God's Not Dead


God's Not Dead Information

God's Not Dead is a 2014 American Christian drama film directed by Harold Cronk and starring Kevin Sorbo, Shane Harper, David A. R. White, and Dean Cain. The film was released theatrically on March 21, 2014, by Pure Flix Entertainment.

Written by Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, and based on Rice Brooks' book God's Not Dead: Evidence for God in an Age of Uncertainty, the film follows a Christian college student (Harper) whose faith is challenged by a philosophy professor (Sorbo) who declares God a pre-scientific fiction. The film grossed over $62 million on a $2 million budget.

A sequel, God's Not Dead 2, was released on April 1, 2016.

Plot

Josh Wheaton, an evangelical college student, enrolls in a philosophy class taught by Professor Jeffrey Radisson, an atheist, who demands his students sign a declaration that "God is dead" to pass. Josh is the only student who refuses to sign. Radisson requires Josh to debate the topic with him but agrees to let the class members decide the winner. Josh's girlfriend Kara demands Josh either sign the statement "God is dead" or drop Radisson's class, because standing up to Radisson will jeopardize their academic future. Kara breaks up with Josh for insisting on confessing his belief in God.

Radisson gives Josh twenty minutes at the end of the first three lecture sessions to argue that God exists. In the first session, Josh presents his evidence that God created the universe. In the second session, Josh argues that macroevolution is not as solid of a theory as it is usually presented. In the first two sessions, Radisson has counter-arguments for some of Josh's points. Ultimately, it comes down to the third and final debate between Radisson and Josh, who again both make compelling points. Josh then halts his line of debate to pose a question to Radisson: "Why do you hate God?" After Josh repeats the question twice more, Radisson explodes in rage, confirming he hates God for his mother's death that left him alone despite his prayers. Josh then casually asks Radisson how he can hate someone that does not exist. In the end, Martin, a student from China whose father had forbidden him from even talking about God to avoid jeopardizing Martin's brother's chance at overseas study, stands up and says, "God's not dead." Almost the entire class follows Martin's lead, and Radisson leaves the room in defeat.

Radisson dates Mina, an evangelical whom he belittles in front of his fellow atheist colleagues. Her brother Mark, a successful businessman and atheist, refuses to visit their mother, who suffers from dementia. Mark's girlfriend Amy is a left-wing blogger who writes articles critical of Duck Dynasty. When she is diagnosed with cancer, Mark dumps her. A Muslim student named Ayisha (Hadeel Sittu) secretly converts to Christianity and is disowned by her infuriated father when he finds out.

After the final debate, Josh invites Martin to attend a concert by Christian pop rock group the Newsboys. Radisson reads a letter from his late mother, and is moved to reconcile with Mina. Amy confronts the Newsboys in their dressing room, only to ask them to help guide her in converting to Christianity. While on his way to find Mina, Radisson is struck by a car and fatally injured. A reverend waiting at the intersection tends to Radisson and helps him become a Christian as he dies. Mark at last visits his mother, only to taunt her; she responds that all of his financial success was given to him by Satan to keep him from turning to God.

The film's main characters all convene at the Newsboys concert, where they play a video clip of Willie Robertson congratulating Josh. The Newsboys play their song "God's Not Dead", dedicating it to Josh.

Cast

  • Shane Harper as Josh Wheaton
  • Kevin Sorbo as Professor Jeffery Radisson
  • David A. R. White as Reverend Dave
  • Trisha LaFache as Amy Ryan
  • Hadeel Sittu as Ayisha
  • Marco Khan as Misrab
  • Cory Oliver as Mina
  • Dean Cain as Mark
  • Jim Gleason as Ward Wheaton
  • Benjamin Onyango as Reverend Jude
  • Cassidy Gifford as Kara
  • Paul Kwo as Martin Yip
  • Newsboys as themselves
  • Willie Robertson as himself
  • Korie Robertson as herself


Production

The film was shot from October to November 2012, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with the concert scene done in Houston, Texas.

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Reception

Box office

The film became a surprise success at the box office. In its first weekend of release, the film earned $8.6 million from 780 theaters, causing Entertainment Weekly's Adam Markovitz to refer to it as "the biggest surprise of the weekend".

The film began its international roll out in Mexico, on April 4, 2014, where the movie grossed $89,021 its opening weekend.

God's Not Dead grossed $60.8 million in North America and $1.9 million in other territories for a total of $62.6 million, against a budget of $2 million.

Critical reception

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a rating of 15%, based on 20 reviews, with an average rating of 2.8/10. On Metacritic, the film has a score of 16 out of 100, based on 6 critics, indicating "overwhelming dislike".

Writing for The A.V. Club, Todd VanDerWerff gave the film a "D-," saying, "Even by the rather lax standards of the Christian film industry, God's Not Dead is a disaster. It's an uninspired amble past a variety of Christian-email-forward bogeymen that feels far too long at just 113 minutes". Reviewer Scott Foundas of Variety wrote "...even grading on a generous curve, this strident melodrama about the insidious efforts of America's university system to silence true believers on campus is about as subtle as a stack of Bibles falling on your head...." Steve Pulaski of Influx Magazine, however, was less critical of the film, giving it a C+ and stating "God's Not Dead has issues, many of them easy to spot and heavily distracting. However, it's surprisingly effective in terms of message, acting, and insight, which are three fields Christian cinema seems to struggle with the most".

A number of sources have cited the film's similarities to a popular urban legend. The basic premise of an evangelical student debating an atheist professor and winning in front of the class (who then applauds) has been the subject of a popular Chick tract.

Evangelical and Roman Catholic response

The Alliance Defending Freedom, American Heritage Girls, Faith Driven Consumer, Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, Trevecca Nazarene University, The Dove Foundation and Ratio Christi have all endorsed the film.

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Dave Hartline of The American Catholic gave God's Not Dead a positive review and hoped that other films like it will follow. Nick Olszyk of Catholic World Report gave it his highest rating of five reels, calling the film "a tremendously entertaining film that leads to God, not in addition to its quality but through its quality." Vincent Funaro of The Christian Post praised the film for being "a hit for believers and may even appeal to skeptics searching for answers."

Evangelical Michael Gerson, however, was highly critical of the film and its message, writing "The main problem with God's Not Dead is not its cosmology or ethics but its anthropology. It assumes that human beings are made out of cardboard. Academics are arrogant and cruel. Liberal bloggers are preening and snarky. Unbelievers disbelieve because of personal demons. It is characterization by caricature." John Mulderig echoed similar concerns in his review for the Catholic News Service, stating: "There might be the kernel of an intriguing documentary buried within director Harold Cronk's stacked-deck drama, given the extent of real-life academic hostility toward religion. But even faith-filled moviegoers will sense the claustrophobia of the echo chamber within which this largely unrealistic picture unfolds."

On the other hand, the young Earth creationist apologetics ministry, Answers in Genesis, would not endorse the film because of the promotion of several elements which they deemed to be "unbiblical."

Sequel

Pure Flix Entertainment produced a sequel, God's Not Dead 2, with a release date of April 1, 2016, several days after Easter.




This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "God%27s_Not_Dead_%28film%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.
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