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Have you ever watched the classic MGM movie Ben-Hur? The story was originally written by a civil war general – General Lew Wallace, who as boy was raised in a Christian home but as a man was indifferent to religion. He was a dreamer, a romantic, and a seeker of fame and fortune. Wallace rose quickly to the military’s hierarchy. In addition to his many battlefield victories, Wallace was also a prolific writer. One of his writing projects dealt with a topic that fascinated him ever since he was a small boy: The visit of the Wise Men to Bethlehem. After he wrote his first draft, he put the manuscript in a drawer and forgot about it. Three years later, while on a train to Indianapolis, Wallace met the famed agnostic, Robert Ingersoll. After Wallace asked Ingersoll if he believed in God, Ingersoll answered "no" and then argued his convictions for two hours. When the men arrived in Indianapolis, Wallace’s thoughts were in turmoil. How strange that it took the arguments of an unbeliever to shake him out of his religious indifference. Ingersoll had challenged Wallace to prove that Jesus was the Son of God. Wallace took up the challenge. So he decided to expand his earlier story about the wise men to include Christ’s death and resurrection. Being a meticulous researcher, he read and re-read the Gospel accounts, and in the process of writing his book, Ben Hur, General Wallace accepted the claims of Jesus Christ and committed his life to Him as Lord! That’s the power of the Gospel! (Source: Focus on the Family, April 1998)

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