"God's Not Dead": the movie

For ID and creation science to prosper, the ability to communicate is vital from movies to books to social media to classroom to Sunday sermons. It is also vital to understand how opponents of ID and creation science use and abuse channels of communication. For example, the movie "Inherit the Wind" had tremendous impact on the culture in a way that was harmful to ID and creation science. This forum explores these topics.

"God's Not Dead": the movie

Postby johnspenn » Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:58 pm

Has anyone seen it?

I'll see it on DVD most likely. I have a feeling it won't be very realistic, and the characters will be more like caricatures. If anyone sees the movie and has a report I'd love to hear it.
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Re: "God's Not Dead": the movie

Postby Paul Giem » Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:06 pm

Spoiler alert: In order to evaluate the movie, one has to mention facts that will ruin the suspense of a first-time viewer, so if you don't want that suspense removed, don't read the following. Just take the recommendation that the movie is worth viewing.

It's better acted than some. (I'm comparing it with "Test of Faith"). I personally would have liked to have seen the arguments portrayed a little longer. My son (in college) tells me that they got the dress code right.

I am split on their portrayal of the lead antagonist. I am sure there are antagonists as biased as he, but one must be careful not to generalize, as most professors, even atheist professors, are not as blatant. They would probably not have students sign statements; they would only quietly downgrade papers that viewed things from a faith-based perspective and the students would never know what hit them. If one takes the antagonist as possible, and real in certain contexts, and something one must be prepared to deal with, one can believe the movie. But if one takes the antagonist as typical, one is making a big mistake.

One nice touch is the humanization of the Muslim father, who slaps his daughter a couple of times and sends her out of the house, then breaks down and cries. He is virtually required by his religion to disown her, and in some brands of Islam is required to do even more, but it is evident that he does not like it. It is too easy for us to make people who do things we do not like, or even wrong things, into sadists and moral monsters. The movie avoids that. Even the main antagonist has his soft side.

I found the movie slightly polyannaish. Although the Muslim/Christian young lady does not have much of a happy ending, the string of victories for Christianity continues otherwise unabated, with the antagonist losing his Christian girlfriend when she discovers her personal worth and breaks free, the protagonist winning the class (although losing his shallow girlfriend in the process), and the surprise interview specialist giving her heart to Jesus. Even the antagonist has a (rather wet) deathbed conversion. The only person who doesn't get converted, or at least move substantially toward Christianity (as the class does) is the brother of the antagonist's (ex-)girlfriend and the previous love interest of the surprise interview artist, who remains as unrepentant as ever. This could happen, but does seem atypical.

The place where the movie really lost me is in the presentation of the protagonist. Don't get me wrong. I liked the presentation, and it was well done. But that is the problem. I know, having done new presentations on a (mostly) weekly basis for years, how hard it is to prepare them, and how difficult graphics can be. But unless the protagonist is a geek, or has some seriously geeky friends working with him, which are never portrayed, his presentation is entirely out of character for a freshman college student. It's like the old space movies where the explosion of some object is both seen and heard. Nah, not really. If we call the latter movie physics, we might call the protagonist's talks movie presentation skills.

But the movie does make one think, about the costs of discipleship, about the intellectual respectability of the arguments for God, and about trusting God in the little things of life. That's why I still recommend it, flaws and all.
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Re: "God's Not Dead": the movie

Postby johnspenn » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:36 pm

Thanks PG. I may try it out this weekend.
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Re: "God's Not Dead": the movie

Postby Tragic Mishap » Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:37 pm

Saw it. Liked it. Recommend it.

Apologetics are very solid for a popular presentation. I thought the explanation of Prof. John Lennox's arguments against Hawkwing were difficult to follow though. Probably would have been better just to say, "The law of gravity is not nothing," and left it at that. Though the "Philosophy is dead" punchline was pretty good.
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