Greetings once again friends! This is Episode 19 of the podcast. The title of this week’s episode is “Lee Strobel: ‘The Case for Christ.’”
In today’s episode, I’ll be sharing some thoughts about this popular Christian author and the impressive work he is doing as one of America’s foremost Christian apologists.
Lee Strobel was born on January 25, 1952 in the relatively small village of Arlington Heights, Illinois — a growing suburb about 25 miles northwest of Chicago. His active, inquisitive mind naturally led him to study journalism at the University of Missouri where he received his bachelor’s degree. With his college degree in journalism, Lee returned to Chicagoland, landing a job as a court reporter with the Chicago Tribune newspaper.
The subsequent course of his career led to countless hours observing and writing about trials of high profile Chicago criminals. In one particular case Lee discovered irrefutable evidence that a “dirty” police sergeant’s testimony had convicted an innocent man—forcing the re-opening of the case, eventually exonerating the suspect of the trial and bringing the sergeant to justice.
It was that same dogged determination for following all the evidence that propelled Lee to become the award-winning legal editor for the Tribune. Sensing a need for more training in the law, he later obtained a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale University.
In short, Lee Strobel was well on his way to great recognition and success in the world of no-nonsense, tough-minded journalism and fearless pursuit of the real “behind-the-scenes” story.
Then, his world turned upside down. His wife Leslie became a Christian.
As an avowed atheist, this development in Leslie’s life was not welcome at all!
Lee’s concept of Christians was that they were all crazy Bible-thumpers standing on street corners confronting hapless victims with the demands of their imagined god. The idea that any rational person could even consider the claims of Christians was completely unthinkable. And, that his wife would fall for their nonsense was even worse! He knew he had to do something to rescue her from this “insanity,” or it would totally destroy their marriage.
So, Lee Strobel set out to do the only reasonable thing under the circumstances. He had to prove his wife wrong. But, he also knew—drawing on his long experience in investigative reporting—he needed to use hard evidence set things in the right order, as he thought they should be.
To his credit, Lee followed his long-term principle of objectively examining all the evidence of a case, just as he did for each case he researched and reported in his newspaper career.
Lee’s first book, The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus is the story of his thorough investigation of claims regarding the historical person Jesus Christ.
(Click on the Book Cover for a Link to Amazon.com)
The chapters in “The Case for Christ” address questions such as “Can the biographies (i.e. the four gospels in the New Testament) of Jesus be trusted?” “Were the early documents of the New Testament reliably preserved for us?” “Is the Jesus of history the same as the Jesus of faith?” and “Did Jesus actually—in fact—die on the Cross, then come to life a few days later?”
One-by-one, this investigative reporter considers 14 different critical issues often raised by skeptics and non-believers. The 14 questions are divided into 3 sections, “Examining the Record,” “Analyzing Jesus,” and “Researching the Resurrection.”
Lee did not begin as a Christian at the start of the journey. Instead, he religiously maintained his natural skepticism even as he stayed open to the conclusions the evidence revealed. After two full years of interviewing professors, Biblical language scholars, historians, pastors, and others, taking copious notes from their knowledge, and assessing all the evidence he could find, Lee came to an unavoidable conclusion: Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament, the Son of God.
One day, alone and in the quietness of his writing office, Lee bowed his head and accepted Jesus as his personal Savior and Lord.
And once again, everything changed.
In the 40 years since his conversion, Lee has served God as a teaching pastor at three of America’s largest churches. He hosted a national network TV program “Faith Under Fire,” and taught at the collegiate level at Roosevelt University and Houston Baptist University.
The story of his spiritual journey–based on his book–was made into a motion picture in 2017. “The Case for Christ” was screened in theaters around the world, and was on Netflix for three years.
Here are a few testimonials from prominent individuals intimately acquainted with Lee and his message:
And one more . . . .
Following the blockbuster success of The Case for Christ, Lee authored more than 40 books, including The Case for Faith, The Case for a Creator, and The Case for Grace. He currently serves as Founding Director of the Lee Strobel Center for Evangelism and Applied Apologetics at Colorado Christian University.
Lee and his wife Leslie have been married for forty-eight years. Their daughter, Alison, is a novelist and homeschooling expert (www.goodschooling.net), and their son, Kyle, is a professor of spiritual theology at the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University.
So, what’s my personal assessment of Lee Strobel’s story, and his apologetics approach to sharing the story of Jesus?
By and large I found his methods, reasonings, evidences, and conclusions compelling and convincing. As with nearly all authors, however, there were a few (very few) points where I felt he departed from his meticulous questions for the authorities and experts he interviewed. I would like to have seen supporting evidence for some blanket statements in the answers he received. To be fair, the large majority of his material in the book, and in the individual chapters, is very well documented. I can gladly recommend Lee’s story to others. I believe he does have an important ministry and influence in Christian thinking today.
I love it when I see a tweet from Lee on Twitter saying, “I’ve got an hour layover at such-and-such airport. I’m at so-and-so’s cafe near Gate xx in Concourse A. Stop by and let’s talk about Jesus! Coffee’s on me!”
What a delightful witness! Unashamed, unfettered, always looking to share the gospel with anyone, anywhere!
May we all have that Spirit as ambassadors for the King of Kings!
Thank you so much for listening today! I pray you have been blessed.
I hope you can join me for next week’s episode. I’ll be sharing some thoughts about “Seeing Jesus” in the world around us. Be sure to tune in, and invite someone else to listen with you!
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