God’s Not Dead : HollywoodJesus.com : Movie Reviews, Trailers and Spiritual Commentary

God’s Not Dead : HollywoodJesus.com : Movie Reviews, Trailers and Spiritual Commentary.

God’s Not Dead | Review

Putting God On Trial
Jacob Sahms


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What would you do if you had to sign a piece of paper that said that God was dead? Sure, we know that Cassie Bernall said she believed in God in the library at Columbine, but have you ever considered how you say that God is alive (or dead) in little moments throughout your life? That’s the crux of freshman Josh Wheaton’s (Shane Harper, Good Luck, Charlie) problem in the first semester course of Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo): he has to sign a paper saying that “God is dead” to pass the class.

Duck Dynasty’s Willie and Korrie Robertson, The Newsboys, Dean Cain, and David A.R. White highlight the cast, but the film’s poignant, heart-and-mind aimed focus is on the battle between Wheaton and Radisson. Sure, Wheaton’s girlfriend thinks challenging Radisson is a threat to their five-year plan, and White’s Pastor Dave gets involved as Wheaton’s advisor, but ultimately, it all comes down to the debate in the class: will Wheaton be the “only Bible” his classmates read?

White’s pastor tells Wheaton to check out Matthew 10:32-33: “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” It’s classic proof-texting, but it’s also an acknowledgment that we can’t just expect our “way of life” to testify to what we believe, but we actually have to be prepared to speak when the time is right.

Based on the book by Rice Broocks, the film embellishes an Internet forward that spins through the cycle every few years. I took this copy of the presentation from Truth or Fiction online: “A notorious atheist professor at the University of Southern California is known for challenging students about their faith. He dramatically drops a piece of chalk to the floor saying that if God existed, he could prevent the chalk from breaking. This happens year after year until a particular Christian student becomes a part of the class. This time, when the professor drops the chalk, it bounces off his clothing and ends up harmlessly on the floor. The stunned professor runs from the room in shame and the student preaches the Gospel to the remaining class members.”

Radisson and Wheaton go round and round, and there’s certainly not a skirting of deeper issues, like creation, the origin of God, etc. Stephen Hawkins gets some good airtime, and Wheaton’s arguments are torn into by Radisson. The fact that an atheist believes in something (or actually believes in nothing) becomes abundantly clear throughout the film, but it also shows that what we believe matters to us, even if it is, again, a belief in nothing.

In the end, the “proof” of God isn’t an argument—God’s existence is unprovable in mathematic equations. But the proof of God can be seen in the relationships, experiences, and moving of the Spirit in people. The challenges of our first-year student are merely the focal point in a string of events and conversations that allow us to hear the argument, and consider it for ourselves. Will it be enough to convince the disinclined? I don’t know. But it may open our eyes to the way we consider our words and actions and whether or not we’re prepared to explain what we understand about God, for ourselves.

Christmas Behind the Scenes 2


Have you ever broken up with someone right before the holidays just to avoid buying them a gift? If you
said yes, you’re not alone. According to data analyzed from Facebook posts, two weeks before Christmas
is one of the most popular times of the year for couples to break up. On the opposite end of the spectrum,
however, is Christmas Day. Christmas Day is the least favorite day of the year for couples to break up (if
you’re thinking about dumping someone on Christmas Day, don’t be that guy/girl!)

Whether you’re breaking up or making up this Christmas (or glad you’re not dealing with either one), one
thing can be said for sure about the holiday season: it stirs up emotions. Maybe for you it’s excitement. What
am I going to get? Will the people I bought gifts for like what I’m giving them? Maybe it’s dread. Will my
cousin brag about all the stuff he got that’s cooler than my stuff? Will my sister get that Sally-Wets-Herself
doll and get fake baby pee all over me? The holidays are an emotional time.

And the thing about emotions is that they feel so real. You can feel like your life is over because you didn’t
get those leather boots that you wanted. You can feel like everything in your life is perfect because you got
the latest gaming station that set your parents back several hundred dollars. You can feel a lot of things that
aren’t actually true. That’s why it’s important that we never make a decision based only on our emotions.

So how do you make decisions that aren’t just based on emotions?

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all
your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (NIV).

The Bible tells us not to “lean” or solely rely on our own understanding, or our own emotions or thoughts
when it comes to decision-making. The Bible says that if we trust the Lord and submit to Him (decide to
trade what you want for what He wants), that He will our paths straight.

The next time you’re about to make a big decision or even a little one, pause to ask yourself, “Is this based
on an emotion I’m feeling right now? Have I invited God into the decision-making process? Am I trusting
God for the outcome?”

Another key is getting other people involved.

Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Basically,
failing to ask for advice, specifically from wiser people, can really mess you up. Do you have a wise, older
person you can confide in when you need to make key decisions? Consider finding someone with these
• Someone you trust.
• Someone who makes wise decisions in their own life.
• Someone who cares about you enough to be honest with you.
What are some difficult or confusing decisions you’re facing right now?