So anyway, God's Not Dead is a movie from a devout Christian movie company about five individual stories, the main one focusing on Josh Wheaton (played by Shane Harper, who's a big Christian in real life). At University, he's going into a Philosophy class, and though he's warned not to go in, he does because otherwise he'd mess up his schedule. The professor in this class, James Radisson, starts off the class by asking what the similarity is between a big list of philosophers. Answer? They were all atheists. He asks everyone to write "God Is Dead" on a piece of paper with their signature on it. Josh can't do this, and so Radisson challenges him to debate him in front of eighty or so people on the existence of God, and since he didn't write it down, if he fails the argument, he loses 30% of his entire semester grade. The other stories talk about, well, the lives of individuals who are under the influence of belief, but essentially, this is a debate movie.
This is my deal with God. I'm not going to go on a rampage about my beliefs like everyone else seems to when bringing up this movie (series), but I believe in God. I don't know if he exists, but that's my belief. But my main goal is to not hate. I don't want to trash someone else's belief, which can be hard to do if someone trashes yours, like the case for this movie. What people might want to know going in is this movie antagonizes an atheist, and some may see the movie as a whole as an atheist hater therefore. And yes, the film doesn't handle both sides of the argument on God and Jesus well, but it tries to. When one person says "God's Not Dead" in one scene, more people do to the point where everyone is saying it. Do you think they all said it because everyone is doing it too, or they really think so? If the movie didn't have all the people saying it, maybe it would've done better at not accidentally antagonizing atheists but if it did do that, the message might not have had the same effect. It's a coin toss situation, I guess. So yeah: the movie can be a little one-sided. It would've been the same case though if this was a movie about a professor saying to write "God Is Alive." In some ways, a positive way you can look at the title is you feel that something you love, like a past family member, or your compassion, is not dead.
Now here's what I thought about how the movie was set up. I don't really like short story stories because every character can tend to feel separate from the others and therefore not give a clear meaning to people on what the filmmaker or author is trying to do, and everyone feels isolated even though it feels like they could make an interesting conversation had they met. The way the characters never join up and battle together in the Award-winning The Big Short was one of the reasons I gave it a lower score than most movie critics. God's Not Dead has this minor fault too, and there was one story I felt didn't need to be in there, but all of the stories, including the one I mentioned, actually have a few moments of tears. One of them is about a Muslim family, and a girl who hides her whole face when near her father, and removes the cloak and lets her hair show when he's out of sight. The father acknowledges her troubles and says he's only making her stay Muslim because he loves her. I don't know much about Muslims; don't they believe that there should be only one leader? Not sure, but I found this story very thought-provoking. It even aroused some questions: In another scene in this movie, one person tells another of their culture, and afterward, he cries at the effects of him saying so. Is he crying because he regrets saying it, or crying because that's how it had to be, and he'd do it all over again? And one couple wants to get married, but one is a theist (do believe in God) and the other an atheist. And you know how weddings say stuff like "May the Lord." One of the biggest questions to ask as well is why Josh is so devoted to God. Why there are people full of religion. It's one of the reasons why the Muslim father looks at people with phones and no sign of religion that they don't care about keeping love of "their" God strong. Do they? I recently did a presentation on the percent of reading at school, and less than a quarter of teenagers read books for fun. So why would they read a thousand paged book like the Bible? Or learn about religion and their duties when the next Call of Duty game is coming out? This makes Josh seem a bit like a nerd, to his university audience and sometimes to me, (I'm sorry) as well as these two individuals who love God like chocolate but look like they'd be better suited as loving machinery, but Josh's love for Jesus is fascinating, conflicting, daring, and even to non-believers, agreeable.
Another thing you might want to know is the debate between Josh and Radisson isn't all debate on beliefs. It's also about the world in general, a world that science has, so to speak, proven that the world was made by science. For instance, Josh talks about how the world has been said to have been made in an instant and that couldn't have happened without influence. Radisson boasts his sides, but from his stoic image and hatred we always sympathize with Josh so once again, a little one-sided. And again, the characters being separated is not a factor I like, but it does have compelling arguments, and some very sad scenes. This one scene I was expecting was actually very heartbreaking, and its dopey-seeming commitments didn't matter; I was sad.
So in conclusion, God's Not Dead is disorganized, might offend a few people the way the antagonist is a devout atheist, and also has very separate characters, but in the end has some neat ideas to give yourself questions, not just about the movie, but the world. We don't know what makes gravity yet, and that might be the next big belief debate that turns us against each other. Let's hope not.