God’s not dead is a film about a freshman at college called Josh (Shane Harper) who begins a philosophy course. His lecturer Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo) is an atheist, and tells every student in the first class to write on a piece of paper ‘God is dead’ and then sign it and hand it in. This is apparently to get the ‘ridiculous’ argument about whether God exists, out of the way so that they can focus on ‘reality’ in the class. But Josh refuses to do it because he is Christian.
The lecturer says that that’s fine, but Josh will have to convince the class in a series of three short lectures at the end of the next few lessons, that God is not dead. If he doesn’t, he will fail a significant portion of the year.
This is the main plotline, but there are also sub-plots involving other people’s walk with or discovery of God, such as a Muslim girl who hides a secret; and someone who finds out that they have cancer.
The film starts slowly, but it is pretty good. It encourages non-Christians to think about what they believe, and isn’t airy-fairy in that it does address some concerns about evolution and pain: probably the two main things that draw people away from God. Hopefully some viewers will be encouraged by the story to find out more about Jesus, or at least challenge themselves to think about what they actually believe in.
Another criticism I have is that it portrays Muslims harshly, and feel that there is no need for that in the film.
I think it’s helpful for Christians (especially new ones) and agnostics to watch. Atheists are unlikely to watch it, thanks to its title, but you never know, the open-minded may give it a try, even if it’s just to ridicule the typical American Christians.
The only big name is Dean Cain (Superman!) which is a bonus, even if he is a grumpy businessman in the film. There is also a performance by Newsboys, a Christian rock band.
The film encourages believers to stand up for God and not be swayed by other people’s (often loud) opinions.
The message is that yes, bad things happen, people get hurt, but in the end, God is good, all the time.
32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.