When a college philosophy professor mandates that his students each sign a paper stating, “God is dead,” what is a Christian freshman to do? God’s Not Dead (produced by Pureflix) tells the story of how God uses one young man’s effort to defend His Christian faith before his entire Philosophy class.
Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper) was warned that the Philosophy class he enrolled in would target his faith, but he has no idea just how tough it will be. Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo) not only wants everyone to agree that God is dead, but he also sets out to humiliate anyone in his class who dares believe in God. Josh Wheaton dares. He is unwilling to compromise his faith. Not for a higher grade. Not even to appease his girlfriend.
In spite of a coy demeanor, Josh relentlessly accepts his professor’s daunting and derisive invitation to prove to the entire class that God is not dead.
Josh Wheaton plays the part of apologist and inadvertently finds himself being used by God not only to confront the biased claims of an arrogant college professor but also as a voice of reason to fellow students from different countries and cultures who would hear the Gospel presented in a well-researched and intelligent manner.
A Muslim girl, a young Chinese man, a backslidden believer, a pastor wanting his life to mean more, a manipulative girlfriend, an arrogant professor…all are affected by Josh Wheaton’s humble response to God’s call.
The powerful message in God’s Not Dead is further enriched by special appearances by the Newsboys and “Duck Dynasty’s” Willie and Korie Robertson add to the relevant message as well as the pure entertainment of God’s Not Dead.
On the down side, some of the acting—or maybe the problem is the lines in the screenplay rather than the acting— is overstated. In fact, a few scenarios seem redundant and silly (such as the pastor’s car not starting and then the rental cars doing the same thing). Josh’s girlfriend, for example, is just too bossy to be believable. Still, the movie’s well worth seeing. And well worth bringing people to, especially if they have questions about God.
An interesting sidenot: Shane Harper, who plays Josh Wheaton is a San Diego native. He was born in La Jolla. He is also a follower of Jesus.
A similar version of this article will appear in Assist News Services.
Janey DeMeo M.A.