God’s Not Dead
by Nick Peters
So tonight, my wife and I went with my folks to see “God’s Not Dead.” This is the kind of movie that I was eager to see. Maybe it’s just me, but movies that are often made to be “Biblical” don’t really do much for me. I need something that hits my mind as well as hits the heart. Most Biblical movies seem to just want to appeal to the feelings of the audience. But then, I think that Aristotle did say to reach someone with the mind first and then go for the heart.
So now we have a movie that does engage the questions of the mind. Now of course, it’s not perfect. There are a lot of things I’d change and one point I wish would have been different is that apologetics should have been mentioned at least once. There were apologists referred to, but no mention of the field itself.
Most of you already know the premise of the story. A philosophy professor tells his class to say “God is dead” and then move on, but one student refuses and then has to defend the claim that God is not dead before the classroom. Now to be sure, most philosophy professors are not like this one. I’ll guarantee you this, the good ones aren’t. Good philosophy professors can be Christians or atheists. Their goal is to get their students to wrestle with the questions themselves. Sure, they’d like their students to agree with them, but it’s more important that their students know how to think than it is what they think exactly.
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Of course, in our day and age, that’s not the case. Just take a look at what someone like Peter Boghossian is doing in his classroom. There are many professors who want to teach atheism and assume that it’s critical thinking or the result of philosophy.
So this young student in the class has a Boghossian type professor. What happens then is the student interacting and speaking before the class and answering questions and one will find reference to people like Dawkins, Lennox, Strobel, and Hawking. The arguments largely are scientific aside from the question of the problem of evil, which I agree is the main reason most people walk away from God.
The movie does contain much emotional appeal and I don’t think the apologetics is the best necessarily, but that’s okay. Why? Because a movie like this gets the conversation started. Unfortunately, I’m afraid Christians are going to do too often what they do when they get tossed the ball like this. Drop it and act like nothing happened.
If we could see a resurgence in our churches to learn that indeed God is not dead and to be able to learn why that is the case, then yes, we could change things in the world today. Some people think I am too hard on the church a lot of times. I don’t think so. We are to be salt and light and we had the advantage in our culture for a long time. We lost it because we did nothing with it. We retreated to a place of safety and isolated ourselves. I get furious with Christians who say “Well as long as I’m saved and my children are saved that’s all that matters and let’s wait for Jesus to come.” That is direct disobedience to the Great Commission…