“God’s Not Dead” 2014
Director: Harold Cronk
A Drama, Produced by Pure Flix, a Christian film studio.
Rated: PG 1hr 53min
Or go to www.GodsNotDeadtheMovie.com to view the trailer.
I have pretty much given up going to the movies, not interested in the selection of films offered, so I was intrigued by the little known, small budget film, “God’s Not Dead” which
opened March 21, 2014. It grossed $ 9.2 million, the first weekend, and as I watched the trailer, I immediately made plans to see this movie aimed towards Evangelical Christians.
Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper), a pre-law student, signs up for a philosophy class with an aggressive professor. Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo) is an atheist who demands that everyone declare and write on a sheet of paper that ‘God is dead.’ Josh, a Christian, refuses which causes the professor to challenge him to prove God’s existence. He is given the
opportunity to present his defense, in front of the class, and if he is unable to do this, he will fail the class. There are several story threads, woven through the movie, that capture the struggles, heartbreak and challenges that believers and those questioning their faith face.
One intriguing character is an elderly woman who is visited by her absentee son (Dean Cain). He is a successful businessman annoyed and impatient with her dependence and deteriorating state of dementia. He angrily questions her faith and she, in a moment of clarity, tells him about the consequences of sin. There are a few surprising twists and special appearances by Newsboys and “Duck Dynasty’s” Willie and Korie Robertson.
I recommend this movie because it encourages Evangelical Christians to stand up for their faith. It also invites those questioning their faith to ask questions about God. I am sick and
tired of offensive language and the blatant attempts of the media to shock and offend with their disrespectful comments. In this movie, the name of our Precious Savior Jesus Christ was spoken with reverence and praise. It has been a really long time since I’ve heard that in a movie. Also, another important concept, about this movie, was that it was based on actual court cases where students, like Josh Wheaton, defended their faith in an academic setting. The ending credits list the students and universities.
The responses to this film are, as expected, strongly divided. I think this quote by Paul Levinson, media critic and professor of communications and media studies at Fordham University in New York sums up the movie very well. He states, “The success of ‘God’s Not Dead’ shows at least three things: Big budgets are not necessary to make popular movies, there is a significant part of the population that cherishes faith-based movies, and students like narratives about arrogant professors who get their due.”