Sunday, April 3, 2016

God's Not Dead 2: A Review

Twenty years ago I worked for World Wide Pictures, the film ministry of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. I saw firsthand how movies can be a powerful tool to reach people with the gospel. Many pastors who showed one of Billy’s films in their churches testified of individuals getting born again and/or recommitting their lives to the Lord. While it’s unfortunate many faith-based movies have been rather cheesy, others with higher quality productions have surprisingly done well in secular venues. The 2014 release “God’s Not Dead” grossed over $60 million on a $2 million budget. 

Yesterday I saw “God’s Not Dead 2.” Many of the characters from the original reappear in this sequel including the Newsboys. The main protagonist is a public high school teacher named Grace Wesley (played by Melissa Joan Hart). Grace is confronted by her superiors for quoting Scripture in response to a question one of her students asked regarding Jesus. Refusing to apologize for her faith, Grace is taken to court. She is represented by a lawyer who isn’t a believer himself but helps defend her First Amendment rights. The movie features appearances by Mike Huckabee, Rice Broocks, Lee Strobel, J. Warner Wallace, and a very aged Pat Boone who is now in his eighties.

While I personally prefer the original “God’s Not Dead” movie, this sequel is still worth seeing. It clearly points out how in today's culture, everything is tolerated in the name of inclusion except for those who express their faith in Jesus. Critics may complain of “God’s Not Dead 2” showing Christians having a persecution complex. Yet in this age of political correctness, God-fearing people have lost their jobs and businesses because of standing up for their beliefs. The closing credits include an extensive list of real life legal cases similar to the one shown in the film. There’s also a final scene that will likely be the subject of “God’s Not Dead 3.”

Let this movie inspire you not to idly sit on the sidelines as godless agendas try to take over society but to be a bold witness for the Lord.

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” - 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

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