US Release Date: 03-21-2014
Directed by: Harold Cronk
- Willie Robertson, as
- Willie Robertson
- David A.R. White, as
- Reverend Dave
- Shane Harper, as
- Josh Wheaton
- Kevin Sorbo, as
- Professor Radisson
- Korie Robertson, as
- Korie Robertson
- Marco Khan, as
- Alex Aristidis, as
- Lisa Arnold, as
- June Wheaton
- Tommy Blaze, as
- Dan Tibbs
- Dean Cain as
Shane Harper and Kevin Sorbo in God's Not Dead
God’s Not Dead is a blunt Christian film that aims its evangelical arrow at all of those non-believers in the audience, if there actually are any. As this film wears its Christianity proudly for all to see, its target audience is the already converted. Thus a film about the existence of God is merely preaching to the choir.
College student Josh Wheaton starts a philosophy class with Professor Radisson who proudly states that he is an atheist and does not want his class bogged down with biblical discussions. He asks that the students each write “God is dead” on a sheet of paper, sign it and hand it in. Josh refuses as he is a proud Christian and such an action would betray that. Professor Radisson challenges Josh to a debate in class over the existence of God.
At this point I thought perhaps Radisson was just approaching his students with a creative way of getting them to support their beliefs. I was wrong. Radisson is a complete ass, with anger issues. Just so you understand that such an action by the Professor is not made up, the end of the film has a long list of colleges that have committed similar actions and have had legal action against them for it.
Besides Josh, we have a Muslim girl who is secretly a Christian. There is a Chinese exchange student who becomes inspired to follow Jesus because of Josh’s classroom lectures. There is the annoying atheist blogger who discovers she has cancer. Hmmm, do you think she may see the light? Then there is her atheist boyfriend, Dean Cain, who plays a rich businessman with a heart of stone.
In this film, being an atheist means being evil. One of the debates in the classroom has Professor Radisson telling Josh that an atheist can be moral. Josh responds that they can but they have no reason to be without God setting a standard for them to live up to. When did morality become exclusively Christian?
The atheist/religious debate is in some ways fascinating. They each quote famous philosophers that support their point of view. Each think they are making great points, but in fact neither really does. Their debate comes to a head in a scene that is nearly a direct lift from A Few Good Men’s “You can’t handle the truth!” scene.
The real weakness of this film is in the writing. Josh’s girlfriend breaks up with him in a really forced scene. The part with the Muslim girl seems out of left field. There was a much better way to integrate her into the story than how the writers did here. The joke about the car not starting is not nearly as funny as it is supposed to be.
God’s Not Dead paints everyone as one dimensional. Christians are good, Atheists are bad. The undecided are merely waiting for someone to testify to them. You will possibly be offended by this film if you are Muslim or an atheist. Christians however, may find a film they have been waiting for and judging by the audience I saw this with, some have. God's Not Dead is a blatant Christian movie and it does not apologize for it.
Photos © Copyright Pure Flix Entertainment (2014)