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The Case for Christ, the Movie

You might know the story of Lee Strobel since it was a huge best seller almost two decades ago.  But if you missed his book, The Case for Christ, like I did, here are the basics.

Lee Strobel, atheist, investigative journalist, and family man, has it made.  His career is taking off, he is married to lovely and loving Leslie, he has a sweet daughter, and, judging by his house and cars, he is financially successful.  In fact, Lee’s life is a fairy tale…until Leslie unexpectedly realizes that Jesus is not a fairy tale.

When Leslie becomes a Christian, Lee’s life falls apart and he sets out on a huge project to save her. He is determined to prove that Christianity is false and leaves no stone unturned.  Interwoven with this quest is another story about crime journalism, facts, and misunderstandings, that both mirrors and explains the main story.

The Case for Christ makes a compelling case for Jesus, both intellectually and emotionally.  “Facts, nothing but the facts,” Lee always says.  Well, Christianity is based on some unassailable facts, and Lee gloomily turns up one after another.  The miracle is that he accepts them and doesn’t suppress them as so many do.

Beautiful acting, a dramatic story, believable characters, and an unrelenting sense of hope fill this movie with emotion and joy.

The Case for Christ had great personal appeal to me since there are some dearly loved non-Christians in my life.  I constantly live with the questions, “How do I reach them?  What do I do?”  One answer, of course, is prayer, but another one involves facts like the ones Lee uncovered.  Finally, Leslie discovers a few things about how to reach non-Christians.

The Case for Christ is a solid introduction to apologetics (defending the truth through systematic arguments) for both teens and parents and would be a worthwhile addition to high school Bible studies.  The information it presents will help one defend the truth of Christianity.

Furthermore, this movie is a great accompaniment to Total Truth, a book that I hope to include in our homeschool  and that I am studying with some dear ladies this summer.   It not only displays concepts discussed in Total Truth’s chapters about evangelicalism, but the whole aim of the movie is to remove Christianity from the realm of the subjective, where society allows it, to the realm of truth, where it belongs.  Both Pearcey’s book and this movie are, essentially, about Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity, showing that it is fact-based and totally true.

Highly recommended for all Christians, for homeschool high schools, and for church libraries.

For more information, view the movie trailer or the trailer for the DVD that came out this week in Canada.

For more arguments to support biblical faith, see Lee Strobel’s Case for… series, which covers most apologetics questions.  I aim to explore some of these books this winter and am grateful that this beautiful movie alerted me, indirectly, to their existence.

  • The Case for Christ
  • The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity,
  • The Case for a Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God
  • The Case for Easter: Journalist Investigates the Evidence for the Resurrection
  • The Case for Christmas: A Journalist Investigates the Identity of the Child in the Manger
  • The Case for the Real Jesus: A Journalist Investigates Current Attacks on the Identity of Christ
  • The Case for Christianity Answer Book
  • The Case for Hope: Looking Ahead with Confidence and Courage
  • The Case for Grace: A Journalist Explores the Evidence of Transformed Lives  (from Wikipedia)

If you enjoyed this article, you might want to follow me on Google+ where I often mention helpful or interesting ideas, or connect with me on GoodReads where I share what I read. 

Disclosure:  I received a review link to The Case for Christ via Graf-Martin.  As always, I am not compensated for sharing my honest opinions.

This article is linked to Finishing Strong and Raising Homemakers.

Review: A Name Unknown by Roseanna White

Rosemary Gresham, a London street urchin grown up, supported the other orphans she called family by taking on assignments from Mr. V.  Once she ‘liberated’ an old manuscript from the British Museum.  At other times she, like Robin Hood, relieved wealthy women of their jewellery.  But on the eve of World War I she was assigned a trickier task—to determine whether a distinguished gentleman, Peter Holstein, was loyal to Britain or to Germany.

Peter Holstein, descended from a family of literary pack rats, desperately needed help organizing his library.  Not for the books themselves, really, but to find a few old journals, proof that his family’s loyalties lay with Britain rather than Germany, as people in high places were beginning to suggest.  Rosemary, disguised in spectacles and with a real knowledge of German (learned for the British Museum job), got herself hired by Mr. Holstein and set about her task.

She had a few questions, though.  Why all this this writing about God?  And what did Mr. Holstein do in his office all day, typing madly and refusing to open the door?  Why was she becoming more and more eager to defend him though her job was to destroy him?  And would she give up her family for the truth?

Fun, fast-paced (I forgot about supper and let the soup cook an hour longer than it needed to), and faith-filled, this book was a great read most of the way through.  Near the end it seemed to unravel a bit, but even so, I enjoyed it and recommend it.

A few days earlier I had watched The King’s Speech (language warning) which takes place during the same years and involves some of the same people as well as a similar stammering problem.  That added a whole extra aspect to reading A Name Unknown.

This summer I am reading a lot of Miss 14’s style of books, hoping to be able to enjoy and discuss them together.  Perhaps this will even be an opportunity to compare styles of writing and discuss both literary and biblical standards of excellence.

If you enjoyed this review, you might want to follow me on Google+ where I often mention helpful or interesting ideas, or connect with me on GoodReads where I share what I read. 

This is yet another book in the in the 2017 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge and is also linked to Saturday Reviews, Booknificent Thursdays, Literacy Musings Monday, and The Book Nook

Disclosure: This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. and is available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Creation Conference Livestream, Aug 13-18

As bestselling author and former pastor Randy Alcorn pointed out several years ago

But without the biblical doctrine of creation, there is not only no objective biblical authority, there is no doctrine of human sin and ultimate redemption. If there was no Adam, we did not sin in Adam, and did not need the last Adam, Christ, to come to redeem us. (Creation Magazine April-June 2012)

On the other hand, ‘the mantra of the ‘new atheists’ is that, since evolution is a fact, the Bible is wrong and there is no Creator to be accountable to. As a result, most Christians have questions about the accuracy of the Bible, especially Genesis and the creation/evolution issue.’

The concerted push by some (including massive funding initiatives) to promote the idea that God created using the process of evolution has confused many other Christians.

How can we understand these issues?  For there are answers; our God does tell us what we need to know.  And, as Romans 1:19-22 points out, understanding the truth about Creation is vitally important to everything else we think and do.

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Claiming to be wise, they became fools…

(For what is essentially a 400 page discussion of this passage and its implications for North American Christianity, see Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey.)

For all these reasons, this Creation Conference livestream is a golden opportunity.  Next week (August 13-18)  we will have free access to over two dozen talks by ten qualified speakers.  Of course, the actual conference itself would be amazing, but that is not an option for most of us.  What a blessing that we can watch them from our own homes!

Understanding creation/evolution issues is vital for us as Christians, and even more so for us as Christian parents.  Summer is a good time to relax, but for homeschooling parents it is also a good time to recharge and learn a few things.  I’ve been spending much of my time this summer studying Total Truth in order to be able to teach my children more effectively; the message of this conference will augment what I’ve learned from that book.

If you can carve out a few hours, I highly encourage you to watch some of these talks.  I know it is a stretch—we all have prior plans.  But it will, I expect, be a very worthwhile use of our time.

If you enjoyed this article, you might want to follow me on Google+ where I often mention helpful or interesting ideas, or connect with me on GoodReads where I share what I read. 

Disclosure:  As always, I am not compensated for telling you about opportunities, resources, or books.

This article is linked to Finishing Strong and Raising Homemakers.

Review: Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer

Grace Mallory, telegraph operator since her father’s sudden death, has been hiding from his killer, far away in a unique town of women. (Men are rarely allowed in Harper’s Station.)  Amos Bledsoe, also a telegraph operator, is a quiet fellow who enjoys his sister’s family, bicycles, and late night telegraph chats with the unknown Miss G.  When Grace is threatened, Amos, contrary to his nature, becomes involved in intrigue and danger in order to protect her.

Whether searching through old books, rescuing an injured stranger, or outwitting a criminal, Grace, Amos, and their friends kept me enthralled past my bedtime.

As usual from Karen Witemeyer, Heart on the Line is delightfully full of humor, drama, and romance.  The characters are believable even though the situation, especially in the ladies-only town, strains credulity, and the plot is both gripping and enjoyable.  Miss 14 thought this novel would be too exciting for me but, while there are a few scenes that do not bear thinking about, the author presents them in a fairly subdued way.  This is to be expected from an author who writes ‘because the world needs more happily-ever-afters.’

Grace Mallory, like most main characters in Witemeyer’s novels, is Christian through and through.  Her choices, attitudes, and beliefs are rooted in the Bible, and she makes an inspiring companion for a relaxing few hours.  I enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone looking for a sunny bit of excitement.  I will also look for the other novels in the Ladies of Harper’s Station series.

This summer I am reading a lot of Miss 14’s style of books, hoping to be able to enjoy and discuss them together.  Perhaps this will even be an opportunity to compare styles of writing and discuss both literary and biblical standards of excellence.

If you enjoyed this review, you might want to follow me on Google+ where I often mention helpful or interesting ideas, or connect with me on GoodReads where I share what I read. 

This is yet another book in the in the 2017 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge and may also be linked to Saturday Reviews, Booknificent Thursdays, Literacy Musings Monday, and The Book Nook

Disclosure: This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. and is available at your favorite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

A Homeschooling Essential—How Should We Then Live?

There are many good books and a few great ones but only a handful that should be read by all Christian homeschooling parents and teens.

How Should We Then Live? by Francis Schaeffer is one of them.

Beginning with the Romans, Schaeffer traces the history of Western thought right up to the present.  Yes, even though he passed away almost thirty years ago, his book describes events happening today.  Most likely he was able to tell the future so accurately because he understood the past so well—not merely the facts but especially the principalities and powers behind them (Ephesians 6:12).

Schaeffer says:  “To understand where we are in today’s world—in our intellectual ideas and in our cultural and political lives—we must trace three lines in history, namely, the philosophic, the scientific, and the religious.”

So, starting with the Romans as mentioned earlier, Schaeffer traces those three lines, through the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Reformation, the ‘Enlightenment’, the rise of modern science, and the breakdown of all that to modern thought, modern worship, a powerful elite, and our easily-manipulated society.  He discusses philosophy, art, science, theology, and literature, arriving at a chilling analysis of our popular culture and modern world.

In the end, only Christianity can give hope for the future of this world.  Of course we know what that means for individuals, but often we don’t really understand how it applies to society.  By showing how one idea leads to another, Schaeffer gives us a new understanding of the problem and points to the details of a solution.

In response we, as Christians, must not adopt the deadly and unbiblical split between reason and faith that characterizes our society but must understand that God’s Word is true for all aspects of life. We must understand what this means and act upon it to influence society in all its aspects.   That is part of what it means to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.

If you wish your teens to understand the background ideas that influence us today as well as what to do about them, do include this book in your high school curriculum.  It will help them understand some of the ideas they will encounter from professors, coworkers, the media, and our general culture.  It will equip them to stand firm and defend their convictions and will also give them a beginning understanding of how to make a difference.  I’m thankful that my older children have had a chance to read this book.

This is also vital reading for parents.  I have read How Should We Then Live? At least three times, and each time I read more slowly and thoroughly.  It’s that kind of book.  As you grow and learn about life, you become more able to understand the book, which helps you understand the world better, and so on, in a very positive spiral.  And each time you read it, Schaeffer’s call to action will resonate with you in a different way.

So do consider, as you finish the book:  what is God calling you to do right now?  Obviously, if you are a homeschooler, it will have implications for your homeschool, especially for how you teach your teens.  It may also have implications for other aspects of your life and service, depending on your current commitments.  But be careful. Don’t neglect your daily calling to be a wife and mother at home for something out in the world; there is a time and a season for everything, and right now loving and educating your children is the most important and influential task you have.

How Should We Then Live? is part of our homeschool this year, and I’m looking forward to rereading it.  We will use Veritas Press’s Omnibus as a guide as we have done before.  Another book of similar importance, Total Truth, is also highly recommended; we aim to study it next.

This post is an update of my 2013 review of How Should We Then Live?

If you enjoyed this article, you might want to follow me on Google+ where I often mention helpful or interesting ideas, or connect with me on GoodReads where I (eventually) share what I read. 

This article is linked to Finishing Strong and Raising Homemakers.

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