Friday, 16 May 2014

God's Not Dead - a Curate's Egg of a film

Two days on and I'm still very much engaged with some internal dialogue over the film 'God's not dead! for (sadly) like the Curate's egg - not all of it is good!

Now I know this view might draw some fire from those who loved it unreservedly but I cannot excuse nor applaud some of the elements within it even though it was one of the better examples of this this genre of film (which perhaps also indicates how awful much of it is). Here's some of the current struggles:

There were some valid sections but the sharp apologetic was in stark contrast to some of the poor dialogue and the film might have been greatly improved by a pair of electronic scissors! Why they had to include the Islamic convert sub plot I have no idea - as an apologetic it was already sorted - this was tacky and unwarranted (and yes I know it goes on - but if the issue is to be raised, do it in coherent and contextually secure manner for Pete's sake).

The end was simply amazing (and not, I'm afraid, in a good way) but at least it cut the bluebirds singing and the Rebecca of Sunnybrook farm conclusion that I feared was becoming inevitable. Mind you complex medical diagnosis at a glance and a street death conversion of epic length and amazingly extensive dialogue (did it really take an hour or was that merely my perception?) all conspired to cloud over, and out, the positives and leave me with an unwieldy and unpalatable scene that provided if the the final, then it was the penultimate, nail in the coffin.

But I loved the apologetics, the analogy of sin as a cell was outstanding and the call to not only 'give an answer to all who ask' but to stand up for our faith regardless of the opposition  - but especially when it comes from within.

Waiting for the DVD now so I can cut out the dross and celebrate the good (it's called gleaning - something it seems that many Christians seem to have lost) - Happy Friday


Soup D said...

I found the death bed conversion the most challenging part, personally. True it was clumsy and overly contrived, but it did raise an important question: what would I do if faced with a person who was dying (without hope of rescue)?
Natural response to a situation of grave physical injury is medical treatment. When the situation is irretrievable (ie death inevitable) then making the victim as comfortable as possible and supplying reassurance takes over. However, if we send them to the after life without a hope of eternity, then what have we really achieved?
Now, I 'm not denying God's ability to rescue at the last moment with out a syllable of 'the sinner's prayer' ever being uttered: we're talking about grace not magical incantation, after all! I don't condone pushing a dying person into some sort of desperate but hollow 'confession of faith', either. However, within my comfort and reassurance, would I talk of the saving grace of Jesus' death and resurrection, rather than supplying trite platitudes? It made me think: at the moment of death, what is of greater importance than assurance of what comes next?

Anonymous said...

Would you recommend people to watch this?

It sounds like it was made for the US home market and may contain a level of emotion above the danger level for the British viewer.

In other words, where Mr. Hudson would begin to feel discomfort at an exhibition of emotional abandon by the youngest servants: "Come now, laddie/lassie, pull yourself together now".


Vic Van Den Bergh said...

I'd say it's worth a watch but be aware that there are some severe limitations in the whole thing. Not so much the emotion as the contrived and cliched elements - but still worth a watch :-)