By Edwina Khayat
Watch a film you would never consider watching: The Case for Christ.
‘Documents Lee Strobel’s journey from atheism to faith through his two-year investigation of the Bible and the life of Jesus Christ’
I guess this qualifies. I’m already slightly nauseous: ’This remarkable film features interviews with 10 leading Biblical scholars from North America and England, cutting-edge apologetics, and a compelling original music score’.
I’ve already had about 5 back and forths to my parent’s bedroom where I found this gem. A little voice in my head is urging me to put it back there and pick up a bad rom com instead.
The DVD cover also boasts words like ‘concrete evidence’, ‘proving’ and ‘know the truth’.
It definitely qualifies. I try to switch gears, put my objectivity mask on (if there was ever such a thing) and brace myself for the next 71 minutes. I genuinely believe I could learn interesting things and gain some insights about a big chunk of the population I am trying to reach through advertising.
– Do not watch a film/documentary you’re reluctant to watch in the first place after binging on christmas leftovers. It took three hours instead of a bit over one, but I got two nice naps out of it.
– Truth is subjective, relative, and inherently personal. What Strobel saw as proof and irrefutable arguments seemed like logical fallacies to me. This only means that in the way that he conceives the world, these things make sense, while in the way I conceive mine, they’re utter bullshit. We are in the business of changing people’s minds. Not all beliefs are as deeply seated as the ones discussed here, but our ’truths’ are comfortable and familiar. This makes our business a difficult, uncomfortable one. Counterarguments are easily dismissed or ignored.
How could | have been more convinced?
– Craft is key. The cheesy transitions, sensationalism, unexplained/useless shots of airplanes and landscapes, and epileptic-fit-inducing effects did nothing but undermine the credibility of the journalist’s message.
– Get the other side of the argument. The experts interviewed were priests, theologists, and philosophy professors at universities that are widely known for being conservatively Christian. They offered vastly one-sided answers to the questions asked. They did mention some objections sceptics might have, but what a priest thinks would be a question a sceptic might ask isn’t necessarily the right one. And the answers actually accepted by these experts would probably not convince the sceptics.
– Why. In my opinion, they should have dug deeper. The train of thought was grossly flawed. The argument was built on pillars of maybes and probably-s. Instead of asking why (or what, when how and who) only once, they should have done it until they got to the bottom of it. Events that happened more than 2000 years ago are difficult to prove or disprove. Ignoring this limitation did more harm than good. People aren’t stupid, half-arsed ‘research’ isn’t going to convince anyone.
This film documented a man’s research into the life and death of Jesus Christ. It offered arguments and proof that the viewer could take or leave. It wasn’t a sermon, it wasn’t shoving religion down anyone’s throat, there were no mentions of sin and hell, no guilt tripping, no claim to superiority. It was just the description of this man’s journey, and a result of his desire to share his findings with the world.