Former atheist Lee Strobel launches video series to make the case for Christmas
Lee Strobel has announced the launch of a free, four-week online video Bible study, which will investigate the historical and logical veracity of the account of the birth and divinity of Jesus beginning Nov. 30.
“When I was an atheist, I loved the Christmas season, because I managed to focus on all the superficial trappings of the holiday instead of the spiritual dimension,” says Strobel, former legal editor of The Chicago Tribune who's now a Christian and apologist, in a video message on the study’s website.
Releasing one video per week through Jan 1, 2021, the former atheist will help participants understand that the four Gospels in the Bible are historically reliable in their telling of Jesus’ biography.
In the study, sponsored by the popular Christian website Bible Gateway, Strobel “will separate the traditional myths from the real facts of the Christmas story by uncovering scholarly evidence gleaned from research and interviews regarding the true nature of Christmas.”
Strobel, who became a Christian in 1981, explains in his video message that after his wife, Leslie, became a Christian and he began to investigate the identity of Jesus, “I wanted to separate the holy day from the holiday, the facts from the fantasy, the truth from the tradition, and get down to the historic bedrock of what Christmas is all about.”
The apologist, who has since served as a teaching pastor at three of the largest churches in the country, thought at the time that he would be able to prove that Christmas is built on “flimsy legends that developed in the many decades after Jesus lived.”
However, after “a thorough investigation," Strobel said he found that "ancient history actually validates the Christmas narrative, because it’s based on reliable sources that are too immediate to be written off as being mere legend or make believe.”
“In this four-week experience, we set aside Santa Claus and Christmas trees and delve instead into the question of what we can really know with confidence about the birth of Jesus of Nazareth,” he says. “It is, after all, the greatest story of history. And, the greatest stories of history are the ones that turn out to be true.”
Last August, Strobel announced he was launching a center for evangelism and apologetics in collaboration with Colorado Christian University to fuel spiritual renewal in the country, revitalize churches, and equip the next generation to understand and defend their faith.
“We live in an increasingly skeptical and even hostile culture toward the Christian message, and apologetics, which is literally giving evidence for the faith, is increasingly important as a result,” Strobel told The Christian Post at the time. “Apologetics gets people past their spiritual ‘sticking points.’ A lot of people in culture have objections, questions, and doubts about God, and when we can give them a reason for these things, it can make great progress for God.”
Strobel, a New York Times bestselling author of more than 40 books and curricula that have sold 14 million copies, added that the center, titled the Lee Strobel Center for Evangelism and Applied Apologetics, would “wed evangelism and apologetics” — something he said had historically been “missing” in most Christian training.
In 2017, Strobel’s spiritual journey was depicted in an award-winning motion picture, “The Case for Christ,” which showed in theaters across the United States and worldwide.