God’s Not Dead-Film Review

God's Not Dead-Film Review

As one who loved Kevin Sorbo’s faith film, What If, I was glad to hear about his latest, God’s Not Dead, on Facebook and in a trailer they ran before the film, Son of God. The trailer alone was mind blowing as over the years I have read and seen personally horror stories about what many young Christians have had to put up with on college campuses. Recently I had the opportunity to see the film with family members and it was an overwhelming experience.

Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper) is a young Freshman Christian needing a class in philosophy for his major. Unfortunately, Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo) is a hardened atheist who wants his class to accept the idea that “God is Dead.” On the first day he demands each student to write and sign that statement on paper. Josh refuses even though it jeopardizes his education, his relationship with others and even his future marriage. Radisson challenges Josh to take a portion of three classes to prove there is a God. It is quite a challenge and Josh has to use every resource possible against a teacher who says that the only god is he himself in that classroom. Both do a superb job of acting, but they were not the only ones.

Multiple Stories and One Powerful Message

Lest the reader be misled, this film is more than a debate between a young Christian and a man who admits he hates God. There are several very interesting side stories including a Muslim student at risk because she believes in Jesus Christ, a Christian girl whose mother is dying of Alzheimer disease, a young man from China who must weigh what he has learned from Josh against his upbringing and a young non believer who finds she has cancer. Especially interesting is Reverend Dave (David A. R. White) who interacts with all of them while dealing with problems of his own. I admit I at first wondered what part Willy and Korie Robertson (Duck Dynasty) would have in this film; however, despite having short roles, they are very instrumental. The film also makes use of the Christian singing group, Newsboys, and they too are significant to the plot.

There are those who criticize faith films for not having top acting, good editing, good music and a number of other faults. Pure Flix turned out a professional motion picture that can stand with the best of them and is Oscar quality in my opinion. Sadly when first released the theaters showing the film were limited to 780. However, the reaction of the audiences and their demand required more theaters to be opened and even the naysayers among critics have had to admit it is a success. In the theaters near where I am writing this there was applause and finally a standing ovation. People were invited at the end of the film to text all their friends with the news that “God’s Not Dead”. Theaters always warn you to have cell phones off, but as the credits rolled, cell phones in the theaters lit up as that message was being texted. Some like our film making friend Rusty Whitener added, “God’s not even sick.”

God's Not Dead-Film Review

Preaching to the Choir?

One concern I consider unwarranted is that the film will be preaching to the choir. While that is often a concern with faith films, Christians should invite their non Christian friends and family members as their guests to attend a showing. It will cause discussion, questions and in the end revelation. The film deals frankly with criticisms often made by non believers and does an excellent job of putting light on answers that are too often obscured in non Christian films and TV shows. Obviously, my family and I intend to go back to see this film again and are recommending it to everyone we know. I would like to see it being used in churches and colleges.


Dr. Fred Eichelman About Dr. Fred Eichelman

Dr. Fred Eichelman is a retired educator and one of the founders of Point North † Outreach, a Christian media organization. He is the editor of its publication, Point North † Tidings. For information about this organization or to subscribe to receive it free on-line, contact: dreichelman@yahoo.com or visit: www.PointingNorth.com