Must See Movie Opens March 21: God’s Not Dead
by Sheryl Young
The Ratio Christi team is excited about a new movie premiering nationwide Friday, March 21. Pure Flix is releasing “God’s Not Dead,” a dynamic film about the present-day rejection of Christ and Christianity on college and university campuses.
Actor Kevin Sorbo plays a philosophy professor who is a devout atheist. He begins class on the first day by telling students they must believe God is dead and challenges them to write those three words on a piece of paper. But one freshman, a Christian named Josh (actor Shane Harper), seeing other students scribble, looks up at Professor Radisson and says, “I can’t do that. I’m a Christian.”
Radisson responds by telling Josh he must prove God’s existence through logic and well-researched evidence by the end of the semester. Not only that, but he must bring that evidence to class and debate the professor in front of everyone. A passing grade and Josh’s academic goals are in jeopardy if he doesn’t “win” the debate.
In the course of the film, we meet other characters facing faith issues—a Christian girl from a Muslim family who suffers the anger of her family, a fast-track executive (actor Dean Cain) struggling with his mother’s dementia, and a reporter who faces a life-threatening illness alone.
Sorbo, perhaps best known as television’s “Hercules,” is vocal about his belief in God. In a Pure Flix Youtube interview, Sorbo tells the host, “Radisson is a well-written character. He’s angry, but not to the point of being a caricature. I know someone who has experienced this exact thing. I have both atheist friends and Christian friends, and we talk about (Christianity) all the time. I love a good debate without getting angry. What I say is, ‘If I’m wrong I’ve lost nothing, but if I’m right, I’ve gained a lot.”
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Ratio Christi Chapter Directors and students have experienced in real life what Josh and Prof. Radisson portrayed on film. Numerous people we’ve talked with, outside of our own staff, have friends with children in college who’ve mentioned facing similar situations on campus. After Rick Schenker, Ratio Christi President, and some of the RC Team viewed a pre-screening of “God’s Not Dead,” Schenker said the movie really goes hand-in-hand with Ratio Christi’s campus movement and the need for it to spread.
Ratio Christi encourages every church member, pastor, parent, youth, and college student to see God’s Not Dead. This timely movie portrays the attacks that Christian students face on the college campus. We know. We train students to do exactly what Josh did — advocate for the scientific, philosophical, and historical reasons for believing in God’s existence and following Christ. The movie weaves together the complexity of what students face from professors, fellow students, and even fellow Christians when one is courageous enough to “come out” for Christ on campus. Thank you, Pure Flix, for producing a movie urging believers to contend for the faith that was entrusted to us.
You may say, “But come on — does it really happen that often at college?”
According to a 2007 survey by the Social Science Research Council1, 36.6 percent of professors at elite doctoral universities claimed to be atheists or agnostics. At the Bachelor’s degree level, it’s 22.7 to 23.5 percent. But the number of atheist instructors in the field of Psychology rises to a full 50 percent. In other words, you as a student, or your child as a student, will encounter a non-believing professor in nearly a fourth of their classes…and 50 percent of the time in Psychology. And that doesn’t mean the rest are Christians – only about 6 percent of professors are Bible-believing Christians. Whereas perhaps 10 percent of people on the street are proclaimed atheists, the percentage among academic professionals is very high.
Of the total survey, 51.5 percent of professors admitted having doubts about God’s existence. So a student may encounter questions about God, and undoubtedly about Jesus, from a marginally believing professor at least 50 percent of the time.2 That’s not counting questions and doubts from non-believing students with whom they will associate or deal with in their classes…