Christian apologist Lee Strobel has revealed that he once shared the Gospel with Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner, who is often credited with spearheading America's sexual revolution.
Following the news of Hefner's death on Wednesday, Strobel claimed that the late publisher had heard the Gospel but never bothered to examine the evidence.
"Hugh Hefner dead at 91. I remember sharing the Gospel with him," Strobel tweeted on Wednesday. "He saw significance of the Resurrection but had never checked the evidence," he added.
Strobel was once an atheist, but he became a believer after he went on a spiritual journey to try and disprove his wife's newfound faith. He has since been working as a Christian apologist, trying to convince men like Hefner that Jesus is the only path to salvation.
He has recently released his film "The Case For Christ," which sets out to provide evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which Strobel says Hefner failed to check.
Hefner died of natural causes in his legendary Playboy mansion in Beverly Hills, California. His son, Conor, said that he lived an "exceptional and impactful" life, and described him as an advocate for sexual freedom.
His magazine became an immediate hit when its first issue, featuring nude photos of actress Marilyn Monroe, was published in December 1953. He once faced obscenity charges in 1963 for publishing and circulating photos of naked celebrities and aspiring stars but he was later acquitted, according to Reuters.
While many fans and celebrities are hailing Hefner's legacy, some Christian leaders are denouncing the negative impact they believe he has had on American culture.
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, described Hefner's death as a tragedy, but warned people against celebrating his life as a "success."
"Hefner is the iconic figure who not only made pornography socially respectable (and even more lucrative), but also spent a life constructing a 'playboy philosophy' of sexual freedom that would supposedly undo the 'Puritan sexual repression he saw in American life,'" Moore wrote in a recent op-ed piece on his own website.
Moore contended that those who want to find people who lived a successful life should not look at Hefner, but "look instead to the man faithful to the wife of his youth, caring for her through dementia."
He noted that the late magazine publisher chose to use the "bunny" logo to represent his company because he viewed men and as essentially rabbits.
Moore acknowledged that in many ways, Hefner's hedonistic philosophy has "won," but he maintained that "Jesus will reign" in the end.
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