God’s not dead tells the story of Josh, a college freshman whose belief in the existence of God was challenged by his atheist Philosophy professor. Their battle started when the professor asked his class to write on a piece of paper that “God is dead”. Josh, as a Christian, refused to follow despite knowing that his disagreement places his academic standing in jeopardy. The professor then asked Josh to give an argument of his thesis for 20 minutes each during their next three meetings. The class will then decide who wins after the debate.
The film does not only revolve between their battles but has subplots that portray common scenarios about the struggles of Christians. Towards the end, the films’ writer somehow found a way to unite the characters in one place and situation.
The film is not highly regarded in the secular reviews but it grossed high and received positive recommendations from many. Personally, I like the film and would rate it 8/10 based on my bias criteria that it’s a Christian film that encourages Christians to stand up for their faith and let God be known. The downside I think is that; there were too many subplots, and the sequences of the characters’ development were too quick. I feel like there were some missing situations that should’ve been shown why one thing led to the next and more plausible scenarios that should’ve connected the subplots altogether. Or, maybe I was expecting too much. Anyway, the actors and actresses all did great and have delivered well what they needed to. The cameo of Michael Tait was a bit amusing for me, though it would have been better if all the DC Talk were there.
Not to focus much on the technicalities, there are five lessons that I want to share from the film.
1. As Christians, we must be steadfast in defending our faith at all times. Josh remained steadfast in standing up for what He believes. He didn’t waver even if it will put his academic standing in jeopardy. He could’ve just written the words “God is dead” insincerely, confess to God then forget about it. But he took it as an opportunity to talk about God in front of his classmates. He chose not to remain silent but be vocal of his convictions.
2. Courage comes from the word of God. Josh had the courage to stand up against his professor. It was not the courage driven by pride inorder to save his face or honor, but courage driven by the word of God as he read the Bible about God’s command and promise in Matthew 10:32-33 and Luke 12:48.
3. Connect with fellow Christians. The characters in the film has different struggles. In their battle with doubt, confusion, fear, acceptance and self-esteem – there were people who listened to them and who they could go to for counsel, comfort, assurance and encouragement. In times of personal crisis, the company of people close to us is important to help, support and strengthen us.
4. Love for God should be a priority in every relationship. The film portrayed several relationships that were in trouble and broken because they sought to satisfy their own wants and chose to do only what makes them happy. A person who experiences in his inner self the true love of God prioritizes God in every area of his life. His relationship with God defines the kind of relationship he makes with other people. The troubled relationships shown in the film were mended and the persons involved found peace and solace when they chose to bring God in the center of their life.
5. God’s ways and thoughts are way higher than ours. Humanists and atheist believe that the mind is supreme. They reason, explain and decide according to their own understanding and logic. They do not believe in the supernatural power of God. Although the mind is capable of transforming into reality what it can conceive, the mind is not perfect. It breaks down and often disregards other aspects of life. There is an end to what the mind can comprehend. It doesn’t have all the answers and cannot explain everything. However, the Bible explains the answers to the questions of men. People do not know because they don’t read it. I don’t intend to start another round of what happened in the film but I know that there is God who is real and sovereign. The Bible’s first verse do not attempt to prove the existence of God, but it started with the premise that God already exists.
I think that it’s a good film for everyone. I don’t think that it tries to stereotype those who don’t believe in God as evil or anything, but it provides an option for anyone what or who to hold on to, when things fall apart.