Movie takes viewers on philosophical journey

A college philosophy professor’s curriculum is challenged by a new student, who believes God exists. (Photo obtained)

Drew Young

Surprising many with its immense success, God’s Not Dead, a low-budget independent Christian film, exploded onto the big screen with over $62 million sold at the box office. With such a large diversity of religious backgrounds in our culture, the movie fell into the spotlight of much controversy upon its release. Set in a modern-day college campus, the film takes viewers of all backgrounds on an engaging philosophical journey that leaves everyone asking questions right along with its characters.  God’s Not Dead was a solid film with a great storyline, casting and cinematography.

The movie was directed by Harold Cronk and captivated young audiences with debut lead role Josh Wheaton played by Shane Harper and special guest appearances by Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty as well as The Newsboys.   Other main characters include Professor Raddison played by Kevin Sorbo, and Reverend Dave played by David A.R. White.

Josh Wheaton, a Christian college freshman, is told to write “God is Dead” for a college philosophy class taught by Professor Raddison, an ardent self-proclaimed atheist. After refusing to refute his belief in God, he is challenged to prove the antithesis: God’s Not Dead, or fail the class.

Wheaton’s friends and family encourage him to simply “drop the class” and avoid the headache of a potential failing grade.  Despite this advice, determined to defend his faith, Wheaton takes up his professor’s challenge and begins absorbing himself in philosophy books in preparation for his debate. He states: “God would want someone to defend Him.” Wheaton takes to the podium for the first time, faced with questions he is admittedly unable to answer. He researches even more, in an attempt to prepare an argument that is irrefutable.

As the movie progresses, other students begin to notice Wheaton’s passion for the topic and become interested as well. They begin asking him questions about his faith and the reasons he is willing to commit what many would deem “academic suicide”.

God’s Not Dead, despite being a “low-budget” film kept an excellent pace from start to finish.  I truly enjoyed the movie; the quality of acting was excellent. Viewers who enjoy a good debate, will enjoy this movie. Set on a college campus, it is particularly relevant to college students and young adults. Regardless of religious beliefs, the film teaches a lesson that having passion and willingness to defend important always pays off.