Despite being sick all week, I was able to muster the strength to drive to the movie theater to watch the God’s Not Dead movie. Going into this movie, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it or not.(Seeing one of the main characters, Joshua Wheaten, saying he was intending to put God on trial made me cringe.) I do not intend to spoil the plot, nor do I intend to write a comprehensive review. I am just going to make some general statements regarding my thoughts.
The movie is not centered on apologetics. Rather, it is more centered on telling the story of seven(or so) individuals:
1.) A young college freshman who has to argue that God exists in his philosophy class.
2.) A Muslim girl who is secretly a Christian.
3.) An atheist college professor that hates God and is making Joshua Wheaten argue for God’s existence over a three-day span in class.
4.) A rich businessman that doesn’t believe in God, but he is watching his mother waste away from dementia.
5.) A young Christian woman that is married to the atheist professor and is sister of the rich business man and the daughter of the mother that is dying from dementia.
6.) A news reporter that is anti-Christian that receives news that she has cancer.
7.) A pastor that is indifferent about his job and wants to be able to do more in the ministry.
Judging by the title of the movie, one would get the impression that the movie is about proving that God exists; however, that is not the purpose of the movie. The movie seems to focus on teaching two important lessons:
1.) Christians should stand up for what they believe in. You never know who is listening.
2.) Everyone should recognize that God puts us through trials, and we should deal with them with a joyful heart.
The style of apologetics used in this movie is classical apologetics, and the apologetics clearly come from an old-earth creationist aspect. Joshua Wheaten also appeals to the free will solution for the problem of evil.(Man has a will that can violate God’s decree.) The main argument that is given for Christianity is the Kalam Cosmological Argument.(It is not fully formulated in this movie, but Big Bang Cosmology is discussed. ) The moral argument is also discussed as well for a short time. I do not agree with using natural theology to try and convert people to Christianity, and the movie doesn’t seem to endorse this either.(Although at least one person fully converted to Christianity upon hearing the evidence.) The movie clearly gives the impression that it isn’t the evidence that gets people to convert, rather, it is the preaching of the Gospel. This, of course, is a very good thing. I also do not agree with the old-earth position, but I do recognize that there are many sincere Christians that hold to this view.
The Gospel is explained and presented several times in this movie. There are also a lot of touching moments in the movie. I have been forced to watch many dramas, be it because I was on a date, or because….Well, I suppose that is the only reason. I am sure that some of our male readers will be able to relate! I don’t normally cry during movies, but I came really close to in this movie because the Gospel is something that is very important in my life. To think that I once was blind but now I see. Even if it’s just a movie, watching a conversion is always heart warming, and it should be so for any Christian.
Over all, I do recommend this movie. We all should realistically expect that we are not going to see a movie that is going to agree with ALL of our stances. However, this movie certainly does get its central messages right.