It is definitely time to leave the film “God’s not Dead” behind and move on to greener pastures. However, before I do so, I thought it might be worthwhile for us to take a quick look at the “most helpful” review on Amazon.com. As of this morning Amazon has 1168 reviews of the film including 921 reviews that are 5 stars. And of all those 1168 reviews, this one, authored by a bloke named “Aaron”, is considered the best with 348 of 411 people rating it “helpful”. I’m going to quote the review in full and then offer some comments:
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Before i get into my review of the film itself, i first fell the need to address many of the negative comments people have raised about this film being to one sided/biased. To those people all I have to say is this, why the heck are you so shocked that a film entitled, Gods Not Dead, is Biased towards the existence of god, seriously its like if someone went to a Jewish cultural center and got angry that most of the people their were in favor of the state of Israel!
With that out of the way I genuinely enjoyed this film and the arguments it made while debating the existence of god, although I think one of the major problems of the film was how it constantly jumped around from various characters points of view as opposed to spending more time inside of the classroom. To put it simply, I wish that they had spent more time on the debate inside of the classroom as opposed to focusing on several of the periphery characters which, while interesting, lacked relevance to the central storyline of the film itself.
In conclusion, while the film is in no way perfect, I came out of the theater’s intellectually satisfied and would recommend both this films, as well as the book of the same name which addresses other arguments for the existence of god, to anyone who is interested in this increasingly important discussion.
And in case anyone is interested on my own feelings on the matter, it could be summed up in the following statement.
“The more I study science the more I believe in God” – Dr. Albert Einstein
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Let me note three things in reverse order (the many grammatical and spelling mistakes will not be among them; I don’t want to sound too churlish).
First, Aaron closes with a quote from Albert Einstein. Unfortunately for Aaron, Einstein wasn’t a theist. Instead, he was a pantheist and likened his own views to that of 17th century pantheist Baruch Spinoza. By quoting Einstein with flagrant disregard for his intended meaning, Aaron is engaged in the worst kind of proof-texting and showing a distressing lack of concern for truth.
Next, take a look at Aaron’s second paragraph. While he liked the film, he would have preferred if the story had been edited down in favor of having the hero Josh give extended apologetic speeches. This comment is revealing for it shows that Aaron views “God’s not Dead” more as a pedagogical delivery device of apologetic ammunition than a genuine film that can stand on the merit of its story-telling. That comment strongly reinforces the propagandistic intent of the film.
Finally, consider Aaron’s opening paragraph. Rather than address and rebut the many serious criticisms of the film, Aaron’s only retort is to say, in essence, “Well of course it’s biased! What did you expect?!” This comment is also both revealing and deeply distressing. Can Aaron really mean what he says? Does he really revel in the distorted, biased perspective of the filmmakers? What sort of apologetic is it that shows such flagrant disregard for truth?
As the review voted most helpful by Amazon, Aaron’s comments tell us something about the audience of “God’s not Dead”. Of course, his sentiments don’t reflect the views of every single fan of the film, but they do seem to represent mainstream attitudes. And the common theme, sadly enough, seems to be that truth takes the hindmost.