Speaking the Truth in Love

Review of “God’s Not Dead”

A couple of weeks ago, my family and I rented and watched the movie God’s Not Dead. The film is about Josh Wheaton, a college freshman challenged by Professor Jeffrey Radisson, a militant atheist. The teacher demands that all his students sign a statement affirming that God is dead. When Wheaton refuses to deny his faith, Radisson orders him to prepare a defense of his convictions. The freshman is to make his presentation before the class, and the professor is to judge. Josh accepts the challenge but insists that, in fairness, his classmates should serve as his jury.

Josh Wheaton’s defense of God’s existence is surprisingly good. In his famous book The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins says that if you tell me God created the universe then I have the right to ask you who created God. Josh answers this with a question of his own: “If the universe created you, then who created the universe?”

God’s Not Dead is commendable for its pro-Christian viewpoint. Most modern movies undermine or vigorously assail faith in Jesus. It is refreshing to watch a film so markedly different. Josh Wheaton stands up for his faith even if that means losing a girlfriend, risking his grade, and suffering ridicule.

However, the movie has its imperfections too. The Christians in the film are sugar sweet, and the atheists are poison mean. In the real world, Christians are sinners saved by grace and many atheists are courteous and generous people. Furthermore, the atheists in the movie suffer terrible tragedies. Plainly, God is meting out instantaneous punishments for infidelity. In the real world, the Father “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45). Finally, the movie promotes the Evangelical false doctrine of faith alone. A number of sinners find grace in Christ, but no one is immersed in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38, 22:16).

I encourage you to watch the movie. It’s good. But remember to “test the spirits to see whether they are of God” (1 John 4:1).

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