What difference does God’s Not Dead make?

box office gods not dead

What Difference Does It Make?

With a movie title like God’s NOT Dead, any non-believer should know better than to set foot in the theater lest he be convinced otherwise. My husband Mike and I didn’t need any convincing. We were, however, skeptical of the film because too often “Christian” movies are quality poor.

During the first half of the film, Mike was itching to head for the lobby—find some twizzlers—he was bored.

“The last half,” Mike confessed, “was redeeming and darn good.” In fact, he recommends it!

I, on the other hand, was never bored, just disappointed in some of the casting (probably budget limitations) and the need for more lively lines. What a boost then to have a spirited andentertaining performance by the Newsboys – God’s Not Dead – YouTube now the #1 inspirational song in America.

The story opens with college student Josh Wheaton accepting the challenge to prove to his professor and class that God is, in fact, not dead. While remarkable incidents in his life beg him to concede, the decision to accept such a challenge is enough to keep one’s own mind and conscience whirling.

The movie takes the liberty of portraying non-Christians in the film as self-centered, uncaring types, the way Christians are customarily viewed in most secular programming. Josh’s girlfriend’s role was carried out so well I could feel the cringing in the theater when she bossed her boyfriend. That was one of several scenes begging for decision.

Though the film directs its viewers to believe God’s Not Dead, when the dust settles, the audience is left to decide who wins the debate, or the bigger question, as the writer implores, what difference does it make?


SON OF GOD–a resurrected story

The Bible

Imagine waking up in the morning with the thought of producing/directing a successful biblical film.  That is the story with reality TV producer Mark Burnett and his wife, actress Roma Downey & the newly released Son of God.

The challenge rests not just with film critics but with Christians as well.  Rotten Tomatoes critics, for example gave the picture a 25% rating while its audience rated it 82%.  The discrepancy according to the critics: “The faithful may find their spirits raised, but on purely cinematic terms, Son of God is too dull and heavy-handed to spark much fervor.”

Then we have Christians who wanted something more, or, as Christianity Today described: images“..watching Son of God was not a dreadful experience, but it wasn’t a particularly inspirational or entertaining one, either.”

REALLY?  My take on this is sometimes we forget that today millions of lapsed Christians and non-believers out there have no clue what believers are talking about.  They have either missed the point in Sunday school or are hearing it for the first time.  As viewers, this film is very possibly totally new information presented in cinematic storytelling—and music by Hans Zimmer!!  Enjoy the film.  It’s a movie!  Leave the rest to the beholder.

How timely to have the story of Jesus at the theaters as liturgical calendars look to the beginning of Lent, and preparation for the celebration of Easter—the point of the story.

Could Steven Spielberg given Son of God audiences a deeper, more inspiring film? Probably.  But, would he?