Comedian Chris Distefano Urges Bill Maher to Read Case for Christ

Michael Foust | Contributor | Updated: Feb 08, 2024
Comedian Chris Distefano Urges Bill Maher to Read <em>Case for Christ</em>

Comedian Chris Distefano Urges Bill Maher to Read Case for Christ

One of the nation’s most popular comedians recently encouraged skeptic Bill Maher to read Lee Strobel’s apologetics book The Case for Christ, telling the television host that Strobel’s arguments are impressive.

Comedian Chris Distefano made the comments on Maher’s Club Random Podcast, saying the bestselling book has helped change his mind about Jesus.  

“I believe in Jesus,” Distefano told Maher, a well-known skeptic who has described himself as an agnostic and whose 2008 movie Religulous ridiculed all religions, including Christianity.

Formerly, Distefano said, he did not believe in Jesus. 

“I didn’t,” he said. “I went to Catholic school my whole life. But after reading this book The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel, the factual evidence that He existed, is kind of overwhelming.”

Maher retorted: “I’d like to see that because the factual evidence that He existed has always been underwhelming.”

“Read Case for Christ,” Distefano suggested.

“I will,” Maher responded. He then asked: “This is based on what, archaeological finds?”

“Archaeological finds, theological finds,” Distefano answered.

The Case for Christ was the inspiration for the 2017 movie about Strobel’s life. Strobel famously converted from skeptic to Christianity.

Distefano then referenced an argument from The Case for Christ -- that historians have more evidence for Jesus’ life than they do for Alexander the Great’s life.

“If I told you factual evidence about Alexander the Great, you would believe me,” he told Maher.

“Who cares if Jesus lived?” Maher said, arguing that even if He did, “it’s then whether He died and was then reborn.”

“Maybe He existed. I agree. It’s absolutely possible He existed,” Maher added.

Distefano asserted, “But according to Case for Christ, independent sources who didn't know each other, who wrote about Him within 20 years of His death, talked about these miracles happening as in real time.”

First-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus referenced Jesus, Distefano said.

Maher disagreed with Distefano on the date of the New Testament, arguing that the books of the Bible were written long after Jesus lived.

Eventually, Distefano and Maher acknowledged their differences and agreed to disagree.

“Don't come to me when you die at St. Peter's,” Distefano said, joking about the metaphorical entrance to heaven. “I'm not getting you in.”

Image credit: ©Getty Images/Vivien Killilea/Stringer

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

Comedian Chris Distefano Urges Bill Maher to Read Case for Christ