By Alexandra Shipley
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
The first day of college is one of the most life-altering days of any student’s academic career.
Little did freshman Josh Wheaton – played by Shane Harper — know the first day of philosophy class would impact not only his life, but the lives of the people around him as well.
In the film “God’s Not Dead,” Wheaton arrives to his first philosophy class only to discover the requirements of Professor Radisson (played by Kevin Sorbo) challenge his Christian faith. Radisson, an atheist, requires all of his philosophy students to produce white sheets of paper with the phrase “God Is Dead” written on them with their signatures at the bottom.
However, Wheaton refuses to write this phrase because of his undeniable faith in God. Radisson becomes angry and requires Wheaton to present a “case” for God’s existence every day at the end of each class. If the other students in the philosophy class end up retracting their “God Is Dead” statements, Wheaton will receive a passing grade.
This movie had me fighting back tears in almost every scene. I went into the theatre with the notion the movie would aggravate me since I do consider myself a strong Christian. Aggravation was the complete opposite of what I felt after seeing this film. I felt pure contentment.
The acting could have been more passionate, more relatable somehow, but the film had a low budget and only so much can be done. However, the content and message of the movie was undoubtedly one of the most genuine ones I have ever come across.
The movie intertwines Wheaton’s story with the stories of several other people. There is a story of a Muslim girl who hides her faith from her family, a priest who is inspired by a missionary’s faith, an Asian boy of little faith who gains all the faith in the world, and a few others.
There are also some special appearances from the Newsboys, a Christian band, and reality TV stars Willie and Korie Robertson from “Duck Dynasty” that add a little flair to the movie.
The most heartening aspect of the film is the notion of how strong someone’s faith is when it is tested. Faith reminds me of a tree. The tree is a person, the roots are the person’s faith, and when a storm comes to destroy the tree, the strength of the roots will determine the fate of the tree. Same goes with faith. If a person’s faith isn’t strong when it is tested, the person will fall into something that could possibly destroy them.
Wheaton makes a case for God in the film by gathering biblical, personal, and even scientific evidence that proves God’s existence. His perseverance is what inspired me to develop a stronger faith in my life. While the movie specifically focuses on the Christian religion, I think it could inspire people of any religion to stand up for their faith.
Overall, I was completely taken aback by how amazing this movie turned out to be. It’s nice to see a movie about God and faith in theaters as opposed to movies about violence, aliens or zombies. After seeing “God’s Not Dead,”I believe our mindset as a whole is going to start changing. I believe a new age is dawning, an age of renewed faith in ourselves and in God. I encourage everyone to go see this film in theatres. Whether you have faith or not, this film will inspire you to view the world with a fresh perspective.
E-mail Shipley at firstname.lastname@example.org