Sunday, April 8, 2018

God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness - A Review

On Good Friday I saw the third installment of the “God’s Not Dead” movie series. As expected, “A Light in Darkness” begins where “God’s Not Dead 2” left off: A pastor had been arrested for not turning in copies of his sermons as mandated by a city prosecutor’s subpoena. The pastor is soon released but then faces more difficult challenges. His church is destroyed in a fire that takes the life of an associate minister. Then a local college tries to block the rebuilding of the church through eminent domain. The pastor prepares for a legal battle.

Mixed emotions are experienced both by the pastor and a young man who caused the church fire. The movie also addresses a dilemma Christians often face: when to continue fighting for our rights. It appeared this movie would feature a court hearing like its predecessor but takes an unexpected turn at the end. The overall message is that whatever we do for the Lord, love must always be the motive. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NLT) reminds us, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.”

“God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness” features returning characters from the two previous movies. Among the actors playing new characters include John Corbett, Ted McGinley and Academy Award-winning actress Tatum O’Neal. There’s also an appearance by gospel singer Cissy Houston (mother of the late Whitney Houston).

The original “God’s Not Dead” is still my favorite of the trilogy. The third one hasn’t done well at the box office compared to other new faith-based movies like “Paul: Apostle of Christ” (which I saw the week before) and “I Can Only Imagine.” Nevertheless, it’s encouraging to see the name of Jesus lifted up in theaters instead of being used as a cuss word.

And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” - John 12:32

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