In The Case for Christ, a book I highly recoimmend, author Lee Strobel, journalist for the Chicago Tribune, and thoroughly convinced the Christian faith was bogus, tells this amazing story.
“For much of my life I was a skeptic. In fact, I considered myself an atheist. To me, there was far too much evidence that God was merely a product of wishful thinking. … As for Jesus, … [I was convinced] He was a revolutionary, a sage, an iconoclastic Jew – but God? No, that thought had never occurred [even] to Him. … I had read just enough philosophy and history to find support for my skepticism. … I had a strong motivation … a self-serving and immoral lifestyle that I would be compelled to abandon if I were ever to change my views and become a follower of Jesus. … There was enough proof for me to rest easy with the conclusion that the divinity of Jesus was nothing more than the fanciful invention of superstitious people. [And then Strobel’s life took a dramatic change of direction].
“It wasn’t a phone call from an informant that prompted me to reexamine the case for Christ. It was my wife. Leslie stunned me in the autumn of 1979 by announcing that she had become a Christian. I had married one Leslie – the fun Leslie … now I feared she was going to turn into some sort of sexually repressed prude. … Instead I was pleasantly surprised – even fascinated – by the fundamental changes in her character, her integrity, and her personal confidence.
Eventually I wanted to get to the bottom of what was prompting these subtle but significant shifts in my wife’s attitudes, so I launched an all-out investigation into the facts surrounding the case for Christianity.” [Consistent with his training as a journalist, Lee Strobel launched a two-year odyssey, interviewing carefully selected experts who could help him clarify every question he had about the Christian faith.]
“By November 8, 1981, my legend thesis, to which I had so doggedly clung for so many years, had been thoroughly dismantled. … The atheism I had embraced for so long buckled under the weight of historical truth. It was a stunning and radical outcome, certainly not what I had anticipated. … So on November 8, 1981, I talked with God in a heartfelt and unedited prayer, admitting and turning from my wrongdoing, and receiving the gift of forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus. … There were no lightning bolts, no audible replies, no tingly sensations. … Over time as I endeavored to follow Jesus’ teachings and open myself to his transforming power, my priorities, my values, and my character were (and continue to be) gradually changed” (The Case for Christ, pages 13, 14, 266, 268).
What more can I say? There is something genuine to the Christian faith. The greatest miracle I have ever seen has been the dramatic change that comes to our lives when we have acknowledged Jesus Christ as our Lord and Master. There is much more here than changing our point of view. A new honesty impels us to admit to our own shortcomings, our imperfections, and our need for maturity. Simultaneously, however, we capture a new perspective on life, a new understanding of truth, a new view of death, and a new purpose for living.
This is real … and we know it is because it happened to us. The case for Christ stands proven!