If you haven’t seen the movie God’s Not Dead (2014), here’s my version of a review, more a summary of the key dialogue.
The plot develops around college student Josh Wheaton who accepts a challenge from his philosophy professor to prove the existence of God. His arguments are from cosmology, evolution, evil, and morality.
Wheaton begins with the Big Bang and this from Nobel-winning scientist Steven Weinberg: “In three minutes, 98% of the matter that is or will be was produced.” Yet for 2500 years most scientists agreed with Aristotle that the universe always existed. Belgian astronomer Lemaitre said that the entire universe jumping into existence in a trillionth of a second out of nothingness and in an intense flash of light is how he would expect the universe to respond if God were to actually utter the command, “Let there be light.” So for 2500 years the Bible had it right and science had it wrong.
A fellow student quoted Richard Dawkins, “If you tell me God created the universe, I have the right to ask, who created God?” Wheaton countered, “If the universe created you, then who created the universe?” His point is that both theist and atheist have to answer the question of first cause. If you do not allow for God, a credible alternative is hard to find. The professor replied with a Stephen Hawkin quote, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. It is not necessary to invoke God to set the universe in motion.” Wheaton again countered that John Lennox, professor of mathematics and philosophy at Oxford, had noted three errors of circular logic in Hawkin’s statement.
Turning to evolution, Wheaton pointed to Darwin, who after theorizing that species evolved over long periods of time, famously concluded that “nature does not jump.” Yet if the 3.8 billion years of life (according to evolution) were a 24 hour period, in 90 seconds most major animal groups suddenly appear in their current form. Not only did nature jump, but it made a giant leap, supporting the Biblical account of creation.
The arguments from evil and morality are less developed in the movie. But two key points are made: (1) Evil exists in the world because God gave us free will, and God’s solution is to provide a way for us to be free from it forever, and (2) without God, there is no fixed point of morality, so anything could be permissible since there is no reason to be moral.
I faced a challenge to my faith in a philosophy class 35 years ago, so this movie rings true. I recommend it especially for college students. Kevin Sorbo (Herdules) plays the professor. Dean Cain (Superman), Willie and Korie Robertson (Duck Dynasty), and News Boys (musicians) all make appearances. The arguments are convincing that God’s not dead!