There are movies going around on which Christians like to hang their collective hat. One is the GOD IS NOT DEAD two-hour film that is playing sporadically, at various movie theatres throughout the country.
Of the film Christians that I have talked to think that it is wonderful film. I do not think that. I think that it is silly, poorly done, with cardboard cutout characters, unrelated interjections, a poor predictable plot, unresolved loose ends, and with an obvious conclusion. The conclusion – guess what – wait for it – God is not dead!
What a surprise! The protagonist wins, the evil atheist professor dies (but, naturally, not before giving his heart to Jesus and his daddy so that all is forgiven and the evil professor has everlasting life).
The characters are cartoon figures of Christians, atheists, evil Muslim fathers, crass businessmen, the girl dying of cancer without God in her life, a fledgling reporter, a Duck Dynasty character, the protagonist student convincing a class of philosophy students that he is right and evil prof is wrong, the protagonists girlfriend who leaves him, etc.
It is all predictable, all patently ridiculous, all designed to reinforce the delusions of the criminally Christian while doing nothing to reflect truth of life. (I was going to say real truth, but truth is real and such a statement would be redundant.) The reason for stating this is that Christians have their own “truth” which of course is not even in the same zip code as empirical scientific facts and truth.
The movie starts with a first year university student signing up for classes and finding out that the philosophy course is taught by a professor who requires that students sign a “God is dead” clause so that he could dispense with that aspect of philosophy while discussing the works of Spinoza, Kant, Nietzsche, Russell, Dawkins, etc.
Of course, our protagonist resists and then is told that he must give three 20 minute lectures defending his position that God is alive.
While I was never a professor and member of the PhD club, I did know a number of professors in college and in post graduate work did know a number of professors while teaching the same subjects that they taught.
While I can’t say that it has never happened, I cannot imagine any professor worth his sheepskin insisting that students sign anything that would state a specific controversial position.
Second, I cannot imagine any professor or instructor (which was my position) allowing a student to extemporaneously address a class and take up class time with his or her thoughts. It just would not happen. It would not happen in my classes.
As to the protagonists’ girlfriend leaving him when discovering his religious views after six years (six years!) of their dating is incredulous. People dating, young or old, discuss all sorts of things in learning about each other, with religious views being among them. This is just would not happen.
There are also a lot of loose ends in the film, including a Muslim girl thrown out of her family home, a girl with cancer, a Christian rock band just thrown in for effect, the prof’s mom with dementia, etc. none of which are tied up neatly by the time they roll the credits
It is a movie to confirm the beliefs of Christians which will be most of the viewers. It is a film that tries hard but does little to lessen the divide between those who believe wholeheartedly in Jesus and his daddy and those of us who stick to facts, truth, reality, and science.