Sunday, August 3, 2014



"God's Not Dead"
A Hypocritical Appeal To 
Man's Reason, Not Scripture;
Teaches False Gospel, False Doctrines,
False Quick Prayer Salvation,
False "Big Bang Theory" of Creation,
False Theistic Evolution,
Ecumenism with Catholic Church

“You shall not put the Lord your God to the test” Luke 4:12, (ESV)
ROMANS 1:18-25-
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man --- and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
MARTIN LUTHER: "Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason, I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe." 
"We must be willing to leave any group or teaching, even if it goes by the name “Christian,” if and when we find it does not correspond to God’s will found in the New Testament." 


We have previously shown on this blog all the gimmicks that Faith Baptist Church has been desperately trying to foist on its members to get its attendance and cash flow up. This is the latest example of one more of its unbiblical and ineffectual approaches to "get people saved" wherein the "end justifies the means", even if that means drawing on the input of gays, apostates, heretics, and Catholics for wisdom and direction. Pinder, after all, did announce that "church is not for believers", substituting a twisted form of "servant evangelism" which unfortunately suppresses and/or disguises the real gospel.
    So now we present our analysis of what intelligent, discerning, and professional commentators are saying about the movie "God's Not Dead" which will be shown at Faith Baptist on August 10 and 24, 2014, with a cook out and "outreach opportunity" added on August 24. These commentators are both "Christians" and secular. So a broad enough picture will be painted to demonstrate the gross lack of discernment, care, foresight, biblical knowledge, apologetics, understanding, intelligence and sensitivity towards the unregenerate world that is rampant throughout this amateurishly produced and directed movie. 
    However, a warning here. 
    Faith Baptist Church is only one example of the sizable portion of the Christian community at large that has gushed over this D and F rated juvenile production, and in their willing ignorance believe that we should all sit through this garbage in the remote hope that at least someone may be saved by and through its less than biblical message and unbelievable, unlikely, improbable plot(s). 
    The theory being, for the likes of Pinder, Faith Baptist, and other emergent types that the dumber the presentation (Common Core style), the easier it is for the world's kind to understand, appreciate and relate to. Not so with this "Christian" insulting, condescending propaganda piece, which for those millions of secular humanists, atheists, former church attenders, and/or adherents to apostate and pagan religions, is nothing more than a ludicrous, laughable reason to stay in their current unregenerate state. Even the most uneducated among these can appreciate its offensive, incoherent messages, which carefully and meticulously avoids man's sin nature.
    Unfortunately for the emergent types, omitting the Word of God and biblical apologetics regarding the existence of God and creation is compromising, to say the least, not making a clear stand for Christian beliefs. This movie provides plenty of excuses for the church to back away from biblical truths for expediency, and at the same time an excuse for those unsaved to remain so. 
    This kind of "servant evangelism" is nothing of the sort. It is an unacceptable and inexcusable abuse/misuse of church resources and ministry. Most of all it is an insult to God.
Faith Baptist Church Bulletin Announcement of Movie located here:
Lifeway Publishing (Southern Baptist) Promotion:

VIDEO: God's Not Dead Excellent 

Negative Review 1 Out of 5 Stars:
"God's Not Dead... but Christian Films are on Life Support"
by Debbie Holloway, Assistant Editor,
SEE:; republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
Release Date: March 21, 2014
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama/Family
Run Time: 112 min.
Director: Harold Cronk
Cast: Willie & Korie Robertson, Kevin Sorbo, David A.R. White, Shane Harper, The Newsboys

As unfortunate as it may be to admit, "Christian movies" have something of a track record.
Often the purpose of the filmmaker is clear, if not bluntly stated: to win souls, bolster the faith of believers, or even simply to get the name of Jesus to a theater near you. All too often, however, these well-meaning Christian films are marked by substandard acting, careless plot-holes, and contrived situations. Christian audiences flock to see such films, forgiving shortcomings and encouraging friends and family to support the Christian film industry by going out to see it and talking it up on Facebook.
And yes, the end result of proclaiming the Gospel is a worthy one. After all, who knows what soul may be touched by the story presented? If even one person comes to seek Christ in a deeper way, many argue, the film has been worth it – no matter how poorly made or artistically subpar.
But this artist and critic has begun to wonder, is the end truly justifying the means?
I would love to say that PureFlix Entertainment’s God's Not Dead accomplishes its goals through strong storytelling, a clever script, and well-rounded, well-acted characters, but unfortunately that's not the case. Though this Christian-celebrity-cameo-filled affair tries to make a profound statement about bold faith, it falls prey to several predictable blunders.
The film begins harmlessly enough, with an opening montage that introduces several unconnected characters, the most prominent being a freshmen couple at a college campus preparing to begin their foray into the world of university academics. Kara (Cassidy Gifford) is excited about their future; she and Josh have been a couple for six years, and she seems to have the next 60 planned out too. Josh (an underwhelming, brooding Shane Harper) is more laid back, and is thrown a curve ball on his first day of Philosophy class. This kind, Newsboys-loving, Christian teen has landed in the classroom of a militant atheist professor, one who wastes no time in proclaiming to his class of freshmen, "God is dead."
In an attempt to bypass conventional philosophical debate over the existence of God, Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo) passes out blank pieces of paper to his classroom and instructs them all to write "God is dead" and sign their names. Josh, obviously, falters under this directive, and explains to his professor that, as a Christian, he cannot sign such a statement. The aggressive, controlling Radisson insists that if Josh won't do it, he has three chances to prove God's existence to the classroom or risk a failing grade. Josh accepts the challenge, much to the chagrin of his girlfriend, and the story sets off from there.
The earnest young Christian standing up for his faith is a plot Christian audiences will relate to. After all, we live in an age of plurality and political correctness where lawsuits abound and there’s a lot of negativity associated with Christianity. The film comes across as self-satisfied, however, in a way that would likely feel polarizing and incomplete to a non-believer. Regrettably, most moments of poignancy and nobility this film can claim are overshadowed by this simplicity and a few other major flaws.
One such example is that the film gives an underly-dynamic presentation of its characters. Every non-Christian character in the film is amoral, disrespectful, and vicious. One wonders: do the script writers view all non-Christians as being incapable of the barest common decency? Alternately, every Christian character somehow ends up at the same Newsboys concert at the end of the film. Is this because these filmmakers think all Christians go to the same Christian concerts in this manner, or is it simply a lazy way for writers to further the story for their own purposes? And why must every sad and sobering moment in movies take place in the rain?
With these tropes and unrealistic scenarios, it’s difficult to take much of the film seriously. But even the predictable plot and one-dimensional characters would be salvageable if only the characters would behave and speak in ways that make sense – in ways that people in real life behave and speak. Unfortunately, this crucial element is sorely lacking from God's Not Dead.
For example, when a young liberal reporter (a caricature of a role played by Trisha LaFache) accosts Willie and Korie Robertson (playing themselves), the scene is cartoon-like. She wields her recording device in a clenched hand and a nearly hyper-flexed arm straight toward the friendly couple, as if she’s afraid to get too close and catch what they've got. When they graciously agree to an impromptu interview, she begins with a snide jab at Korie, saying she's "surprised to see her" (even though the family is clearly just walking into church) and that she would have expected Korie would be at home "barefoot and pregnant."
The list goes on and on. Couples break up in public places with bizarre, stilted dialogue. When a woman is told she has cancer by her doctor, her immediate response is "I don't have time to have cancer. I'm too busy." Two men about to embark on a 12-hour road trip are unable to start their car, so they call for a rental car (which doesn’t come ‘til the end of the day), and then when the rental is a dud… they decide to wait til the next morning for another rental (somehow, none of the adult men involved thinks to have the car towed to a mechanic and simply have the battery replaced). Logic is sacrificed again and again for the sake of moving the plot forward. But because everyone's dialogue and actions are so devoid of coherence, the plot feels forced. Many scenes that should be touching, or moments that should evoke empathy, leave you scratching your head, wondering, "Why did that just happen?"
Yes, God's Not Dead will make you feel supported, possibly even inspired. You'll get to see Willie Robertson and Michael Tait wax poetic on their love for Jesus Christ. You'll get to see a dozen different characters turn their lives toward Christ (if you can manage to keep them all straight enough to care deeply about any of them).
But is it really worth it? Is this pat-on-the-back type of inspiration worth the inevitable dismissal by non-Christians for its cheesy script and manufactured plot? Is it a "necessary evil" to support such lackluster films for the cause of Christ? Do the noble ends justify the means to get there? Perhaps more importantly, is it even possible for movies about God to simultaneously be movies that are good art?
Yes. It's been done many times. Movies like The Prince of Egypt and The Tree of Life come to mind as two of the most well-crafted, star-studded, magnificent films in recent years which also happen to be incredible stories of faith.
At the end of God's Not Dead, viewers are encouraged to send a text message to everyone in their contact list proclaiming "God's Not Dead." You can do this, if you think it will spread the love and message of Christ to your friends and family. If, however, you live in a more nuanced reality, one where actions and conversations and relationships with real people take time and patience to grow, maybe you'll pray for them instead. Maybe you'll send a text to just one person saying "I'm thinking of you, let me know if you ever need anything."
Or maybe you're an artist, and you're just waiting for the right time to unleash your creativity and passion in a way that will not only point to God, but will be thoughtful, well-crafted, and carried by a story that connects to the human heart.
After all, our God is alive – and the ultimate artist. Doesn't he deserve thoughtful, worthy art attached to his name more than just an on-screen-tract?
CAUTIONS (may contain spoilers):
  • Drugs/Alcohol: People are shown drinking wine
  • Language/Profanity: None
  • Sex/Nudity: None
  • Violence: A man is shown being hit by a car and killed; a young woman is slapped across the face by her father
Debbie Holloway is the Family Life Editor for
Publication date: March 21, 2014

"God’s Not Dead is a mess even by Christian film standards" (Rated "D-")

"Even by the rather lax standards of the Christian film industry, God’s Not Dead is a disaster. It’s an uninspired amble past a variety of Christian-email-forward boogeymen that feels far too long at just 113 minutes. Resembling a megachurch more than a movie, it’s been designed not to convey any particular message, but to reinforce the stereotypes its chosen audience already holds. It weirdly fetishizes persecution, and many of its story decisions—like randomly tossing in Duck Dynasty stars Willie and Korie Robertson or concluding on an endless concert from popular Christian rock group Newsboys—seem designed to simply get butts in seats. To say God’s Not Dead preaches to the choir would be an understatement. It’s the pastor, staring in a mirror, preaching to himself."

God’s Not Dead Movie Review by Answers in Genesis:

"In the first debate, Wheaton boldly declares to his classmates, “We’re going to put God on trial!” Think about that for a moment. A college freshman is going to place a group of teenagers who are willing to sign away their souls to please a philosophy professor they don’t even know as judge and jury over the omnipotent Creator God of the universe.
Wheaton could have agreed to the debate and used the Word of God as his foundation, as Jesus did in the wilderness temptation, but he chose to appeal to reason—the reason of fallen men and women whose minds are blinded by the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:1–6). What’s more, as the debates play out, Wheaton uses a quote from Lee Strobel about the evolution of living things through the ages and a quote from the Roman Catholic astronomer Georges Lemaitre describing how the big bang corresponds to “let there be light” in Genesis 1:3 as his evidence for God’s existence. Rather than looking to God’s Word and character, the ideas of men developed a relatively short time ago form the basis for the case for God’s existence. Man’s words were elevated above God’s Word.2
In some instances, they may be unaware of the fact that this movie uses the big bang and the alleged evidence for the evolution of life on earth as major “proofs” of God’s existence. In other instances, the Christians endorsing the movie are happy to accept the big bang and biological evolution as proof of God’s work in the universe. In fact, the number of Christians insisting on that explanation is growing rapidly, and this film may serve to cause an inflation in those numbers. Regardless, this movie may cause people to think about God, but it will lead them away from the foundational truths of Genesis because of its unbiblical foundation. If this movie tells its viewers that they can’t trust Genesis as straightforward and foundational history, why then would they trust the rest of the Bible—including their need for a Savior—built on that shaky foundation?"
RELATED: Georges Lemaitre-SEE: 
17 July 1894 – 20 June 1966) was a Belgian Roman Catholic priestastronomer and professor of physics at the Catholic University of Leuven. He was the first known academic to propose the theory of the expansion of the Universe, widely misattributed to Edwin Hubble. He was also the first to derive what is now known as Hubble's law and made the first estimation of what is now called the Hubble constant, which he published in 1927, two years before Hubble's article. Lemaître also proposed what became known as the Big Bang theory of the origin of the Universe, which he called his 'hypothesis of theprimeval atom or the "Cosmic Egg"'. By 1951, Pope Pius XII declared that Lemaître's theory provided a scientific validation for existence of God and Catholicism.
"Veritas Seminary Conference Teacher, Lee Strobel, a "Supporter" of Son's Heavily Contemplative Ministry"; republished below in full unedited for informational, educational and research purposes:
"Lee Strobel is one of the most well-read Christian authors today. He is also one of the conference speaking teachers for Veritas Evangelical Seminary (co-founder Norm Geisler *see bottom of post), which is located on the Calvary Chapel Bible College grounds in California. Strobel is also a strong supporter of his son’s (Kyle Strobel) very contemplative ministry called Metamorpha. On the Metamorpha website, Lee Strobel is listed as a “supporter” of Metamorpha. Strobel’s public support of Metamorpha will bring much attention to Kyle’s ministry and in turn pointing many unsuspecting people toward contemplative spirituality. Certainly having his father listed as a “supporter” will give much credibility in the eyes of many Christians to Kyle Strobel’s work. Incidentally, also on the Metamorpha site, it lists InterVarsity Press as a “sponsor” of Metamorpha, and Biola’s Institute of Spiritual Formation is named as a “partner.” To give even more recognition to his son’s organization, Lee Strobel mentions Metamorpha, the book by his son, on his own website
Kyle Strobel grew up at Willow Creek Church and later studied at Biola’s Talbot School of Theology, where he received 2 Masters Degrees. Today, he is helping to pave the contemplative way by touting the works and practices of mystics, contemplatives, and emergents. Metamorphais called “an online community for Christian spiritual formation” and lists several contemplative practices, including repetitive prayers, lectio divina, and Ignatian exercises. Recommended books on the site are a who’s who of contemplative prayer proponents such as Dallas Willard, Thomas Merton, Richard Foster, Henri Nouwen, Adele Calhoun, Thomas Kelly, and several others.
In an article on Metamorpha, specific instruction for Ignatian exercises (named after St. Ignatius of Loyola) is given. In the Metamorpha article, it says that the “imagination is key in Ignatian prayer…. Ignatian meditation involves several key spiritual disciplines: lectio divina, Ignatian contemplation, reminiscence, and the examination of consciousness (notice: not conscience).”
A video on Metamorpha by Richard Foster titled “What role do the ancient Christians play in life of believers today?” is quite revealing. Foster lists several ancient mystics as those we should turn to for spiritual direction. One he named is Jean Pierre de Caussade (from the 1700s), a mystic and the author of Abandonment to Divine Providence. Foster also names panentheist Thomas Kelly who Foster quotes in one of his books as saying there is a divine center in every person (see Streams of Living Water). Foster also tells readers to practice meditation exercises such as lectio divina.
There is no question that Kyle Strobel is following the contemplative path. He resonates with numerous mystics whom Lighthouse Trails has critiqued in the past, as well as emergents like Leonard Sweet and Dan Kimball. It is hard to know whether his interest for the mystical began at Willow Creek or Biola – both promote it. But in his book, Metamorpha Kyle gives credit to Biola professor and contemplative advocate John Coe for helping him come to his present spiritual understanding (see footnote section of Metamorpha where Coe is mentioned several times for his contribution in Kyle’s life). Coe is the founder of Biola’s Institute of Spiritual Formation where contemplative prayer is openly promoted.
One of the mystics Kyle recommends is Thomas Merton. The following three quotes are very indicative of Merton’s spiritual affinities and should not be ignored:
“I’m deeply impregnated with Sufism.” Thomas Merton, The Springs of Contemplation, p. 266
“And I believe that by openness to Buddhism, to Hinduism, and to these great Asian traditions, we stand a wonderful chance of learning more about the potentiality of our own traditions, because they have gone, from the natural point of view, so much deeper into this than we have.” Quote by Merton from the book, Lost Christianity by Jacob Needleman
“Isn’t it a pity that people are going into LSD to have spiritual experiences, when we have a tradition in the Church [contemplative prayer] which no one knows anything about?” Read the Interview in which Matthew Fox quoted Merton.
In 2009, Relevant magazine asked Kyle to name ten books he believes “all Christians should read.” Two of them are written by Henri Nouwen (who Kyle calls a “prophet”), one by Brother Lawrence, and one by Thomas a’ Kempis – all three had mystical propensities. He also includes Karl Barth in his list of “should read” books, calling Barth (who rejected biblical inerrancy) ” the most important modern theologian.”
Conversations Journal is also named on the Metamorpha website, as a “partner”.Conversations Journal offers articles by some of the most blatant eastern-style mysticism teachers including Brian McLaren, Richard Rohr, Basil Pennington, and Tilden Edwards. It was Tilden Edwards who said: “This mystical stream [contemplative prayer] is the Western bridge to Far Eastern spirituality” (Spiritual Friend, p. 18), and Basil Pennington who said:
We should not hesitate to take the fruit of the age-old wisdom of the East and capture it for Christ. Indeed, those of us who are in ministry should make the necessary effort to acquaint ourselves with as many of these Eastern techniques as possible … Many Christians who take their prayer life seriously have been greatly helped by Yoga, Zen, TM and similar practices. (Finding Grace at the Center , pp. 5-6, Keating/Pennington, from A Time of Departing)
It seems a paradox that Lee Strobel is a “supporter” of an extremely contemplative ministry and yet also a speaker for conferences at Veritas Evangelical Seminary, which carries a statement on its website that states  it rejects contemplative spirituality. How can this be so? If Lee Strobel supports contemplative spirituality, why is he teaching students on the Calvary Chapel campus at Veritas? Both Veritas and Calvary Chapel have made statements in the past that they reject contemplative mystical spirituality. But by including a contemplative  supporter for teaching, doesn’t that neutralize those previous statements, and doesn’t it further confuse matters for the body of Christ?"
Lee Strobel, while a pastor on the staff of church growth guru Bill Hybels' Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois (he is now a pastor at Rick Warren's Saddleback Valley Community Church), authored a number of heretical books, one being a 1993 book titled Inside the Mind of Unchurched Harry & Mary: How to Reach Friends and Family Who Avoid God and the Church. The book is endorsed in its Foreword by Bill Hybels, and on the jacket is endorsed/recommended by thirteen even more neo-evangelical psychologizers, including Max LucadoTony CampoloHoward HendricksStuart Briscoe, C. Peter Wagner, Joseph Stowell, Elmer Towns, Bill Bright, and Gary Collins. In this book, Strobel makes it clear that he was drawn to Hybels' church, not by the message of truth, but by the music of the world. After he found himself comfortable with the music and modern style of worship, he simply reasoned his way to a conversion experience. Strobel is completely geared to a needs based religion. His purpose is to meet man's needs, based on his own perception, rather than honoring man's obligation to worship and glorify God. Strobel's purpose is to find out what works, and not to find out what is Biblical. His purpose is to please lost, unregenerate men, and not to please God. To read Strobel's book (and by nature of endorsement, Max Lucado's thoughts also) you come up with the idea that the problem with people is that they are simply unchurched. To the contrary, they need to be seen as lost and in need of a Savior. (Source: 1/96, Plains Baptist Challenger, pp. 5-7.)

God’s Not Dead movie review

A ‘feel-good’ movie that sadly did not make us feel good at all!

SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:

"Today, Christianity is under attack more than ever. Christians with a biblical worldview seem to be the ‘underdogs’ in the university, culture, and media. So when a film affirms a Christian worldview in any sense, it’s hard not to be excited. When we viewed the trailer forGod’s Not Dead, we hoped that it would be an example of how to argue for one’s faith in the university, as the stats show that this is one area where young Christians struggle and even lose their faith.
God’s Not Dead does not completely meet the stereotypes people assume about Christian movies being the lowest quality. Indeed, the production quality was good for a Christian themed movie, and we would have dearly liked to give this feature film our endorsement. Unfortunately, the content of the film has many problematic areas, so it is with a heavy heart that we feel we need to clearly report our concerns. Christians need to be aware of the problem areas, so if they do decide to view the movie, they can do so with discernment.
There are multiple subplots in the movie which are all introduced in its first few minutes, but not developed immediately, and it seems to take a while before the details emerge allowing the viewer a chance to catch up. However, the main story is that Josh, a college freshman, is taking an Introduction to Philosophy class from an infamously atheistic professor, Dr. Radisson (played by Kevin Sorbo who is known for his role on the TV show Hercules, among other roles). The very first class, the professor stands up and gives a short discourse about the virtues and intellectual superiority of atheism. He then gives the class their first assignment. He passes out blank papers, and demands that each student write “God is dead” and sign their names in order to get a passing grade. Josh refuses, so the professor forces him to take an alternate assignment; Josh will be given time in the next three lectures to prove the existence of God. If the students in his class are convinced, he passes the assignment. If not, he fails the semester, and thus his chances at a prestigious law degree.

Weak apologetic arguments due to compromise

This is where we anticipated the movie could have made its major ‘equipping’ contribution, but unfortunately, each of the points Josh tries to put forward to prove God’s existence are arguments that atheists would easily refute. In the first session, Josh equates the big bang to what we would expect if God spoke the universe into existence. Of course, CMI has long demonstrated how the big problem with the big bang theory is that it is supposed to have happened billions of years ago. With the sun allegedly appearing millions of years before the earth, for example, it stands in complete opposition to the very creation passages in Genesis which Josh is supposed to be defending. He even affirms an age of the universe of billions of years, which clearly stands contrary to the biblical account. To be fair, he does give a good answer to “Who created God?”, which is perhaps the only solid apologetic in this section.
In the second section, Josh talks about the problems of life coming from non-life, but then implies that God could be behind the seemingly-random process of evolution. But an informed atheist could respond that evolution is a wasteful, cruel process; why would anyone worship God if He used a cruel wasteful evolutionary process? Perhaps the producers have not realized that most atheistic evolutionists don’t really respect Christians who believe in evolution. Just ask the ‘high priest’ of atheistic evolution, Professor Richard Dawkins, who once said that theological attempts to marry the Bible and evolution are “seriously deluded.” In this sense, who is the movie trying to win over?
In the third and final lecture, Josh tackles the problem of evil by saying that it is a necessary consequence of free will. But the very biblical creation account Josh claims to be defending is clear that evil is a consequence of sin, not a necessary companion to free will.

Spoiler alert

These weak arguments are presented as overtly intimidating to the ‘infamously stout’ atheist professor and predictably, the stereotypical triumph of Josh’s arguments over the confounded professor leads to what seems to be the dramatic conversion of the entire class. This is not a realistic scenario. Given these somewhat basic and flawed arguments, they would not be at all convincing to an informed opponent, and no atheist of Professor Radisson’s supposed caliber would be unfamiliar with them. The danger we fear is that hapless college students may take these weak arguments, try to use them, and get shot down. Instead of concluding that there is something wrong with the arguments, they could think that Christianity is false, and it would damage their faith.

Paper-thin subplots

There are countless sub-plots, and each takes every available chance to unfortunately stereotype, almost to the point of offensiveness, every people group represented. First: the atheists are portrayed as being one-dimensional and evil. The journalist character is career-driven and rude; ambushing her Christian interview subjects (Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson and his wife Korie in one encounter, and the band Newsboys, in another) to ask them offensive questions. For example, she asks, “Why aren’t you barefoot and pregnant?” in the first interview.
A businessman is portrayed as the most self-centered and callous person imaginable. He does not visit his mother because she is suffering from dementia, and he breaks up with his girlfriend when she reveals she is suffering from a fatal cancer, accusing her of “changing our agreement … breaking our deal.”
But the journalist and the businessman are nothing compared to Professor Radisson, who is possibly the most self-centered narcissist you would ever meet. He is a tyrant in the classroom and in his personal life. He mocks and threatens his students, and publicly humiliates his girlfriend. His militant atheism and hatred of God is driven by the death of his Christian mother from cancer, and perhaps the only moment when he seems like a plausible human being is when he is reading a loving letter from his mother, written shortly before her death.
The strict Muslim family is stereotypically portrayed as well, but with critical errors. First, the daughter is required to wear a scarf covering the lower half of her face, but inexplicably is allowed to wear a low-cut, short-sleeved shirt. And she is shown listening to music on an iPod, but strict Muslims also believe that music is ungodly, and they do not allow it. The father, when he finds out his daughter is no longer a Muslim, beats her and physically throws her out of the house and onto the streets weeping.
A Chinese student’s father shows no interest in his son’s life, and when he starts talking about God, his father’s angry reply is to be careful because ‘someone’ might be listening, and it could jeopardize his brother’s chances of studying at a foreign university.
These character portrayals of atheists and other religions will generally be found to be unbelievable by viewers, whether Christian or not. And worse still, for a professing Christian movie to portray them so unreasonably is very uncharitable. Weaker brethren may even find these portrayals believable and if so, it will do nothing to engender Christian love to those who are outside of Christ. We (Christians) do not like to be caricatured in this way, and certainly believers should apply the admonition to “do unto others”.

Real Christians?

But the Christians are perhaps the most stereotyped of all. Josh’s girlfriend promptly breaks up with him the moment he shows some backbone (just after celebrating their 6-year anniversary, which means they would have been dating since the age of 12). The professor’s ‘Christian’ girlfriend, whom he started dating while she was a student in his class, stays with the most unlikable guy in the entire movie for some inexplicable reason until she has one shallow conversation with the pastor.
An American pastor and an African missionary are both caricatured. The pastor is lukewarm and dissatisfied (until called on to assist in the deathbed conversion of one of the major characters). And the African missionary is there to contrast by smiling in the face of minor inconveniences and exhibit faith that God will allow a car to start. Neither is developed enough to allow their faith to be more than one-dimensional. Most pastors would not be flattered by such a depiction.
There are cameo appearances of members of the now-popular Duck Dynasty cast, and ‘product placement’ for the Christian band Newsboys throughout the film. And all the major characters inexplicably converge at a Newsboys concert at the film’s climax.
"Directory of Contemporary Christian Musicians":
The Newsboys’ music “has run the gamut from punkish rock to a turn at rap and Euro-favored techno pop.” Their fourth album, Not Ashamed (1992), sold 400,000 and received a Grammy nomination. Formed in the early 1980s in Australia, the Newsboys were “infuenced by everyone from the Police, Cure, and Rolling Stones to Keith Green and Jimmy Swaggart” (Jesus Rocks the World: Te Defnitive History of Contemporary Christian Music, vol. 2, p. 101). The original members were John James, Peter Furler, Corey Pryor, and Sean Taylor. “Initially they played for the rowdy patrons of the local clubs and pubs, who threw beer bottles at them if they didn’t meet their standards” (Jesus Rocks the World, vol. 2, p 100). In 1990 they signed with the Christian label Star Song, and in 1996 they signed with the secular label Virgin Records, which also produces for the Rolling Stones. From 1991 to 1996 their albums were produced by Steve Taylor. In a 1996 interview Peter Furler said: “Our first three or four records weren’t very deep, but neither was our experience in the faith” (CCM Magazine, February 1996). The 1998 album, Step Up to the Microphone, was promoted both in Christian (via Star Song) and in secular markets. The latter was done through Virgin Records. Danny Goodwin, Vice President of A&R for Virgin, describes their philosophy of music: “Our position is, whether these artists are Christians, Jews, Moslems, black, white, Albanian or whatever, they’re making great music. And that’s what Virgin does—we’re in the market to sell what we call quality music to the largest number of people we can” (CCM Magazine, August 1998, p. 25). Many CCM musicians are comfortable working hand in hand with people who produce and distribute the vilest rock and roll, whereas the Bible says, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Cor. 6:17). Newsboys concerts feature many of the same things found at secular rock concerts: sensual dancing, moshing, stage diving, crowd surfing. There have been numerous accidents relating directly or indirectly to moshing at their concerts (“To Mosh or Not to Mosh,” CCM Magazine, February 1996). Newsboys founding member Pete Furler loves the writings of Frederick Buechner, a neo-orthodox theologian and writer who was trained at the ultra liberal Union Teological Seminary under heretics such as Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich, who rejected Christ’s divinity, virgin birth, and bodily resurrection. Tillich called the Christmas story a “legend” in the December 1977 issue of The Lutheran. Buechner was “inspired to ordination” by George Buttrick while attending Buttrick’s Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. In his book The Christian Fact and Modern Doubt, Buttrick wrote: “Literal infallibility of Scripture is a fortress impossible to defend. ... In retrospect it seems incredible that the theory of literal inspiration could have ever been held” (pp. 162, 167). Literal inspiration is not a theory; it is a doctrine taught by the Lord Jesus Christ, who said “the Scripture cannot be broken” (Jn. 10:35). In 1997 Newsboys’ Phil Joel joined Roman Catholic Kathy Troccoli and 40 other CCM artists to record Love One Another, a song with an ecumenical theme: “Christians from all denominations demonstrating their common love for Christ and each other.” The song talks about tearing down the walls of denominational division. The broad range of participants who joined Troccoli in recording “Love One Another” demonstrates the ecumenical agenda of Contemporary Christian Music. In July 2012, Newsboys was one of the bands featured at the 14th annual Lifest in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Christian rock’s one-world church building enterprise was in full steam at this event. Other popular groups and artists participating were Switchfoot, Underoath, Building 429, Norma Jean, Steven Curtis Chapman, Tammy Borden, Love & Death, Casting Crowns, and Disciple. 15,000 enthusiastic fans gathered to celebrate ecumenical unity through the sensual power of rock & roll. Participants could choose from three worship services, including a Catholic Mass led by Bishop David Ricken, who officially approves of the “Marian Apparitions” at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in northern Wisconsin. The apparition appeared to Adele Brise in 1859 and said, “I am the Queen of Heaven, who prays for the conversion of sinners,” plainly identifying itself as a demon, since the only Queen of Heaven mentioned in Scripture is an idolatrous goddess that was condemned by the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 7:18). That Christian rock is intimately associated with such things is clear evidence of its apostasy. Peter Furler attends the charismatic Bethel World Outreach Center in Brentwood, Tennessee. It is affiliated with the Pentecostal Every Nation Ministries. Peter Wagner lists Every Nation as part of the New Apostolic Reformation that seeks to restore the offices of prophet and apostle to the churches."
A missed opportunity
Given the theme of this film, we began viewing with high anticipation for the potential that could have been, but as the film progressed, our expectations were doused. CMI has produced films, and are currently editing a new major documentary, so we empathize that filmmakers spend not only a lot of money to make a quality production, but it takes countless months of planning and development to make the final product as effective as possible. In this case, the filmmakers went out on a limb to address some of the most foundational questions that plague the minds of so many in our culture, but we are staggered at how poorly they answered them. It’s not as if there is not good information available, in fact, more than ever before. Yet they chose to not consult any good creation organizations for guidance on strong, up-to-date apologetic arguments. For example, CMI employs Ph.D. scientists around the world, from many different scientific disciplines, and we have focused on addressing these very issues for decades. In this arena, we, as well as other major creation organizations, have taken a firm stand on the Bible and how the scientific evidence supports the Bible’s historical account, so as you can imagine, we have constantly been challenged by the likes of opponents far more formidable than this film’s ‘Dr. Radisson’.

“When your faith is tested, can you explain what you believe?”

This phrase was taken directly from the film’s dedicated website, yet it aptly summarizes a major aspect of the mission of Creation Ministries International. You see, although Dr. Radisson’s blatant requirement to reject one’s faith in writing seems hard to believe in even today’s secular culture, the reality is that many Christian students are facing similar experiences to the one Josh faces in this film. In the case of a professor of biology at Texas Tech University (Lubbock, Texas, USA), the professor demonstrated his religious bigotry in public by denying his recommendation to any creationist student who would deny the ‘fact’ of evolution.
In another case, a college-aged CMI–US staff member told of her first biology class and that her professor told all the Christians to rethink taking his class because “It will destroy your faith.” Our speakers can also testify firsthand to the open hostility and rudeness of teachers on campuses all around the world.
Even outside of the university setting, whether it be TV programs, magazines, textbooks, documentaries, movies, etc., all everyone seems to hear is that evolution is a fact. So if so few believers are equipped with and boldly share a viable defense for the biblical worldview, is it any wonder that people might ultimately conclude that ‘science’ has proven that the Bible is just a bunch of stories, and thus, “God is dead”?
If anything, the plot of this film dramatizes the reality that our speakers are facing on the road. After one of our presentations in churches around the world, it is common for a parent to approach us with a pained look on their face, explaining how their children have abandoned the faith when they left their homes. However, while living under their parents roof, if children are equipped with a strong apologetic, specifically in the creation/evolution arena, the very area where the Bible is being attacked more than any other, then things are very different. Not only is their faith in God’s Word strengthened, but they become God’s vehicle, like the fictional Josh, boldly sharing their faith and truth with others—but with good solid information that can refute the skeptics.

Yup, God’s not dead!

1 Peter 3:15 commands all believers to “ … always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you … ”. Fulfilling the role of a ‘defender of the faith’ requires a little effort. So take action today and equip yourself and your family with the readily-available resources that will make a difference not only for your and your children’s future, but in their ability to confidently and boldly defend their faith and share the Gospel. The sidebar of this article links to our most foundational resources that will begin you and your family on the path to becoming a real, yet effective, ‘Josh’. While you are at it, find out how easy it is to invite a CMI speaker to your church so that believers in your community will be equipped to share the truth with their family, friends and coworkers.
Although we regrettably cannot recommend this movie, it highlighted to us that so much work needs to be done to equip believers and their families. To be blunt, if this were the best that Christians can come up with, we would be in serious trouble and it is likely we would not convince anyone of the truth. But the good news is you can get equipped with a biblical, scientific and effective apologetic that you can boldly use to impact your family, friends and community as you stand up for the truth and authority of God’s Word. Just don’t expect a ‘fictional’ movie to do it for you."
"‘God’s Not Dead’ Review: 
Perhaps, But Logic May Be"
There’s some initial intrigue in the film’s premise, but the film quickly shifts and shapes into a sort of theological Crash, interspersing a series of tangentially connected subplots in which various people examine and evaluate their relationship with God. However, any grand illusions the viewer may have of finding substance here are immediately destroyed.
Dubious religious content aside, God’s Not Dead is, above all, a dismal piece of film making. The characters are written as vapid outlines masquerading as human beings. The camerawork is sophomoric – moving in and out of each scene with a type of slow motion effect employed in cheesy ’80s action films. The music, which jaggedly alternates between dramatic piano pieces and on the nose Christian rock, is only used to signify how we should think and feel at any particular moment.

"God’s Not Dead": A Movie Review

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.
Kyle Butt, M.A.
Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:

"On March 21, 2014, the movie God’s Not Dead was released in 780 theaters across the country. Since then, more than 1,000 other theaters began showing the film, which grossed over $41 million in less than one month—pretty good for a movie with a budget of only $2 million (God’s Not Dead, 2014a).
Though many Christians and pro-Christian organizations around the country have been fairly complimentary of the film, general reviewers have not been so kind. rated the movie with one star, as only 15% of the Web site’s approved critics gave the movie a positive review (God’s Not Dead, 2014b). Although the Hollywood Reporter had a few positive things to say about the movie, in their “bottom line” they referred to it as a “simple-minded sermon” (Farber, 2014). Claudia Puig of USA Todayhas alleged that “the contrived premise of God’s Not Dead is anything but credible.” Puig dismissed the idea of a professor at a respected academic institution ever criticizing religion as “primitive superstition,” saying, “Even if a teacher believed this, it’s highly unlikely he would declare it to a class full of students” (2014, emp. added).
The fact of the matter is, belligerent criticism of theism and Christianity has been occurring on college campuses all over the country for years, and it is very appropriate for God’s Not Dead to raise awareness of such bullying from various intolerant, liberal professors. Sometime ago a gentleman, who had been a student at a well-known university in the southeastern United States, visited with us after one of our lectures and recounted how, at the beginning of one particular semester, a science professor asked students in the class to stand up if they believed in God. Seven individuals out of a fairly large class rose from their seats. The professor then went on to say that by the end of the semester not one of them would stand up when he asked that question. Sure enough, toward the end of the semester the professor posed the question again, “How many of you believe in God?” Only one student stood up. Several months later, another student from the same university confirmed that the same thing happened in one of her classes. There was obvious bullying and intimidation taking place. The often-overlooked fact is, theistic, creationist, and Christian-oriented students and professors are frequently the target of liberal, atheistic, and/or evolutionary professors and department heads (e.g., Kingkade, 2013; Bergman, 2008; Stein and Miller, 2008; see also Miller, 2011).
Perhaps the most powerful and pervasive message of God’s Not Dead is that any person who calls himself or herself a Christian must be willing to sacrifice everything for Christ. The hero of the movie, a young university freshman named Josh Wheaton, is willing to sacrifice his relationship with his fiancée, his university career, his future job, and his reputation to stand up for God’s existence. In a subplot, a young Muslim student is willing to sacrifice her family relationships for her belief in Christ. A freshman student from China is consistently urged by his father to stop thinking about “foolish” religious ideas and concentrate on his grades, but the young man refuses. And the girlfriend of the antagonistic atheistic professor breaks off their relationship because of her religious convictions.
This message of sacrifice is both biblical and extremely important in our increasingly self-centered society. Jesus said: “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me…. For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:34,38). In all of our years as Christian apologists, we have seen countless “Christians” bowing to the secular standards of our day, afraid to stand for the truth of the Bible and God’s existence. We could recount stories of college freshmen too afraid of ruining their reputations or of getting a bad grade to stand up for their belief in God. We could tell of university professors who were so very concerned about tenure, their salary, or their teaching positions that they refused to speak or write about their faith in Christ because of the possible repercussions. How many school teachers have allowed their Christian influence to be silenced because they might lose their job? It truly is a shame to see the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and the complete dedication of His early followers who “rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name” (Acts 5:41), and then witness certain “Christians” today who will not even acknowledge in public that they believe in God or His Word. Any faithful Christian would have to say “Amen,” to the movie’s main message that following Jesus requires complete sacrifice to His Will.
Unfortunately, the main message of the movie is overshadowed at times by the failure of the movie to accurately apply it. For instance, although Josh, the hero, is to be commended for his study and some of the effective arguments he used in class, at times during his defense he affirms error. For example, he implies that the Big Bang is scientifically and biblically credible, and that God could have used evolution as the process by which all life (including humans) came into existence. Not only is the Big Bang an unscientific idea (May, et al., 2003a), it is an unbiblical idea as well (May, et al., 2003b; Lyons, 2003). Additionally, the idea that God directed the process of evolution to produce life is equally unbiblical and antiscientific (Houts, 2007), though it is very appealing to our secular culture. In their attempt to make belief in God more palatable (by not making Josh, what calls, “a simple-minded believer who thinks the Earth was created…in just under a week”—God’s Not Dead, 2014c), the producers of the film fail to stand courageously against the foolish theories of cosmic and biological evolution and stand unashamedly for the truthfulness of the biblical account of Creation.
Furthermore, the movie completely misrepresents how God has commanded people to be saved. The clearest example of this false teaching comes at the end of the movie. In a tragic accident, the atheistic professor is struck by a car and is about to die. It just so happens that a denominational minister is on the scene. The minister begs the atheistic professor to call on the Lord, say a version of the “sinner’s prayer,” and receive Jesus into his heart. Yet such teaching is never found in the Bible (Lyons, 2004; Jackson, 2014). God requires faithful obedience to the Gospel plan of salvation in order to receive the gift of salvation (Lyons and Butt). Paul informed the Thessalonians that at the end of time Jesus Christ will be revealed from heaven “with His Mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8, emp. added). What the atheistic professor did in the movie to be “saved” is not what the New Testament means when it says to “obey the Gospel” (cf. Romans 6:3-4; Matthew 7:21). Thus, in the very process of claiming to teach that people should be willing to sacrifice everything for Christ, the movie producers failed to heed their own message. Not only must we be willing to sacrifice our reputations, careers, and families, we must be willing to sacrifice any manmade doctrine that is not taught in Scripture. We must be willing to leave any group or teaching, even if it goes by the name “Christian,” if and when we find it does not correspond to God’s will found in the New Testament.
Overall, we believe that God’s Not Dead effectively highlights a serious problem in universities across the United States—showing some of the challenges that many Christian students face. We also believe that Christians should take to heart the overall message of the movie: the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of Christ and the cross. We would greatly caution viewers, however, to understand that the producer’s application of the theme is occasionally lacking. Yes, the movie’s approach to a defense of God’s existence is rational and biblical at times, but then at other times it is both biblically and scientifically unsound. What’s more, the film’s presentation of how God has instructed people to become Christians is at odds with the Bible. We all need to be reminded of the importance of sacrificing everything for Christ, including compromises with the world and any long-held false religious ideas."


Bergman, Jerry (2008), Slaughter of the Dissidents: The Shocking Truth about Killing the Careers of Darwin Doubters (Southworth, WA: Leafcutter Press).
Farber, Stephen (2014), “God’s Not Dead: Film Review,” The Hollywood Reporter,
God’s Not Dead (2014a), Box Office Mojo,
God’s Not Dead (2014b), Rotten Tomatoes,
God’s Not Dead (2014c), Screen It,
Houts, Michael (2007), “Evolution is Religion—Not Science [Part 1],”
Jackson, Wayne (2014), “The Sinner’s Prayer—Is it Biblical?”
Kingkade, Tyler (2013), “Deandre Poole Keeps FAU Job After ‘Stomp on Jesus’ Controversy,”Huffington Post, June 24,
Lyons, Eric (2003), “Man Has Been on Earth Since…,”
Lyons, Eric (2004), “Calling on the Name of the Lord,”
Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (n.d.), Receiving the Gift of Salvation,
May, Branyon, Bert Thompson, and Brad Harrub (2003a), “The Big Bang Theory—A Scientific Critique,”
May, Branyon, Bert Thompson, and Brad Harrub (2003b), “The Big Bang Theory—A Biblical Critique,”
Miller, Jeff (2011), “Expelled—Again,”
Puig, Claudia (2014), “In ‘God’s Not Dead,’ Message is Lost Amid Melodrama,” USA Today, April 8,
Stein, Ben and Kevin Miller (2008), Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (Premise Media).