Recently I had the opportunity to attend the world premiere of the new movie The Investigator starring Wade Williams and David Sanborn.
|David M. Sanborn|
It was, in a word, compelling!
In the same genre as other films with Christian themes (viewers will likely compare this film to Courageous, Facing the Giants, and Fireproof), The Investigator covers brand new ground--the field of Christian apologetics.
The movie centers around the "circumstantial evidence" for the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the film's protagonist, a former cop, explores his own crisis-of-faith by using his skills to a recreate a "courtroom" analysis of the evidence for the historic events of Christianity. This all takes place as Sergeant James Buanacore helps his high school criminal justice class apply the science of forensic evidence to one of the great crimes of all time--Jesus's death.
Those familiar with Lee Strobel's outstanding book The Case for Christ will find themselves following along nimbly with the evidence presented in this film. This time, however, the evidence for the historicity of Christianity is presented winsomely inside the story's main plot-line, and in an especially personal way.
While the sub-plot (Buanacore is also the school's high school baseball coach leading his team into the playoffs) is endearing enough, it is the lead character's agonizing, soul-searching, drive to find truth in the evidence of Christianity that carries the movie forward. All this prompts viewers to ask themselves like-minded questions about faith, family, and the meaning of our experience--both as post-resurrection believers, or conversely, as skeptics.
Williams does an admirable job as Sergeant Buanacore, but in this writer's humble opinion, David Sanborn (as Buanacore's brother, Paul) proved himself to be an outstanding screen actor, especially in some of the movie's more intensely emotional scenes. [Full disclosure: David Sanborn is one of my best friends].
We can only hope that this movie will be used of God to provoke the same kind of sincere soul-searching as the Gospel of John describes in the disciple Thomas (see John 20:24-29). Surely those who are daring enough to follow the example of "Doubting Thomas" will find what Josh McDowell once called the "evidence that demands a verdict."
Here is the synopsis as given by the official website:
"Police Sergeant James Buanacore, a twenty-year veteran investigator, starts the most important investigation of his life when a drug bust goes tragically wrong, forcing James out of the job he loves and into retirement. When James' wife Stephanie has a miscarriage, he is devastated and begins to question his previously strong faith. Depressed and angry, James isolates himself until his famous brother encourages him to take a job as a criminal justice teacher and baseball coach at a Christian high school. With his cop mentality challenging his students, James struggles through experiences with an unsupportive principal, a guidance counselor with a secret, and rebellious students. But when his best option seems to be quitting, a student challenges him to begin the investigation that will change his life, and those of his students, forever...the investigation into the homicide of Jesus Christ."(www.theinvestigatormovie.com)
Matthew Everhard is the Senior Pastor of Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brooksville Florida.