The movie God’s Not Dead opened in theaters on March 21, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. The movie brought in $9.2 million for its opening weekend on only 780 screens, and has been so successful that it’s now expanding to over 1,100 screens!
Here’s a religious drama about a college freshman forced to compromise his Christian beliefs if he wants a passing grade, or else he must accept his atheist philosophy professor’s challenge and prove to the class that God is not dead.
There’s a growing hostility towards Christianity in the United States, and college campuses have been a battle ground for this war for decades. This hostility isn’t the same type of persecution we see in other countries where people are imprisoned, killed or tortured for their beliefs, but nonetheless we see various attacks on the Christian faith. It’s no secret that college campuses are known to derail the faith of many young people; in fact there are professors aggressive enough to take advantage of their position of influence by imposing a humanist agenda and attacking the opposition. They attack those who believe in God through ridicule, embarrassment, threats of failure and other forms of punishment. But here’s a story of one student, Josh Wheaton, who, despite his fears, accepted Professor Radisson’s daunting challenge in the face of academic suicide. He demonstrated courage by standing up for his faith and facing the impending consequences, such as the rejection of his peers and longtime girlfriend.
Several side-stories were woven into the plot that touched on foreign cultures, humanism, and Islam. Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson and his wife made an inspiring appearance, as well as the Christian band, News Boys. The movie was thought-provoking, powerful and entertaining. Young actor Shane Harper did a fine job sparring against Kevin Sorbo (Hercules, Andromeda), who played Professor Radisson. And while this movie is geared towards students, it makes for a great family movie and should be enjoyed by all.
The basis for this movie was collected from 93 lawsuits filed against colleges throughout the United States where students have faced unjust punishment for their faith. And if you stick around to see the credits at the end of the movie, you’ll see the entire list, including details surrounding those cases.
I’d definitely recommend this film and hope that such support will encourage more films like this to be made.