MU grad finds, talks religion

Sunday, October 3, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:00 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Religion has always been a controversial subject; now there is a new forum in which this controversy can be debated. “Faith Under Fire,” Pax TV’s new hour-long debate/talk show series, hosted by atheist-turned-Christian Lee Strobel, examines not only what religious beliefs people have, but why they have them.

The hour-long series, which began Saturday, features high-profile guests who debate today’s hottest topics in the realm of faith. Guests such as Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, musician Moby and Yehuda Berg, co-director of the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles, discuss their personal beliefs and the impact religion has in the world today.

Strobel, a 1974 graduate of MU’s School of Journalism, said in an interview that although there are other shows on TV dealing with faith, they are boring because there isn’t an element of debate.

“No topic is off-limits,” Strobel said on the show’s Web site. “People feel strongly about these issues and ‘Faith Under Fire’ will put various belief systems to the test.”

Each show, geared toward anyone interested in issues of faith, touches on three main topics: direct faith issues, such as whether there is evidence to prove the existence of God; social issues examined with a faith perspective, such as embryonic stem cell research, abortion and gay parenting; and pop culture, which features interviews with guests such as Hefner and Moby.

Strobel hopes the show will stimulate spirited conversation among viewers.

“I hope it will challenge people to think about why they believe what they do,” he said.

Formerly the legal editor of The Chicago Tribune, he is a New York Times best-selling author for his book “The Case for a Creator,” which reached No. 30 on the list. He converted from atheism to Christianity after a systematic investigation into scientific and historical evidence convinced him of the existence of God.

Strobel has written two other books that have sold more than 4.3 million copies combined. “The Case for Faith” and “The Case for Christ,” along with “The Case for a Creator,” reconstruct his journey of becoming a Christian.

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