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Case for Faith [Import]

 Unrated   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Francis
Format:DVD
I purchased The Case for Faith with the thought of using it for a small group discussion. The DVD is described as having 6 sessions, so I thought we'd have 6 topics. In reality, there are 6 DVD chapters, but in fact only 2 topics. These are the chapters:
1. "Introduction". In it, Lee Strobel raises all kinds of questions with regard to the objective evidence for belief in God and explains how he set out to seek answers.
2. "Charles Templeton". This is an account of Lee Strobel's meeting with Templeton who turned from being a famous evangelist to becoming an atheist. Here came my surprise and disappointment: the scope of the search for answers is limited to only two questions (important as they are):
3. "Why is Jesus the only way to God?" -- rather well done.
4. "Evil and suffering" -- also rather well done.
5. "Templeton reprise". This is a short epilogue concerning a letter Strobel wrote to Templeton.
6. The sixth "session" is in fact the credits!
Verdict: The two topics that are treated are useful. The book of the same title is more comprehensive with its 8 topics. The featurettes "dealing with doubt" and "the least of these" are EXCELLENT, but aimed at believers, not apologetical. Very worthwhile.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  41 reviews
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Oct. 1 2008
By Paul Halupa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
In a world gone mad with spin, slant, subterfuge, and political correctness of all kinds in all fields, THE CASE FOR FAITH, breaks all molds, taking on Christianity's biggest questions and thorniest challenges with fearless
honesty and sublime humility. It is, I believe, the most honest, most courageous Christian film ever made, bracing in its aspiration and moving in its conclusions. Lee Strobel is obviously a thinker, but he is foremost a seeker of truth, and in this film Lee Strobel, while obviously a proponent of "faith in Christ," dodges nothing. This DVD stirs the mind and touches the heart. If you are not satisfied with cheap answers, superficial dogma, and peripheral paradigms of faith, if you want to get right at the heart of the faith journey, even to places where knotty questions vex and suffering swells, this film takes you there. This film drives straight into the Faith's darkest tunnels and leads the traveler to the other side, bathed in new light and new hope.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent presentation of the case for faith! Oct. 7 2008
By Dennis L. Wayman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
THE CASE FOR FAITH
4 Stars - Uplifting

The visual presentation of Lee Strobel's book "The Case For Faith" is compelling. As a follow-up volume from his first book, The Case For Christ, the award-winning journalist applies his investigative skills once again to the questions of Christian beliefs by taking on the doubts that inevitably plague the thoughtful believer.

Using the loss of faith of Charles Templeton as a model for the way doubt can capture the mind, Strobel questions this personal friend and contemporary of Billy Graham. Noting that he was one of the greatest evangelists during the 1940's, Templeton explains in his own words the two doubts that cost him his faith. The first is what he calls "the insufferable claim that Jesus is the only true way to God" and the second is the problem of believing in a good God when the world is full of suffering.

Further researching the question of what are the most common doubts that disturb Christians, Strobel finds that these issues are not unique to Templeton. Both are common not only to current Christians but are also found in the writings of major theologians of the past, including St. Augustine who lived in the 4th century. Quoting Augustine, he expresses the second doubt in this way: "If there is no God, why is there so much good? If there is a God, why is there so much evil?"

In presenting the best answers to the "problem of evil" and the universal experience of suffering, Strobel takes us to conversations with leading theologians alive today as well as to some of the best Christian writers, such as C.S. Lewis. The list of scholars includes N.T. Wright, Bishop of Durham, England, Craig Hazen of Biola University, Gregory Koul, author of Stand to Reason, J.P. Moreland of Talbot School of Theology and Ben Witherington of Asbury Theological Seminary. Additionally, Joni Eareckson Tada presents her own experience as a person living with suffering and experiencing God's larger purposes working through her and her disability as a quadriplegic person. The final representative is Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church who provides a pastoral presence.

This documentary blends scripture throughout the study and honors the intellectual difficulty of answering these questions. Struggling with doubt is part of the nature of faith and the film neither shies away from the questions nor assumes that every person will find the answers satisfying. Explaining that he sent a copy of the manuscript to Templeton shortly before his death in 2001, Strobel recognizes that he may not have found his way back to the Jesus who Templeton honestly admits he misses.

The thoughtful presentation of the questions and answers of common doubts results in a film that is worthy of both the believer's and the skeptic's time and consideration. It is only available on DVD.

Discussion:

1. The claim by Jesus that He is "the way, the truth and the life" and that "no one comes to the Father except by Me" is seen by Christians as a statement of fact. Therefore, it is not seen as an exclusive claim but a truthful explanation. What do you believe about this statement? What study have you done to support your belief?

2. The explanation that God must allow human freedom because without it, love is not possible also explains what happens when some humans choose to not love but rather to harm: people suffer. This "evil", which is the inversion of the word "live", is therefore only the misuse of human freedom and an inversion of the purpose of the lives we live. Does this answer satisfy you or not? If not, what is a more satisfying explanation to you for the suffering in our world?

3. The respect that Strobel shows Templeton is how Christians should treat all people with or without honest doubts. Do you believe this is the common way that Christians treat others? Why do you answer as you do?
_______________
Cinema In Focus is a social and spiritual movie commentary. Hal Conklin is former mayor of Santa Barbara and Denny Wayman is pastor of the Free Methodist Church. [...]
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Case For Faith Oct. 17 2008
By Debra E. Moss - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Well worth the purchase price. Informative, well researched, well narrated. I found it reassuring and uplifting.
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More misses than hits Dec 5 2009
By T. Foster - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I give this DVD high marks for effort, but low marks for Biblical accuracy. As a student of the Bible, I found that many of the 'experts' interviewed were more interested in "popular Christian" views than "Biblically accurate" views. That might explain why they almost never quoted the Bible even though they claimed to be speaking for it. Their reasoning was so bad I left the room a couple of times to go find other things to do. Eventually I watched the DVD in its entirety, and was less than pleased at the way Strobel packaged it.

1. Christians will often say that God allows freedom in order to make love possible. Respectfully.. can someone please show me where this is in the Bible? You can find 100 "Christian" philosophers to say it, but can you find one *Bible verse* to say it? If so, please let me know so I can finally get off this soap box. Not only is this concept nowhere in the Bible, but embracing it puts one in the horrible position of being completely unable to explain the myriad of verses where God deliberately hardens people's hearts and blinds their eyes so that they cannot make a moral decision in His favor. [NOTE: There are several reasons to explain why God did this, and I'll be happy to discuss them with you. But the reasons presented in DVD leave no room for this often-repeated aspect of God's character.] Here are a *few* examples of this principle at work:
- Pharaoh (Exodus, specifically Ex 10:1-2 or 14:17, etc, etc. Please read *why* God said He would do these things and note that Paul affirms this same reason in Rom 9:17-18. This side of God never came out in the DVD);
- King Sihon (Deut 2:30)
- Canaanites (Josh 11:19-20. Like it or hate it, please note what this plainly says about God's *intent*. This, too, never came out in the DVD)
- Jews themselves (Deut 29:2-4)
- Nation of Israel (Isaiah 6:9-10. BTW.. let me demonstrate to you how resistant people are to the harsh reality of God's holiness. Read the entire chapter and ask yourself how many Christian songs you've heard that reflect the themes of each verse [there are lots] ... and then ask yourself why no one sings about verses 9-10 of this same chapter. While you're chewing on that, note that while no one sings about v9&10, those verses are directly quoted or referred to in Matthew (twice, actually), Mark, Luke (twice), John, Acts, Romans, 2 Corinthians, 2 Peter and more. Why did all these NT writers feel it necessary to bring up these verses, but you can barely find a preacher in the 21st century to preach them??!!?? Kinda makes you say 'hmmmmm')
- Jews (Is 29:10-12; Is 63
- King of Assyria (Is 10:5-12)

And this isn't only in the Old Testament

- Jews (Matt 11:25-26; Matt 13:13-15; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10; Luke 10:21; John 12:37-40; Acts 28:26-27)
- (And just to make sure we don't miss anyone) Everyone who doesn't believe (Rom 11:7-8)

Folks, I could go on, but hopefully you see that this is a recurring theme in the Bible. I have my theories on how it all fits, but whatever is going on in God's mind in these verses was not represented at all in this DVD. Sorry, but that's just plain wrong!

2. In answering the question of "why is there suffering", Strobel & company are correct to say that sinners of all stripes (myself included) deserve a fate far worse than suffering on earth. But they made this a minor point, not the main point. Yikes! The Bible is abundantly clear that all sin and all sinners will be punished in hell forever (Rom 3:23; Rom 3:9-18, etc, etc). I think Strobel soft-pedaled that answer to his detriment. IMHO, too often, Christians get sidetracked by God's love that they don't see God's holiness as His central character. Because of this lopsided view of Him, they find themselves unable to explain many things in the world. The fact of the matter is that any day alive on earth, regardless of the pain and misery one endures, is far better than spending that same day in hell. As creatures born in sin (we all are), God has every right to instantly destroy us all in hell ...and will do so. (If you want to know why God keeps us alive at all, Rom 9:22-23 might be one hint) In fact, Jesus spoke more on hell and judgment than any other topic, bar none. More than heaven. More than love. (One might think He was trying to say something, eh?) The good news here is that we don't have to die an eternity in hell just because we were born as sinners. Because God is love, He made a plan by which we can escape the punishment He execute: Jesus, being the only God-Man to walk this earth, was sent by God to the cross to take on the hell that God aimed at us. God punished Him for our sins (Isaiah 53). By believing in Jesus' person, work and message, and dedicating our lives to Him (ie "abide" in Him), we get to take advantage of His death as payment for our sins. God then no longer finds us in need of eternal punishment. Personally, I find that plan unfathomable - but it's the one laid out in the Bible and I embrace it wholly and without reservation. What's even weirder still is that God and Jesus made this plan of salvation *before* they even made the world! That sounds offensive and bizzare - but like it or not, that's what the Bible says. (It even says that many of you will find this offensive and a stumbling block - 1 Peter 2:6-8).

As this relates to suffering - the simple fact of the matter is that man, in sinning, curses himself and separates himself and all his offspring from a holy God. God is not Santa Claus (we need to quit thinking of Him that way). The Bible never paints Him as one who is obligated to step in and rescue man from the consequences of his own actions. Like it or hate it, that's the Bible's take on it. Man's suffering is man's own fault - but regardless of the reasons, beware: an even greater suffering lies in store for all of us. We'd best repent before its too late (This is exactly Jesus' logic in Luke 13:1-5. Strobel and company missed the boat.) Instead of focusing on a "good God in an evil world", they should have focused on a "holy God vs an evil world". That's the way the Bible presents it.

I'm convinced that people will never understand God so long as they don't understand Holiness and Righteousness (as HE defines these terms). This DVD did not help in that regard. When I examine what the Bible has to say for itself, I find Strobel's 8 questions answered to my satisfaction. I wish he would have brought theologians to the table who would explain the Bible's perspective and not their own personal opinions (there was waaaaay too much of that going on).

Granted, scrutinizing the Bible make me ask a whole different set of probing questions, but I would expect nothing less from a God who truly is The Almighty. It makes the pursuit of Him mysterious, amazing, rewarding and worthwhile. Highly recommended!
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Answers to the Toughest Questions Oct. 4 2008
By Art Battson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Don't even think about buying another book or DVD until you get your hands on "The Case for Faith." It is the best investment you could possibly make.

The Association of Christian Faculty at the University of California at Santa Barbara will be using all three of Lee Strobel's DVDs this year to lead discussions in lecture halls, dorms, and departmental conference rooms in making the case for the Creator, the case for faith, and the case for Christ. The DVDs are that good. They will inspire Christians and give them solid reasons for their faith. They will also give skeptics good reasons to be skeptical of their skepticism.

"Case for Faith" is phenomenal. Now stop reading and go buy it.
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