THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS! IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN IT OR WANT TO REMAIN SURPRISED, DO NOT READ FURTHER! IF YOU ARE OKAY WITH SPOILERS AND STILL WISH TO READ THAN READ ON!
The two main actors in this movie are Shane Harper, who plays a faithful Christian who has his faith tested and judged, and Kevin Sorbo who plays Dr. Radisson, an atheist and Josh’s (Shane Harper’s) professor. Atheists aren’t jerks but in this movie Josh’s professor is about as douchey as it gets. As soon as the movie opens we see how different people are affected by the religion they believe in. It isn’t always sunshine and rainbows for them as they have to hide what they truly believe in so they aren’t judged by others. The main plot of the movie starts when Josh takes philosophy and his teacher already gets people to fear him off the bat. Two people left the class as soon as he opened his mouth. The first assignment he dished out was for everyone to write three simple words, (but how simple is it really?) God is dead. If they can do that they get a guaranteed 30% mark for the course. However, Josh resists and tells his professor he can’t do it because of his faith. So, he offers Josh an alternate. Prove God exists! He gives Josh 3 classes of 20 minute sessions to stand in front of the class and prove that God exists.
It’s obvious that this was only designed to make Josh look like a fool in front of the entire class. Josh’s first attempt was pretty good. He used quotes from atheists so the professor couldn’t be biased. He talked about past events and it seemed he might have proved that his faith was strong enough to overcome his professors hate. Unfortunately, the professor took one quote from Stephen Hawking and crumbled Josh’s entire 20 minute argument in a few simple words. Josh is at a loss for words and the teacher smiles for winning this round, as the class is empty. Before the professor leaves Josh asks him why he hates God. Dr. Radisson answers with how his mom had cancer and she had faith in God and where did that faith get her!? God killed her, is basically how he feels. The second and third attempts finally prove the professor wrong but of course Dr. Radisson does not admit defeat. The entire class stands up and says God’s Not Dead. Josh again asks why he hates God, this time he says it out loud in front of the class. The hateful professor, with anger in his voice and heart, says again how God took everything away from him incuding his mom. Josh than asks Dr. Raddison how he can hate something that “doesn’t exist”. This finally shuts up the professor.
Throughout this school debate process, the professor’s personal life is crumbling because of his lack of faith. His Christian wife, and former student of his, is tired of him putting her down because of her faith. I believe this is the first spark that made the professor start to think differently about life. He took her for granted and when she finally left he felt incomplete and not as powerful as he once did. He reads a letter from his mother that she wrote before she died, about God always being there. After his wife leaving and reading that letter, this causes him to start his change of heart and he runs to a concert to go find his wife and talk to her. Unfortunately, he gets run over by a car and a reverend shows up and tells him it’s not a coincidence that he didn’t die right away. God is giving him a second chance to let him into his life and let faith save him from himself. The reverend asks Dr. Radisson if he accepts God into his life and he says yes, before dying.
This movie had some sub-plots that felt like they didn’t belong at all. The blonde reverend didn’t seem important at all until the last parts of the movie. There was also an interview with the guy from Duck Dynasty that felt like it was just thrown into the movie to get a popular face on screen. They could have talked about faith in many different ways that could have fit the story better. Some of the sub-plots were good though. The woman who had cancer was a great showing of how life isn’t always good. You can’t sugarcoat it. Bad things happen. It’s not what you believe in that matters, what matters is that you believe! That’s why I respect atheists. I believe in God but I don’t have a problem with people who don’t. God gave us free will and if we judged others by their belief than we’d be no better than the professor in this movie. Overall, I love this movie! It had many great messages and some people may or may not agree with some or all of the points about Christianity/atheism but at least everyone has an opinion and they have something to believe in. Being an atheist does not make you a jerk, being a jerk about your beliefs is what makes you a jerk. Don’t push someone into what YOU believe. Let them choose for themselves