Review / ‘God’s Not Dead’ (M) ***

IN the last couple of millennia, monotheistic religions have arisen, mostly based on books written long before science established knowledge’s superiority over belief. Talmud, Bible and Koran are all belief-based, each appointing its god as the only true one and declaring false all others.

god's not deadMuch has happened since Martin Luther kicked the Reformation off with the 95 Theses. Wikipedia names 31 Abrahamic, Indian, Iranian, East Asian and indigenous traditional religions, each with its own deity.

Harold Cronk’s film, written by Hunter Dennis and Chuck Konzelman, conducts its argument in an American university’s philosophy department.

Dr Radisson (Kevin Sorbo) directs his freshman class to write “God is dead”, sign it and hand in the page. Josh (Shane Harper) refuses. Radisson gives Josh the option of leaving the class or convincing his classmates that God is indeed not dead.

The film doesn’t take long to reveal its real intentions – subtle proselytising for fundamentalist Christianity in a nation where it’s big. Very big.

Costing $US2million, “God’s Not Dead” has already taken $US60million at the box office. It presents philosophical arguments from some of history’s leading atheists and agnostics. It leaves to the Christian God the task of proving his (or her) existence, alive, kicking and manifesting his/her powers on earth. It makes grudging and subtly antagonistic reference to Islam.

Monday mornings, I join two professors emeritus of physics for coffee and conversation about politics, religion, science in all its wondrous variety and anything else that comes to mind. This was unintentionally special preparation for a film, which I enjoyed for its congruence with my attitude toward its underlying proposition. What evidence exists of the reality of any god beyond the beliefs of humans seeking spiritual guidance and comfort?

At Capitol 6

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