Today I am going to review the new film God’s Not Dead! This movie is about a Christian who goes to university and is challenged by his professor, who is an atheist, to defend the idea that God exists. When I heard about this movie I was excited and yet somewhat skeptical. Not that I disagree with the premise of the film but knowing that it would take place in a philosophy class I could pretty well predict how the debate would follow.
Before I get too far in my review I will say that I liked the movie a lot. I say this because I will come across as pretty brutal in dealing with it. But to keep things a little more positive I will begin with the downside of the movie first and then move to what I liked.
The first weakness of this film was the fact that the main character in this film says that he is going to put God on trial. This I think is very wrong as scripture commands us not to put God to the test (Luke 4:12). We should remember that God is judge and we should therefore not judge him. But this is the way that he moves forward in the debate. Instead of using the Bible as his starting point he uses philosophy and “science” and mostly ignores scripture.
What is the problem with this? The problem is that if our starting point is our own ability to reason we will never reach the point of salvation. No one gets saved apart from the name of Jesus, “For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Philosophy and reason will never get us to that point. What this movie attempted to do was prove philosophically that God exists and even though they may have done it they only argued for God in a general sense and not for Jesus. At the end of the film when everyone rose saying God’s not dead the only thing that had been accomplished is a conversion to theism not Christianity.
Some would say is not this a good thing? Not really. There are going to be more theists in Hell than atheists. With regard to theists James the brother of Jesus said, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble (James 2:19). James is saying that belief in God only makes you equal with the devil. In order for a person to be saved we must start with scripture and preach Jesus and not philosophy.
The second issue with this movie is that the argument is used that the big bang is what the verse let there be light would look like. This is absolutely false. There is no room in scripture for the big bang. For brevities sake I will link an article that deals more fully with this. http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/ud/problems-with-big-bang. It is true that god could have used the big bang, but it is also true that the God of the Bible would and could not have.
Another issue related to this is that it is argued that God could have guided the process of evolution. Once again this is anti-scriptural. The God of the Bible did not use evolution at all. Any child reading Genesis will know that God did not use evolution.
The final objection that I had with this movie was the gospel presentation at the end. I found it very weak. I was glad to see that they did make mention of sin as that is often omitted. But I was also sad to hear no mention of repentance. Sadly this is an epidemic in gospel presentations today. There is no salvation apart from repentance yet we fail to mention it so often. This is why we see so many people get saved and then fall away a short distance down the road.
So to lump it all together the weakness with this film is too much respect for man and too little respect for God. We should not tell God that He had to use evolution, the big bang and other pagan ideas and we should not think so highly of ourselves as to think our own reasoning can lead us to salvation.
With all that said here are the things I liked about the movie! I thought that it was incredibly well made. If it were possible to watch the movie without being able to pick up on the Christian themes you would not be able to tell it apart from secular films today. The acting was top notch. I certainly want to say that Kevin Sorbo did an amazing job as Jeffrey Radisson the professor. The whole time I was watching I was asking myself, Modec, Gwain, or Frederick? Read the Age of Ornan to figure this out!
In fact I have to say Radisson is one of my favorite parts of the film! He was a very well written and deep character and made me feel somewhat guilty as I thought, “Is it right to say the atheist was my favorite character?” Radisson does become a Christian by the end of the movie which some said was unrealistic for a person who hated God so much and while I agree it is unlikely we must always remember that salvation is a work of the Holy Spirit and he can soften even the hardest of hearts.
For another good review that goes a little deeper into detail I would suggest this article, http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2014/02/25/review-gods-not-dead-movie.
In the end I must say I am amazed at how good Christian filmmaking is becoming. I have to say good job to Pure Flix! If they need a new project to work on and want to make the world’s first epic, Christian, film trilogy then I have a suggestion for them… maybe The Age of Ornan? God bless and have a great day!