and friends isn’t fit for the kingdom of heaven. we must be willing to leave everything else behind in order to follow HIm and remove from our lies everything that doesnt honour HIm . his wife had previously told him I will love you and only you. his boss wouldn’t let him publish a story on his journey from atheism to Christianity cos he said he would be made a laughingstock. his wife prayed successfully that his heart would be turned from a heart of stone into a heart of flesh. his atheist co-worker has a bad relationship with his daughter because he is an atheist and she is a believer. Bertrand russel is quoted in the film. he was known to have had a bad relationship with his father. this is a common thread amongst famous atheistic authors. they often have father wounds. it is often said that the way we think or feel about our father determines the way we think or feel about God. this is evidenced in the movie by lees decision not to call his dad when he gives birth to a son. instead he forces him to read the announcement in the newspaper like everybody else. it wasn’t until he died that he discovered that his dad kept a folder of all his stories and kept the announcement of his joining the Chicago tribune as reporter in his wallet. he never knew that his father was secretly proud of him. from this we can learn the lesson that we always must express our pride in the achievements of those we love as well as our love for them in case we never get the opportunity to tell them. when the pastor presents evidence to lee he shows him a copy of homer’s odyssey as well as fragments of an ancient Egyptian copy of the bible. he says there is more evidence for the historical reliability of the death and resurrection of Jesus than there is for any other historical figure including Julius ceasar and Socrates. we learn from this movie that historical reliability is not discounted but confirmed by contradictions in accounts of the events that occurred cos this dissimilarity would make it less likely for two people to compare notes and fake an account. the closeness in time between Jesus’ resurrection and the first written accounts from unbiased sources is further proof of the accuracy of this event. the American medical association has published proof in their journal that Jesus’ death can be proven by medical evidence cos there is no way that He would have survived being pierced with a spear and blood and water flowing out of HIm which was a result of asphyxiation or losing His breath in His struggle to take one without pain on the cross. He was scourged with bits of bone and glass. He was whipped almost to the point of death which is why it was too much of a burden for HIm to carry the cross all by His lonesome.
one proof we get from the movie of Jesus’ death and resurrection being real is the fact that in a male dominated society the four authors of the gospels of matthew mark luke and john saw fit to mention that Jesus’ resurrected glorified body was first seen by women who went to prepare sweet smelling fragrances for His corpse.
yet further proof is found in the fact that no roman soldier worth his salt would allow a body he was guarding the tomb of to be snuck away on his watch or else his own head would be on the chopping block as a result.
the Islamic faith falsely claims that Jesus’ body was replaced by someone else on the cross or that He was merely sleeping and later resuscitated in secret by the disciples.
there was once somebody who attempted to crucify himself for world peace.
he did not manage to endure the suffering involved.
there was over 500 impartial witnesses to His resurrection including Pharisees who had a vested interest in seeing Him remain dead and yet were unable to deny the proof of His resurrected body walking among them.
also in the movie we see a man wrongfully convicted of injuring a cop.
in truth it was the cop that shot him first so the man sent to jail was set up .
he had shot his gun earlier in another incident that had nothing to do with the cop on that same night.
he was a member of the gangster disciples.
he felt like he was left with no choice but to plead guilty cos the evidence was pointed against him.
lees newspaper had to retract the story of his guilt in injuring a cop.
lee was so sidetracked by trying to prove his wife’s faith wrong that he completely missed the concealed weapon being carried by the cop in the form of an ordinary pen.
the guy he got wrongfully convicted told him that he missed the evidence cos he only saw what he wanted to see.
this is true of the way we all approach God.
at the end of the day it comes down to a personal choice of whether we want to be convicted by the overwhelming evidence for God’s existence all around us.
lees Christian mate told him to put up or shut up in his search for whether Jesus was really who His followers claimed He was cos he had abandoned his search before he reached a conclusion that satisfied his previous delusions about the existence of God.
lee went from a guy who was full of his own ego trying to offload copies of his first published book on everyone in the office to being a humbled guy who approached life from a perspective of seeking to do what is pleasing to do in God’s sight before he satisfied his own personal needs.
in truth we all need to do what is pleasing in Gods sight we just don’t know we do until we want to do it. 🙂
it challenges some people’s perceptions of what exactly constitutes church when lee gives his heart to the Lord in front of his wife not using any fancy words but just pouring out his heart at the feet of Jesus and completely surrendering his life to His will.
we learn from the movie that lees daughter later became a Christian author and his son went to bible college.
lee went from storming out the house on his wife and sleeping on the couch to openly communicating with her about their shared faith and mutual goals to raise their kids in the ways of Jesus.
we get a mild chuckle over the fact that lee’s wife was joking about him doing his research on the bottom of a can of beer 🙂
one of the authors lee spoke to turned to Christ as a result of a personal crisis brought on by the death of his wife.
lee started out being able to talk to his wife about anything under the sun but it wasn’t until he decided to surrender his life to God that they were able to restore a free flow of communication with each other.
it was lee’s daughter who woke him up to his conscience by saying daddy stop being mean to mummy.
too many daddies are mean to their mummies
they may make the excuse that they don’t mean to be
they may even pathetically and in a cowardly manner attempt to pin the blame for their anger onto their spouse when they themselves are responsible for its source.
the reverse is also true in regards to how wives treat their husbands.
we do not see the movie openly explore the fact that the wounded look on the face of lees boss as a result of his story getting an innocent man wrongfully convicted may be influenced by the fact they share the same skin color as well as the personal burden placed upon the reputation of his newspaper as a result of this error in judgement.
his boss hates it when people swing the door shut on him.
only one time in the movie do we see lee respectfully closing the door in deference to his bosses’ personal preference of peace and quiet when he’s in the process of editing his thriving periodical.
it must have taken the African American nurse that helped lees wife all of her self control and good graces not to burst out in anger but simply respond with a smile on her face when lee came flying at her spitting chips about the fact that she was influencing his wife to believe in God.
we can all learn a lot from that woman.
just because we have the democratic right to lash out and fight back with our mouths when someone attacks us doesn’t mean we should.
she achieved more by her silence and smiling response than she ever could by shaming him over his pathetic and hateful reaction to his wifes decision to choose to make Jesus Lord of her life which didn’t affect his ability to breathe and live his life according to his wishes one iota.
he tried to forbid his wife from believing in Jesus to no avail.
she ended up persuading him to go himself even though he was motivated by a desire to do an expose on pastors getting involved in sex scandals.
God can even use people’s twisted motivations to bring them to the cross and redeem their souls.
in the movie lee referred to a john as a toilet or the client of a prostitute mocking the fact that his dad wanted him to name his son john after his middle name which had been a strobel tradition for generations but he refused.
his reasons are not mentioned but it is possible that lee was motivated by a reaction to his religious upbringing.
his wife is disgusted that he would use such colourful language to refer to a whore in front of his daughter.
he was not there for his wife to take part in her delivery of their second baby when he should have been because he was too busy gallivanting across the country in his attempts to refute the truth .
his wife’s nurse friend manages to console her and convince her to keep on fighting for what she believes in and to keep standing firm in her faith.
it is funny to see the paradox of lee and his wife both exploring faith simultaneously one with a mind to discover more about the truth and the other with the determination to eliminate its relevance to our daily lives.
praise God that lee’s marriage wasn’t destroyed by faith as he feared but enhanced and strengthened by it.
no matter what your religious belief or lack thereof you will find the same will be true for you in your relationships if you choose both Christianity and making Jesus Lord and master of your life, allowing HIm to guide your thoughts and decisions and to always consider what pleases Him as more valuable than what merely gratifies the desires of our flesh.
I was partially helped in my writing of this post by my dad’s ability to recollect the nitty gritty details of the movie and expand upon its themes.
it is sad to see that lee’s boss did not have enough value in their friendship to grant his wishes to pursue a story that would have actually brought more attention to his newspaper than he had ever deemed possible and potentially jettisoned it into the most widely circulated newspaper on the planet.
but of course we will never know what might have been only what has been and what is and with the help of the Holy Spirit’s prophetic knowledge through the bible and the spoken word of God what is to come 🙂
I would personally be interested in knowing as follow up if any of lees fellow reporters became a Christian as a result of his research knowing that lee was a man of facts and he would not stake losing his reputation and a well paying job on perpetuating a lie if he did not in fact know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was reporting the truth.
though some these days do not believe in journalistic integrity lee was from the old school where you investigate all the relevant facts before you publish a story and get references from as many sources as possible.
the only thing that disappointed me with this movie was that hell and sin weren’t ever mentioned nor repentance in the process of lee turning his life over to Jesus.
that doesn’t mean he didn’t say that.
it just means it wasn’t included in the movie.
lee was producer so he had some degree of control over the result of what was produced.
of course he would of had to negotiate with studio heads and publicity departments as to what was publically acceptable and what would be funded and green lighted by the movie company.
I am glad he was still able to exercise a degree of creative control over the story of his life.
his wife said that when she fell in love with Jesus her love for her husband only increased.
this is evidence of the transforming work that takes place in our lives when we decide to follow Jesus .
what He requires of us is more than a casual acquaintance but 100 % commitment to serve HIm in every area of our lives and worship HIm with each aspect of it.
it was amusing to see lee watching from between two trees as his wife became baptised.
it is important to mention that she was baptised in the name of the father the son and the Holy Spirit and fully immersed in lake water as this is the biblical methodology and precedent and not every church or believer in Christ believes in doing it that way although it is the only way that is best and right.
although we do not see lee getting baptized we can hopefully assume that he later did in fact make that step of commitment to Christ.
we do know he took a bold step by witnessing to his boss and proving that the boss of his soul was more important than any human who handed over his pay cheque regardless if he ended up in the gutter or a mansion as a result . 🙂
I pray that many will decide to make a commitment to Jesus after drawing their own conclusions about this movie and the validity of its claims.
it is a wordy movie so don’t watch it if you are the kind of person that prefers action packed block busters full of blood and guts , gore and explosive fireworks.
but watch it if you want a heart warming drama that will make you question the possibility of whether God exists and potentially decide to consider HIm for yourself if you do not already claim to be one of His followers and love HIm enough to lay down your own life for the furtherance of the gospel and deliverance of all mankind.
happy viewing 🙂
may God bless your journeys in life wherever you’re at in your walk with Him