I have to say from the get go that God’s Not Dead is probably one of the best ‘Christian’ films I have ever watched in terms of quality, story line and message. This $2 million budget film didn’t scream of Hollywood but definitely didn’t overly reflect its relatively small budget.
The main story line follows Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper), a college Freshman whose faith is challenged by his arrogant, staunch atheist Philosophy lecturer – Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo). On the first day of class, Radisson demands that his students disavow the existence of God in writing. Wheaton’s faith and conviction for Christ is challenged as he refuses to conform and in doing so takes on a battle that will see him loose the support of the people closest to him.
Other off-shoot story lines evolve within the film that show different people’s experience of the Lord, trials of faith and realisations of our innate need of Him. The Newsboys also get the opportunity to minister to a journalist who is out to discredit Christians until she finds out that she has cancer and realises she has no-one else to turn to but God.
But what I found to be fantastic about the film was that it answered many questions that even Christians ask themselves and seek for some level of explanation. It addresses the ‘creation’ versus ‘Big Bang’ theory and the ‘Good and Evil’ debate head on with well thought out arguments and scriptural backing. There were also a number of times that the Word of God is not only referred to but is read out.
God’s Not Dead takes you on a journey of emotions that range from fear to anger and sadness to joy. There were moments when I really had to fight back the urge to leap out of my seat and shout Hallelujah. For Christians, the film may offer an extra source of conviction – if it were needed. But I am also sure that the film delivers its message in a way that non-Christians just might leave the cinema theatre with something to think about, if not feeling challenged to discover more about Christianity.
On a less positive note, there were a couple of ‘Christian Cheesy’ moments within the film that I am not sure can ever be avoided in Christian films. It also felt like some of the story lines moved a little too fast and were not given the space develop the background before reaching the conclusion. My last negative observation was that some of the acting at times wasn’t convincing enough.
But all in all – did I enjoy the God’s Not Dead? Absolutely. Would I recommend you to go and watch it? Absolutely. Does the film achieve its objective of promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the reality of God? Yes, I think it does!
When you watch it, let us know what your thoughts are.
Film review by Adaeze Chiwoko, Vienjuice