A philosophy professor lifts up a piece of chalk, eyes his students, then dares God to prevent it from breaking. The class watches as he opens his hand and the chalk breaks on the ground, falsifying the God-hypothesis.
An elementary school teacher tells her students that she’s never seen God and explains that, scientifically speaking, God doesn’t exist.
Somewhere a college student stands up to challenge the professor’s smug atheism, declaring “I am Christian!” The old man accidentally drops the chalk in an uncontrollable rage, it rolls down his clothes, off his shoe, and onto the floor, intact.
Somewhere else a seven-year-old raises her hand and politely asks, “But I’ve never seen your brain before, teacher, so does that mean it doesn’t exist?”
The philosophy class stares wide-eyed.
The elementary students erupt in applause.
God wins the day.
These modern parables circulated the worldwide web in the late 1990’s, but experts say atheists largely dismissed them, citing the inefficiency of chain correspondence and the rise of spam-sorting software as likely causes.
The producers of God Is Not Dead, however, are seeking to change all of that.
Director Harold Cronk and his writing staff have recycled the tired Modern Christian Parable genre and created a “masterpiece of film,” which brought in more than $8.5 million in opening ticket sales this past weekend. The story develops around one college student’s attempt to convince an atheist professor that the latter’s philosophical conclusions are built upon anger, not logic.
Whereas atheists dismissed this didactic since the 1990’s, the film seems to be hitting home for many. “I had a lot to think about after seeing God Is Not Dead,” college junior Todd said, “I mean, I used to think that I didn’t believe in God because I lacked any evidence, but maybe it has more to do with how I feel? Now that I think about it, I used to be a Christian before Stacey dumped me in my freshman year. Do you think that has something to do with it?”
“Our evening small groups went to the movie intending to make fun of it,” said Enise Frend, founder of the Atheist Church in Pasadena, California, “but we left deeply troubled by all these hidden motives that none of us knew were behind our beliefs.”
Atheists were not the only people affected; Christians everywhere reported feeling a deep connection to God following the movie. Sarah Winsome described how it encouraged her to put more effort into her own faith, “the part where [the main character] studies the Bible all night in his dorm room in order to refute his professor really connected with me. Christianity needs to be defended, we can’t just brush off these attacks.”
Notable stars in the film include Kevin Sorbo from the hit television series Hercules and Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty.