God's Not Dead (current movie)

There’s another thread here about whether what happened in the movie could really happen IRL. I am Christian, but I have not seen it and don’t plan to. Our local movie critic, who reading between the lines is probably Christian herself, absolutely trashed it. She said, in effect, “If these filmmakers want to be taken seriously, they should at least make GOOD movies.”

I agree.


Apparently, the plot is this: A philosophy professor demands that all his students write “God is dead” on a piece of paper, and renounce any faith they may have, and a devout Christian student is willing to risk his grave to defend his faith. I can’t imagine any professor doing something like that.

That isn’t a plot, that’s a glurge email. :dubious:

Can you provide a link to that other thread? I’m curious to read it.

Here you go.

Christians (and people of other faiths) have made some truly amazing, transcendent art over the centuries. This ain’t it.

My wife and I took our kids to see the Muppet movie last weekend and there was a church youth group - about 15 teenagers and one or two adults - lined up for God’s Not Dead. I really wanted to tell them to go home and rent something good instead. If religious people give money to bad religious art, you know what happens? More bad religious art! Not to mention the scorn and derision of people with actual taste.

Or a Chick Tract.

Speaking as a conservative Republican and a devout Catholic who went to a liberal, Ivy League college…

Did I have left-leaning professors, even Marxists? Sure!

Were there some who offered opinions I found offensive or way off the mark? Definitely.

Did I ever meet one who gave me a bad grade (or threatened me with a bad grade) for writing papers that supported Christian or conservative principles? NO! Never.

I thought that the movie MAY have been inspired by an incident last year at Florida Atlantic where a professor named DeAndre Poole, who had asked students to stomp on a piece of paper with Jesus’ name on it… but it was pointed out to me that filming began on this movie before that incident took place.

Regardless, I don’t believe any professor, even at the most liberal schools in America, would be THAT big a jerk.



I am a much more liberal Christian today than I was in my school days - I could safely be described as “Evangelical” in high school and college. But even back then, my two favorite teachers were my senior year English teacher and “Introduction to Religion” professor - both of whom I found shockingly dismissive of everything I believed in. But they challenged me to think, and to question what I was taught, which was the best thing I ever learned in school.

The closest I ever got was an English professor who warned the class that if they wrote about really controversial topics they’d be subjected to a higher level of scrutiny. It was basically a “you CAN write about abortion/God/feminism/whatever, but don’t, because I will rip your stupid poorly written freshman paper to shreds.” I’m sure her reason for doing that was to prevent her own biases to infect her grading. I suspect that a paper on a controversial topic that disagreed with her would have been further ripped to shreds and subsequently nuked from orbit.

We just had a big thread on this in GD

I didn’t know professors gave those out. It would certainly be a grave risk to defend the practice and a cute trick to support it.

Wait, they got Dean Cain and Kevin Sorbo for this?

In a discussion over whether God is dead, you call Superman and Hercules?

He’s only a demigod so it doesn’t matter if he’s alive or dead.

Their both on a new Christian “We’re being persecuted!” kick right now.

Well, there are never enough SyFY network gigs to keep them busy.

A few more scattered points.

  1. The title and the central premise of the movie make it pretty clear that the screenwriters don’t know what “God is dead” means in philosophical terms. In fairness, many atheists don’t get it either. When Nietzsche said “God is dead,” he didn’t mean that Jehovah WAS alive but has keeled over, nor was he saying something as simple as “God doesn’t exist.” He was issuing a much greater challenge than that, and in many ways, it’s a greater challenge for secular progressives than for traditional believers.

Nietzsche’s point was, “Here in the Western world, all our customs, all our traditions and all our notions of morality are based on Christianity, a creed that fewer and fewer people (hardly ANY in academia or the ruling classes) believe in. The WHOLE basis for our moral code has collapsed, but here we are carrying on as if nothing has changed! EVERYTHING has changed, you fools!”

For Nietzsche, “God is Dead” is not something to say blithely. It may be an exhilirating realization for some, but it should also be a TERRIFYING realization.
2) Even philosophy and social science professors I didn’t like were never looking for an excuse to give me a bad grade just because of my opinions. If a professor gave me a bad grade on a paper, it was generally because I hadn’t addressed the main points I was supposed to be covering, because my paper didn’t show proper understanding of the concepts we’d been studying, or because I didn’t back up my arguments sufficiently. If I DID show understanding of Marx, Lenin and Nietzsche, I got good grades even from commie atheist instructors.

In short, even if you believe in God (as I do), you SHOULD be able to write an essay showing that you understand what Nietzsche was getting at. And if you can’t, you DESERVE to fail a course in modern philosophy.

  1. I was never planning to see this movie anyway, largely because most Christian movies I HAVE seen are sloppy, crude, amateuristic, one-dimensional, badly written, hammily acted and a drag to watch. In art, I’m afraid, good intentions really don’t count for much. I’d LOVE to see good Christian movies, but I’m still waiting.

I think it would be fun to either go into the film, or wait outside the theater, holding a sign or wearing a shirt that says something like “You’ve seen the film, now talk to a real atheist Philosophy professor.”

That’s the one! TYVM.

Yeah, like “King of Kings” (any of them), “The Ten Commandments”, or even “Chariots of Fire”.