Lee Strobel

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Lee Strobel
Lee Strobel (cropped).jpg
Born (1952-01-25) January 25, 1952 (age 66)
Arlington Heights, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Legal editor, writer, journalist, clergy
Nationality United States
Alma mater

University of Missouri

Yale University
Period Current
Genre Science and religion
Historicity of the Gospels
Subject Christian apologetics
Spouse Leslie Strobel
Children Kyle

Lee Patrick Strobel (born January 25, 1952) is an American Christian author and a former investigative journalist.[1] He has written several books, including four which received ECPA Christian Book Awards (1994, 1999, 2001, 2005)[2] and a series which addresses challenges to a Biblically inerrant view of Christianity.[3] Strobel also hosted a television program called Faith Under Fire on PAX TV,[4] and runs a video apologetics web site. Strobel has been interviewed on numerous national television programs, including ABC's 20/20, Fox News, and CNN.[5]


Strobel received a journalism degree from University of Missouri and a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale Law School,[6] becoming a journalist for the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers for 14 years. In 1980, the UPI Illinois Editors Association newspaper award program gave him a first place for public service (the Len H. Small Memorial award) for his coverage of the Pinto crash trial of Ford Motor in Winamac, Indiana.[7][8]

Strobel states he was an atheist when he began investigating the Biblical claims about Christ after his wife's conversion. Prompted by the results of his investigation, he became a Christian on November 8, 1981.[9][10]

Strobel was a teaching pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, from 1987 to 2000, before shifting his focus to writing and producing his TV show, Faith Under Fire.[11] He continues to speak periodically at churches and has been a board member of the Willow Creek Association. In 2007, Strobel was awarded an honorary doctoral degree by Southern Evangelical Seminary in recognition of his contributions to Christian apologetics.[12]

Strobel is married to Leslie, and they have two children and several grandchildren. His daughter Alison is a novelist,[11] and his son Kyle is an Assistant Professor of Spiritual Theology and Formation at the Talbot School of Theology.

Selected works[edit]

The Case for Christ[edit]

The Case for Christ retraces and expands his journey toward becoming a Christian. The book summarizes his interviews with thirteen evangelical Christian scholars—Craig Blomberg, Bruce Metzger, Edwin Yamauchi, John McRay, Gregory Boyd, Ben Witherington III, Gary Collins, D. A. Carson, Louis Lapides, Alexander Metherell, William Lane Craig, Gary Habermas, and J. P. Moreland—in which they defend their views regarding the historical reliability of the New Testament. The Case for Christ, September 1, 1998, Zondervan, ISBN 0-310-22605-8 Strobel's personal experience while encountering these scholars and their beliefs was portrayed in the 2017 drama film of the same name.

The book is divided into three parts, preceded by a Preface: Introduction: Reopening the Investigation of a Lifetime

  • Part 1: Examining the Record
    • 1. The Eyewitness Evidence: Can the Biographies of Jesus Be Trusted? with Dr. Craig Blomberg
    • 2. Testing the Eyewitness Evidence: Do the Biographies of Jesus Stand Up to Scrutiny? with Dr. Craig Blomberg
    • 3. The Documentary Evidence: Were Jesus' Biographies Reliably Preserved for Us? with Dr. Bruce Metzger
    • 4. The Corroborating Evidence: Is There Credible Evidence for Jesus outside His Biographies? with Dr. Edwin Yamauchi
    • 5. The Scientific Evidence: Does Archaeology Confirm or Contradict Jesus' Biographies? with Dr. John McRay
    • 6. The Rebuttal Evidence: Is the Jesus of History the Same As the Jesus of Faith? with Dr. Gregory Boyd
  • Part 2: Analyzing Jesus
    • 7. The Identity Evidence: Was Jesus Really Convinced That He Was the Son of God? with Dr. Ben Witherington III
    • 8. The Psychological Evidence: Was Jesus Crazy When He Claimed to Be the Son of God? with Dr. Gary Collins
    • 9. The Profile Evidence: Did Jesus Fulfill the Attributes of God? with Dr. D.A. Carson
    • 10. The Fingerprint Evidence: Did Jesus – and Jesus Alone – Match the Identity of the Messiah? with Louis Lapides, M.Div., Th.M.
  • Part 3: Researching the Resurrection
    • 11. The Medical Evidence: Was Jesus' Death a Sham and His Resurrection a Hoax? with Dr. Alexander Metherell
    • 12. The Evidence of the Missing Body: Was Jesus' Body Really Absent from His Tomb? with Dr. William Lane Craig
    • 13. The Evidence of Appearances: Was Jesus Seen Alive after His Death on the Cross? with Dr. Gary Habermas
    • 14. The Circumstantial Evidence: Are There Any Supporting Facts That Point to the Resurrection? with Dr. J. P. Moreland
  • Conclusion: The Verdict of History: What Does the Evidence Establish – And What Does It Mean Today?

The Case for Faith[edit]

In his book The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity, Strobel replies to doubts about Christianity, including the problem of evil, the contradiction between miracles and science, whether God is worthy of worship if he kills innocent children, whether Jesus is the only way to God, and the church's history of oppression and violence.[13]

The book is divided into 8 Objections:

  • Objection #1 "Since Evil and Suffering Exist, a Loving God Cannot" with Peter Kreeft, PhD
  • Objection #2 "Since Miracles Contradict Science, They Cannot Be True" with William Lane Craig, PhD
  • Objection #3 "Evolution Explains Life, So God Isn't Needed" with Walter L. Bradley, PhD
  • Objection #4 "God Isn't Worthy of Worship If He Kills Innocent Children" with Norman L. Geisler, PhD
  • Objection #5 "It's Offensive to Claim Jesus Is the Only Way to God" with Ravi Zacharias, D.D., LL.D.
  • Objection #6 "A Loving God Would Never Torture People in Hell" with J.P. Moreland, PhD
  • Objection #7 "Church History Is Littered with Oppression and Violence" with John D. Woodbridge, PhD
  • Objection #8 "I Still Have Doubts, So I Can't Be a Christian" with Lynn Anderson, D.Min.

The Case for a Creator[edit]

The Case for a Creator consists of interviews with intelligent design advocates and Christian apologists who argue for the existence of a creator.[14][not in citation given][15]

The advocates interviewed in the chapters and their topic(s) of discussion are as follows:

The Case for the Real Jesus[edit]

The Case for the Real Jesus: A Journalist Investigates Current Attacks on the Identity of Christ presents a number of counter-arguments to challenges to the evangelical Christian view. Strobel addresses differences between the portrayal of Jesus in the non-canonical gospels versus the four canonical gospels, whether the church has changed this depiction over time, new explanations that challenge Jesus' resurrection, the proposed origins of the Jesus story in pagan religions, whether Jesus fulfills messianic prophecies, and whether contemporary people should have the freedom to believe what they want about Jesus.[16]

The book is divided into 6 Challenges:

  • Challenge #1 "Scholars Are Uncovering a Radically Different Jesus in Ancient Documents Just as Credible as the Four Gospels" with Craig A. Evans, PhD
  • Challenge #2 "The Bible's Portrait of Jesus Can't Be Trusted Because the Church Tampered with the Text" with Daniel B. Wallace, PhD
  • Challenge #3 with Michael Licona, M.A., PhD (Cand.)
    • Part 1 "New Explanations Have Refuted Jesus' Resurrection"
    • Part 2 "The Cross Examination"
  • Challenge #4 "Christianity Beliefs about Jesus Were Copied from Pagan Religions" with Edwin M. Yamauchi, PhD
  • Challenge #5 "Jesus Was an Impostor Who Failed to Fulfill the Messianic Prophecies" with Michael L. Brown, PhD
  • Challenge #6 "People Should Be Free to Pick and Choose What to Believe about Jesus" with Paul Copan, PhD

The Case for Christianity Answer Book[edit]

The Case for Christianity Answer Book uses a question-and-answer format to address typical questions concerning Christianity, including the internal consistency of the Bible, intersections between religion and science, the Problem of evil and the Resurrection of Jesus.[17]

The book is divided into six parts:

  • I. Prelude: Seeking Spiritual Answers
  • II. Answers About God, the Creator
  • III. Answers About the Bible
  • IV. Answers About Jesus
  • V. Answers to Other Challenges to Christianity
  • VI. Postlude: Turning Answers into Action

Other books[edit]

Strobel says that he wrote Inside the Mind of Unchurched Harry and Mary to help advance lay people's understanding of Christianity and to increase the effectiveness of evangelistic efforts, and says the book includes insights drawn from his own experiences as a former atheist as to why people avoid Christianity.[18]

Experiencing the Passion of Jesus was co-written with Garry Poole as a discussion guide for Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ.[19] Strobel and Poole also co-authored Exploring the Da Vinci Code.


"The Case for..." series[edit]

  • The Case for Christ, (September 1, 1998), Zondervan, ISBN 0-310-22605-8
  • The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity, (October 1, 2000), Zondervan, ISBN 0-310-22015-7
  • The Case for a Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God (2004), Zondervan, ISBN 0-310-26386-7
  • The Case for Easter: Journalist Investigates the Evidence for the Resurrection (2004), Zondervan, ISBN 0-310-25475-2
  • The Case for Christmas: A Journalist Investigates the Identity of the Child in the Manger (2005), Zondervan, ISBN 0-310-25476-0
  • The Case for the Real Jesus: A Journalist Investigates Current Attacks on the Identity of Christ (September 10, 2007), Zondervan, ISBN 0-310-24210-X
  • The Case for Christianity Answer Book (July 1, 2014), Zondervan, ISBN 0-310-33955-3
  • The Case for Hope: Looking Ahead with Confidence and Courage (2015), Zondervan, ISBN 0-310-33957-X
  • The Case for Grace: A Journalist Explores the Evidence of Transformed Lives (2015), Zondervan, ISBN 0-310-25923-1

Children's apologetics series[edit]


Strobel appeared in the 2016 film God's Not Dead 2.[20]

A film entitled The Case for Christ, based on Strobel's eponymous best-seller, had its theatrical release in April 2017.[21] The film is directed by Jonathan M. Gunn and is about an atheist reporter who tries to prove Christianity to be a cult.[22] The film was produced by Triple Horse Studios and distributed by Pure Flix Entertainment.[23]


  1. ^ Marieann Klett, Leah (December 2016). "Former Atheist Lee Strobel on 'The Case for Christ' Film and Why He's Encouraged Amid Post-Modern Society (Interview)". The Gospel Herald. Retrieved March 24, 2017. 
  2. ^ "1994 Gold Medallion Book Awards Winners – Missions/Evangelism". Archived from the original on November 2, 2007. Retrieved 2008-10-28.  . ecpa.org
  3. ^ Smith, Lisa (September 12, 2007). "Author digs deeper to defend Christianity". Daily Herald. Archived from the original on September 22, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  4. ^ Falsani, Cathleen (October 1, 2004). "Ex-reporter still asking tough questions on 'Faith Under Fire'". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2007-11-15. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Biography". Archived from the original on October 30, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-31. 
  6. ^ "The Unexpected Adventure". Zondervan Publishers. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  7. ^ "Tribune wins 21 awards in UPI contest". Chicago Tribune. 16 May 1980. p. 5. 
  8. ^ "Tribune Reporter Honored". Chicago Tribune. 8 June 1980. p. b12. Retrieved 11 April 2017. 
  9. ^ "Lee Strobel Answers Your Questions, Part 1". Friendly Atheist. 
  10. ^ "A Case for Grace: Lee Strobel's Story". LifeWay. 
  11. ^ a b About Lee Strobel Archived October 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.. Leestrobel.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-14.
  12. ^ "Lee Strobel". Archived from the original on October 31, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-07. 
  13. ^ "ChristianBooks.com". Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  14. ^ Callahan, Tim. No Case At All, Skeptic, June 22, 2005.
  15. ^ Foster, Charles A. (2009). The Selfless Gene: Living with God and Darwin. Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson. p. xvi. ISBN 0-8499-4654-9. 
  16. ^ "Publishers Weekly Nonfiction Reviews: Week of 7/23/2007". Archived from the original on April 15, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  17. ^ "ChristianBook.com". Retrieved 2015-01-13. 
  18. ^ Product Description. Christianbook.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-14.
  19. ^ Christianbook.com. Christianbook.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-14.
  20. ^ "'God's Not Dead 2' Offers Compelling Arguments for Jesus (Review)". The Christian Post.  Retrieved November 2016
  21. ^ "Ex-Atheist Lee Strobel's Journey From Atheism to Christ Hits Theaters in Spring 2017 (Trailer)". The Christian Post.  Retrieved November 2016
  22. ^ Jeremy Kay (3 November 2016). "AFM: Pure Flix launches talks on 'The Case For Christ'". screendaily.com. Screen International.  Retrieved November 2016
  23. ^ Mark Judge (December 2016). "'Faith is Based on Truth' -- Former Atheist Lee Strobel on 'The Case for Christ' Movie". CNSNews.com. 

External links[edit]