With its inability to present its arguments honestly or its opponents compassionately, Christian drama God’s Not Dead is palpably insecure about the function of faith in an era defined by science.
Earnest first-year college student Josh (Shane Harper) enrolls in a philosophy course taught by notoriously Christian-hating Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo), who forces his entire class to sign a piece of paper that says “God is Dead.” When Josh refuses, Radisson challenges him to prove God exists in a series of lectures that apparently spans the first two annoying weeks of the semester (spoiler: God exists).
Radisson, like several other atheist characters, is a balls-out sociopath who belittles his students and enjoys humiliating his beautiful Christian wife in front of elitist lefty dinner guests. The film interweaves multiple storylines, including a bitchy atheist reporter diagnosed with untreatable cancer, her ruthless objectivist boyfriend (the increasingly Claude Akins-looking Dean Cain, the Roger Moore of Supermen), and a disgracefully racist depiction of a Muslim family in faith-based turmoil.
To harden the membrane of its ideological bubble, the film includes guest appearances by Duck Dynasty‘s Willie Robertson and the inaccurately named Newsboys, a Christian pop group comprising three suburban dads and a senior citizen.
Is it worthwhile to point out that stripping the context from scientific statements is fundamentally dishonest? Or that faith, by definition, shouldn’t have to justify itself with poorly understood science? Probably not, because judging by the ignorance and contempt with which the script treats nonbelievers, the real goal here is proving that non-Christians are worthless.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 16, 2014