May 22, 2024

By Jake Ferrier and Jeff Mengerink

            Each of us saw the film “God’s Not Dead” on Saturday March 29 at the Springfield Theatre.  Being two Christian students on campus, each of us at first glance found the movie to be very applicable to life as a Christian in today’s world, especially in a college setting.  Having seen other Christian-produced movies, we had an idea of what to expect, but “God’s Not Dead” both strayed from and exceeded our expectations. While the movie consisted of very realistic situations some of the stereotypes portrayed in the movie were a bit exaggerated. However this didn’t take away from the overall experience of the movie.
The film exceeded our expectations in several areas.  The first manner was that the film was extremely rooted in the Bible and the principles of the gospel of Jesus.  The film included multiple verses that were extremely applicable to the situations in the film, and the gospel was portrayed correctly throughout the film as well.  The other manner in which the film exceeded expectations was the way that the college student (Josh Wheaton) in no way pushes his faith onto his professor and philosophy class.  Rather, Wheaton argues in an intellectual manner that God’s existence may not be able to be concretely proven, but it cannot be concretely disproven.  This mantra that Josh works through in “putting God on trial” in his Philosophy class is called apologetics: reasoned arguments and justification of a religious doctrine.  Josh rightly combined science, reason, and faith; which is what most impressed us from the movie.
Another appealing aspect of the film was that it did not solely focus on the discussions and arguments of the philosophy class but rather had several underlying plot lines that enhanced the film. This gave the film more substance showing how Christianity has an impact on all areas of life rather than just a church or a classroom.
Where the film failed to meet expectations for each of us was that the film failed to attract non-Christian individuals.  This is not only seen in the title, but also the contents of the movie steered majorly toward catering to purely the Christian audience.  Some of the stereotypes of non-Christians in the movie were somewhat antagonistic, taking them to the extreme, but still realistic. Some viewers may have seen this negatively, but it presented some of the very real persecutions that Christians may face in the world today. The goal of the movie was not to belittle other faiths or non-Christians, but rather to present a strong argument for why God exists and to show that God seeks all of us because He loves us no matter in what capacity we know and love Him.
The movie also is not purely fictional, and it is important to note that in the credits at the end of the movie that the type of scenario portrayed in the movie had taken place at over forty other universities where the case had actually been brought to court.  This is important because it shows that the movie is derived from a true source of persecution that Christians are facing in colleges across America. Overall the movie was enjoyable and it strengthened our faith as Christians. We highly recommend it to Christians, and even non-Christians may enjoy it as well.

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