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God’s Not Dead

Interview with Paul Kwo of God’s Not Dead 2


After the first God’s Not Dead movie release, I decided to reach out to some of the actors, hoping some might be willing to submit to an email interview I could post to my blog. Several consented! Paul Kwo was one of the actors who readily agreed. He appears in God’s Not Dead 2, and this time, I asked questions prior to the new movie’s release.

Are you thrilled to once again be involved in a God’s Not Dead Movie?

I’m absolutely thrilled to be a part of another God’s Not Dead movie. It’s a wonderful pleasure to work with amazing people who are committed to the work of God around the world in the arts. I had a wonderful time in Little Rock, Arkansas shooting the movie and I look forward to seeing it in theaters when it premieres.

On what date will it release?

God’s Not Dead 2 will be released on April 1, 2016 in theaters everywhere. Check out godsnotdeadthemovie.com for a complete listing of theaters that will be showing the movie.

Please remind my readers of the role you played and are playing in this second installment of God’s Not Dead.

I play the part of Martin Yip. He was a foreign student from China studying in the US at the University where the first story took place. At the end of the first movie, he was moved by the Spirit of God through the actions of the lead actor and decided to dedicate his life to God. This second installment of God’s Not Dead deals with Martin Yip’s new reality of being a Christian in a family of non-believers. He is now confronted with new issues that he has to overcome and decide for himself what actions to take next.

How many other actors/actresses who played in the first will be in the second as well?

From what I know we have 5 actors/actresses returning from the first movie to the second.

What new faces should we be watching for in God’s Not Dead 2?

Everyone! There are a lot of new amazing talents that have joined the film this time around and they are all great. There are just too many to list. So check out the movie’s website for detailed information about who’s in the new one.

How was it working with these folks on this film?

I got to work mostly with Hayley Orrantia in this film since those are the scenes I had. She was wonderful and super fun to work with. Of course I had scenes with some of the returning cast members and as always, they are awesome people to work with. The whole production has always been fun and positive, so it’s just a pleasure to work at.

How has appearing in the God’s Not Dead movies impacted your personal life and lives of those you personally know?

I have had a few people come up to me randomly in person or online thanking me for my work on this movie. It really gave me the encouragement I needed to know that this movie did have a real impact in people’s lives. That’s the most important part of doing this project. It’s good to know that something I did had a direct positive impact in so many people’s lives and gives me the strength to continue on my journey.

Many people say that when movies come out in extra parts, that none compare to the first one.  Will viewers find that God’s Not Dead 2 is as good as the first?

Unlike a lot of Franchises, God’s Not Dead took a slightly different route. Having new main cast members and a story that’s not bogged down by the first one, it gives it a really fresh take on the issue the movie franchise addresses. I believe God’s Not Dead 2 is different enough and addresses a very different part of the topic that viewers will find it just as exciting as the first one.

Are you working on any other projects at this time?

I’m working on my own Rock album. The single will be out sometime in late March, and the rest of the album will follow around late April. Be sure to follow me on twitter and instagram @paulkwo, or join my facebook fan page facebook.com/paulkwofanpage to get up-to-date with what I’m doing and how to get a copy of my new album. You can also visit paulkwo.com to learn more as well.

I would like to thank Paul Kwo for his willingness to share about this upcoming film. Make plans now to attend God’s Not Dead 2!

The Prodigal America


America reminds me of the Prodigal Son.

Remember the story Jesus shared about the way ward child?  The younger of two sons decided he needed a change of scenery and an early escape from the rules and regulations of his father’s household.  After receiving his portion of the inheritance early, the young son high-tailed it out of town to chase his wanton desires.  Long story short, things spiraled out of control quickly.  He frivolously spent his money on wild living and he ended up destitute, craving the food of swine.

Today, America’s the Prodigal.

Founding Father John Adams said,

“Our constitution is only fit for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly unsuited to the governance of any other kind.”

The Constitution of the United States guaranteed people of all faiths the right to come to our shores and worship according to their own conscious.  Their forefathers fled to the New World to be free from having any particular religion forced upon them.  Not wanting to revert to the customs of the Old Country, the Founders promised the American people the “right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” including the rights of the citizens to worship according to the dictates of their heart.  Sadly, much has changed in two centuries.

Our Country, once inclined to the Word of God, now flounders as atheists, radical environmentalists and homosexual activists control the conversation.  Christians, once courageous, now sit idly by fearing the label of intolerance for Biblical stances taken.  Our Country, the Prodigal, has turned a deaf ear to the Father and now squanders away its wealth in riotous living.  Certainly in the parable, the young man’s choice of “loose living” implies a plethora of moral indiscretions.  America rivals the transgressions of the younger son in similar fashion.  But how?  What sin do we sanction as a nation?

Abortion, a legal holocaust plagues our nation.  The innocent blood of over 50 million babies rests squarely on our hands.  Homosexual activists demand benefits  and the same rights as the traditionally married.  Instead of standing strong against the immoral agenda, announcements of states caving to vocal minorities dominate the headlines.  Our government insists the globe faces an environmental crisis perpetuated by men and cattle.  When leaders address the nation and sign-off with “and God bless the United States of America,” it’s nothing more than an effort to assuage the minds of those who “cling bitterly to their guns and religion.”

And we expect God to bless America?

I hate to admit it, but maybe the President was right when he said,

“Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation.”

When the President chose to deliver these remarks, several Conservative Christians were up in arms.  Hold the outrage for a moment, he’s right.  Some who study church trends claim only about 20% of those claiming Christianity actively participate in the life of a local church.  Church doesn’t save anyone, but church attendance is a good indicator that a person has truly accepted Christ as Lord and Savior.  With dismal numbers like this, no wonder we see the Hollywood elite controlling the moral talking points and the Church’s influence dwindling.

George Washington once said,

“The propitious smile of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself hath ordained.”

For the time being, our nation ignores God and speeds down the road of “loose living” failing to realize the slop that lies ahead.  Thankfully, the Father waits patiently for us to return.   In the story of the Prodigal, Jesus shares the young man “came to his senses” after hitting rock bottom.   Now that the Country’s wallowing around with the swine, hopefully we corporately come to our senses and once again seek the God  who established,

“America as a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere. ”  Ronald Reagan

God’s Not Dead, Still Making a Splash


People continue to flock to see “God’s Not Dead.”  Every few days I notice someone’s Facebook update reminding all of their “friends” of the very fact…God’s Not Dead.  Certainly, some probably wonder why their making such a statement.  If they ask, tell them to see the movie!  It’s fantastic!  But why?  Why has the film made such a splash in the shadow of Hollywood blockbusters?  I speculate it’s because of the current political climate in America.

Almost daily, stories surface of people accusing Christians of bigotry, even filing suits against those refusing to sanction their lifestyle.  Take for instance, the story of Elane Photography.  In 2006, Elaine and her husband were asked to photograph a lesbian couple’s commitment ceremony.  Elaine respectfully declined, citing her conservative Christian beliefs as the reason.  Case closed, right?  Wrong!

The lesbian couple secured another photographer at a lower rate, yet still filed a complaint accusing Elane Photography of “sexual orientation discrimination.”

The Human Rights Commission of New Mexico found Elane Photography guilty and ordered them to pay almost seven thousand dollars to the two plaintiffs.  The decision was appealed to the New Mexico Supreme Court.  These judges upheld the ruling.  One judge in his concurring opinion wrote:

Elane Photography “is now compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives,” as “the price of citizenship.”

Did anyone else just feel the rumble of the Founding Fathers rolling in their graves?

This week, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case.  The New Mexico Supreme Court ruling stands.  It appears that America’s barreling down a road which trumpets the freedom of the First Amendment as long as one sides with the Liberal and godless agenda.  Those who yell and scream for tolerance exhibit the most intolerance of all.

As I visited with a group of men this morning, another Pastor predicted that soon churches would be required to host same sex marriages and pastors would be required to officiate…whether they believe the union is biblical or not.  Some laugh at the idea and say that will never happen.  Christians said the same thing about removing prayer from school and legalizing abortion on demand.  Almost 43 million aborted babies later and look where we find ourselves…In the middle of another cultural war with the soul of America at stake.

God’s Not Dead resonates because the movie casts a positive light on Christianity.  For once the Believer isn’t cast as a dopey, idiotic Bible thumper.  The movie conveys the story of real life Christians making a mark for Christ in a world filled with antagonists.  The film encourages people to stand for Christ when no one else will.  Sure, that’s a lonely place to be, but God blesses faithfulness.  And God will bless Elane Photography.  I don’t know how or in what capacity, but God will honor their stand.

As Christians we can expect persecution and to lose an occasional battle, but as one evangelist once said, “We’ve already won the war.”

Everyone hold on to Jesus.  The ride’s gonna get bumpy.

 

Interview with “God’s Not Dead” Actor, Benjamin Ochieng


My Church family attended opening night of “God’s Not Dead,” and I can honestly say it’s one of my favorite movies of all time. I posted a blog about the film, a synopsis and some personal thoughts, but then I decided to contact some of the actors/actresses and see if they’d agree to an email interview for my blog. The first to graciously accept was Paul Kwo, who played “Martin Yip” in the movie.  (For those familiar with the movie, he played the foreign student and the first to stand and proclaim, “God’s Not Dead.”)  Then Cory Oliver agreed to answer a few questions.  (She played “Mina” the Professor’s romantic interest.)  The Trisha Lafache agreed to my inquiries.  (She played “Amy” the Reporter.) Now I’m excited to share with you my fourth email interview.  This time you’ll be hearing from Benjamin Ochieng who played “Reverend Jude.”

Tell us a little about yourself.  Where are you originally from?  College you attended?  Married?  Kids? etc.  Things you like to do aside from acting….

I am originally from Nairobi, Kenya where I was born and raised.  I am married to Special Education Coordinator, Mrs. Elizabeth Onyango.  I have three Kids: Ida Onyango-Longomba, 30; Mary Onyango, 20 and Evelyn Onyango, 17.  Ida has given me a grandson, Andrew Longomba.

I attended California State University, Stanislaus in Turlock, California where I ran track and graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science.  I then moved to Los Angeles to pursue Music and Acting.  I joined a Christian Funk-Rock Band called THE PASSING (changed name to P.F.O.)

When did you become a Christian?

I became a Christian in 1975 when I gave my life to the Lord after American Missionaries from Southern Baptist Church came to Kenya to spread the gospel.

How did you come to play a part in “God’s Not Dead?”  And which role did you play?

I auditioned for the role of Reverend Jude and got the part.

Is this your first experience with acting?  If not, what other roles have you played?

This is not my first experience with acting. I have done several other movies and TV shows: You can find the entire list at the following link:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1335173/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

How did you enjoy working with the leads Shane Harper and Kevin Sorbo?

SPOILER ALERT

I saw Shane Harper and Kevin Sorbo on my last day of working on the project.  That’s when we shot the scene where the Atheist Professor dies.  They were very cool people, nice approachable and fun to be around.

 Can you relate to the character you played in the movie?

The character I played in the movie fortunately for me was a mirror image of who I am: funny, always smiling, easy to get along with, somewhat crazy etc.

What was your favorite part of “God’s Not Dead?”

The whole cast and crew and especially so the Pureflix owners: Russell, Michael, David. I am not sure I met the fourth one. The director was very down to earth too. They were terrific people and made the work so much easier.

Are you surprised by the support for the film on its opening weekend?

I was not surprised because the ground work and grassroots work that went into it paid off dividends. The Christians came out in force to support their own. They realized it was about time we all woke up from complacent Christianity to proactive Christianity. It was the only way we would be able to counter the aggressiveness of the atheists and their propaganda.

Are you currently working on any other films or television productions?

The Film DEFAULT directed by Simon Brand starring David Oyelowo is out now doing the Festival Circuit. I play the role of Edward, the pilot of a plane carrying American Journalists that gets hijacked by Somali pirates.

What is your favorite faith based film?

The Ten Commandments and now God’s Not Dead.

What lesson/lessons did you learn in the filming of “God’s Not Dead?”

Hard work pays. I have never worked so hard for a movie role like I did this one.  And I believe that the actors put in a lot of hard work. Their work clearly shows in the movie. Also, that faith-based movies are capable of going toe to toe with the big block-buster studio movies with A-list actors and make a difference.

What impact do you believe this movie will have world wide?

This movie will have a positive impact world wide by opening more doors to a wide acceptance of the genre.  Also, the existence of eternity after death will become real to more people prompting many to question where they will spend theirs and hopefully make the right choice.

What feedback have you personally received about the movie?

I have received great positive feedback everywhere I have gone. Recognition and words of “good job on the movie” everywhere I have gone.

How do you hope “God’s Not Dead” ministers to people?

This movie minister’s to people in the way the story was told and shot. It does a great job of setting up the reason for salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ in a gentle, subtle manner that compels the unbelievers to question their position. It’s not presented in a pummeling manner which usually turns potential converts off.

Thanks again to Benjamin Ochieng for taking time to let us get to know him a bit better!  You can follow Benjamin on Twitter @bochieng

God is good.  All the time.  All the time.  God is good.

 

Interview with “God’s Not Dead” Actress, Trisha Lafache


My Church family attended opening night of “God’s Not Dead,” and I can honestly say it’s one of my favorite movies of all time. I posted a blog about the film, a synopsis and some personal thoughts, but then I decided to contact some of the actors/actresses and see if they’d agree to an email interview for my blog. The first to graciously accept was Paul Kwo, who played “Martin Yip” in the movie.  (For those familiar with the movie, he played the foreign student and the first to stand and proclaim, “God’s Not Dead.”)  Then Cory Oliver agreed to answer a few questions.  (She played “Mina” the Professor’s romantic interest.)  Now I’m excited to share with you my third email interview.  This time you’ll be hearing from Trisha Lafache who played “Amy,” the reporter.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m from New York and not married. I attended both college & law school, but I was acting professionally even when I was in law school.

What is your religious background?

I’m Catholic…always have been. My father’s cousin is a priest and I grew up going to hear him every Sunday. I’ve never struggled with faith. I’ve always had it…always believed in God.

What part did you play in the film?

Amy, the reporter.

Can you relate to the character you played in “God’s Not Dead?”

I can relate to my character Amy in many ways…specifically, her drive. I think I know a lot of people who are singularly minded about their career. I think being a story teller is a beautiful thing especially when you get to tell a story that touches so many people. Sadly, in my profession, there are a lot of narcissists. There is a lot of narcissism. To me narcissism & selfishness & being self-obsessed is really glorified with people constantly on their phones & taking “selfies” but really people are more lonely as a result. I think Amy is really lonely. She clearly has a boyfriend who does not care for her. They cut a scene, her final scene in the movie, when she calls her mother from the Newsboys dressing room and it’s clear they haven’t spoken in some time.  I missed that scene because I thought it was really important. So do I relate to her? My answer is I understand her. I mean I understand how she got lonely…busy…isolated.  I understand how she thinks by “winning” she’ll be a winner. I’d like to see Amy be of service to others. I think that would make her feel better about her life than the things she tries.

Did you enjoy working with the leads Shane Harper and Kevin Sorbo?

I think Shane & Kevin are terrific in the film but we did not work together.

With what part of the cast were you able to spend time?

I worked with the Robertson’s who were sweethearts. Willie kept moving forward and they kept telling him not to and he said: “I’m sorry, she’s just so AGGRESSIVE.” That was hilarious. I also worked with the Newsboys, who were pure joy.

Are you surprised by the response to “God’s Not Dead?”

I’m completely shocked by the film’s success.  Pleasantly, obviously.

Tell us some of your favorite parts of the movie

My favorite line in the movie is,

“Sometimes the devil allows people to live a life without trouble because he doesn’t want them turning to God.”

I love the scene. I think the actress does such a great job.  I think my favorite thing about the film is that it celebrates the beauty of faith.  I think that most people who don’t have faith lost it because hard things happened to them and I think that’s when you need faith the most.

After watching the film together with friends, we left the theater feeling very joyful. I like that about the movie as well. I think Benjamin & David’s scenes are so happy & light.

Have you heard any negative comments about the movie?

People have criticized the film for portraying the theists as mean and awful people. I find it funny only because I play a theist and the feedback I’ve been getting is that people were crying their eyes out when I break down at the computer and when I pray with the Newsboys. Also I feel, and I can only speak for my performance, that it was important for me NOT to play her as completely unlikeable/evil.  I was very clear with our fabulous director, Harry Cronk, I was not interested in playing her as one dimensional and he was very supportive. I don’t think theists are mean/awful people. I think people are people. Being kind and full-hearted can sometimes be challenging. I believe faith helps.

Thanks so much to Trisha Lafache for taking time to answer some questions. You can follow her on Twitter @TrishaLafache.

Be watching for future actor profiles!

Interview with “God’s Not Dead” Actress, Cory Oliver


My Church family attended opening night of “God’s Not Dead,” and I can honestly say it’s one of my favorite movies of all time. I posted a blog about the film, a synopsis and some personal thoughts, but then I decided to contact some of the actors/actresses and see if they’d agree to an email interview for my blog. The first to graciously accept was Paul Kwo, who played “Martin Yip” in the movie.  (For those familiar with the movie, he played the foreign student and the first to stand and proclaim, “God’s Not Dead.”)  Now I’m excited to share with you my second email interview.  This time you’ll be hearing from Cory Oliver who played “Mina,” the Professor’s romantic interest.

Tell us a little about your upbringing.  Where are you originally from?  Married?  Kids? etc.

I was born up North in Redwood City and moved to a small town when my parents divorced at the age of 4. I was raised as a Christian and considered myself a believer, but didn’t understand the meaning of having a relationship with God. I went to church on Sundays, prayed occasionally and alway professed that Jesus was my Savior. It wasn’t until I went through a divorce and became a single mom that I started a heavy dialogue with God.

I realized I needed to understand that although I saw my life going a certain way, God had a different plan.   I pressed in, prayed everyday ( 10 times a day) and got to know God and his Son.  James 4:8 says,

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

Like any relationship goes, you will get out what you put into it. I can’t go a day without Him and I continue to develop a stronger and deeper understanding of who He is.  And He continues to amaze me with His plan and purpose. I just love Him so….

When did you become a Christian?

I was raised in a Christian home and have believed in God and Jesus my whole life.  It wasn’t until I went through “The Fire” (trials and tribulations), that I developed a relationship with God. Now I don’t do anything without consulting Him first!!!

How did you come to play a part in “God’s Not Dead?”

I was praying in my kitchen one day, crying out to God. I said,

” Lord, your Word says, delight yourself in the Lord and you will give us the desires of our heart. You know my desire. If it’s not from You, then please put another desire in my heart.”

Two weeks later I was presented with the audition for The Book Of Esther ( my favorite character in the Bible-other than Jesus) and from there they asked me to audition for the movie God’s not Dead as the role of “Mina.”

What other roles have you played?

I have been an actress for 22 years. I took a season off to raise my daughter and when I decided to go back to it, I told her and she said, “Well, lets pray about it mommy.” A year later… Prayers were answered. Habakkuk 2:3- Though it tarry, wait for it!!!

How did you enjoy working with the leads, Shane Harper and Kevin Sorbo?

It was a privilege and an honor to work with both.  They are sincerely men of Character and Integrity on and off screen.  True professionals.   And who wouldn’t want to work along side Hercules?  😉

Can you relate to the character you played in the movie?

Indeed, on many levels.  That is why I felt so compelled to do this movie.  I understand the importance of being equally yoked.  Two people can truly love one another, but it is important to realize there will be tough times in any relationship and if both are answering to God, His grace and mercy always persevere.  It is when one chooses his/her own free will and doesn’t believe (isn’t a Believer), things can get rough and sometimes end as a result.

Are you surprised by the support for the film on its opening weekend?

I am both overwhelmed and humbled by the response on opening weekend as well as this last week. It has truly been a blessing to see where God is taking this movie.  He has a Divine plan ( Jeremiah 29:11) that I surrendered to years ago.  It’s just an incredible feeling to know He is in the drivers seat!!!

Do you hope to play other parts in future productions by PureFlix?  

I would LOVE to do more movies with PureFlix. Perhaps a sequel??? :))))

Tell us a bit about your work on Holly wood Pawn.

I was hired as the Hollywood movie memorabilia expert for “The Dina Collection” in Beverly Hills and once again God has used it to glorify Him on a show called Beverly Hills Pawn on the Reelz Channel.  There have been so many divine appointments behind the scenes, from praying with a man that wanted to end his life, to passing out Fireproof movies to couples that wanted to end their marriage, and encouraging the broken hearted.  I just keep asking God, please present me with more opportunities to serve Your Kingdom and they just keep coming.  It is not about me it is about Him.  He will use us all if we allow him to. God is in the details.  We just have to be willing to be still ( Psalm 46:10) and listen, for He will surely be exalted in our daily lives.

What is your favorite faith based film?

Aside from God’s not Dead, I believe The Passion of the Christ brought me to my knees.  It was truly a powerful movie that Inspired so many to establish a relationship with God as well as Jesus. I am praying that will be the same for God’s Not Dead. It is an inspiring movie that has already revealed so many miracles.  I am just so very grateful to God and Pureflix for allowing me to be a part of it.

If you’d like to keep up with Cory, you can follow her @CoryOliverOne on Twitter.  Please share this interview with family and friends and pray that God will open the door for me to interview others from the film.

Interview with “God’s Not Dead” actor Paul Kwo


My Church family attended opening night of “God’s Not Dead,” and I can honestly say it’s one of my favorite movies of all time. I posted a blog about the film, a synopsis and some personal thoughts, but then I decided to contact some of the actors/actresses and see if they’d agree to an email interview for my blog. The first to graciously accept was Paul Kwo, who played “Martin Yip” in the movie.  For those familiar with the movie, he played the foreign student and the first to stand and proclaim,

“God’s Not Dead.”

The following is the interview I conducted with Mr. Kwo.

When did you become a Christian?

I came to know Christ early in life. I grew up in a Christian home.  My Dad is a Pastor.  Both my parents are Christians.  My grandparents are also Christian.  I know at least one of my great grandmothers was a Christian.  I don’t know about the others.

How did you come to play a part in “God’s Not Dead?”

I mainly auditioned.  I got cast in it through Billy Damota Casting.  That’s pretty much it. There wasn’t anything special that I did…just a simple audition.  I actually auditioned with Jesse who plays my father.

Is this your first experience with acting?  If not, what other roles have you played?

I’ve done other roles.  I have done co-star spots for Scrubs and Knight Rider (the new one that only lasted one season).  I also do a lot of ADR work for big blockbuster movies and TV shows.  Last year, I worked on Pacific Rim, Thor: The Dark World, Disney’s The Lone Ranger, Gangster Squad, Blacklist and many others.

How did you enjoy working with Shane Harper and Kevin Sorbo?

I loved working with them both.  They are both serious actors who take the craft with weight.  The whole cast was just great.  Everyone really wanted to make the acting in the film high in quality.  We definitely didn’t want your typical badly acted Christian film.  I also got to hang out with Shane a lot because we had a similar shooting schedule. He was a lot of fun to be around.

Do you hope to play other parts in future productions?  Is there anything currently in the works?

I’m definitely down for other parts in future productions.  I don’t know what the latest is on the future and if there’s anything planned for me.  Maybe you can convince Pure Flix to keep me around.

Are you surprised by the support for the film on its opening weekend?

I’m not surprised by the support.  But to see the film exceed all our expectations in the box office was amazing.

What is your favorite Christian based film?

I like Passion of the Christ and the Narnia series.  I just like well-made movies.  But there are some foreign small budget Christian films from Hong Kong that I like.

How do you hope “God’s Not Dead” ministers to people?

I think the most important thing God’s Not Dead can do is to get people to start talking. For some, it may directly convert, for others it may not.  But I think the most important thing for us as human beings is to allow ourselves to engage in this conversation. That’s the most important thing. If we stop the discussion and close the book, then there’s a problem. We should over and over re-examine our lives and our Universe and make that determination for ourselves whether we believe God is dead or alive.

Thanks for inviting me to an interview.

I appreciate the opportunity to host this interview with Paul Kwo and hope to post other interviews in the days to come. And remember,

“God’s Not Dead!”

Click below for more information about Paul Kwo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3HyO-xq7d8

Movie Review: God’s Not Dead


Movie Overview: God’s Not Dead

College freshman, Josh Wheaton, reported for first day of classes, eyeing a future degree in law.  A committed Christian, Josh expected to receive a higher education, not a tongue lashing, from his atheist philosophy professor about the first year student’s Christianity.

During his first lecture, Professor Radisson chided any professing belief in the antiquated God of the Bible.  To kick-off the semester in Philosophy 101, Professor Radisson instructed the pupils to write “God is Dead” on a sheet of paper and turn it in, signed.  With little or no forethought, the students, eager to please, signed the declaration….Well, all but Josh Wheaton.

The Professor expected absolute obedience, and when Josh refused to sign the statement denying his faith, Radisson assigned Josh the daunting undertaking of proving God’s existence.

The question looms, will Josh stand resolved as Daniel in the Old Testament or compromise his faith to secure a passing grade in the mandatory class?

Brief Review

The movie captures a predicament devout Christians across America are facing.  As the credits rolled, cases argued/defended by the Alliance Defense Fund revealed that “persecution” of Christian students on university campuses is not isolated.  In fact, as our culture continues to embrace a more tolerant view of lifestyles the Bible specifically lists as sinful, the pressure to live wholly committed to Christ will become increasingly difficult.  As Christianity becomes more and more unpopular, the students who dare refuse to participate in spiritually compromising lessons and assignments face potential retribution from professors who see themselves as “god” in their own schools of higher learning.

Josh Wheaton, played by Shane Harper of “Good Luck, Charlie” fame, delivers a powerful and believable performance.  His internal debate over compromising or “swimming upstream” is palpable.  At one point, my wife leaned over and whispered, “I feel so nervous for him.”  My heart raced with the same anxiety.  Fantastic acting in this young man’s fledgling career.

Kevin Sorbo plays the part of Professor Radisson, the atheist.  He, too played his role powerfully, causing me to be nervous whenever an encounter with Josh was imminent.

This film delivers a timely message and definitely deserves a rating of “family friendly.”  I can’t imagine Willie and Korie Robertson (Duck Dynasty) making a cameo appearance in anything but…can you?

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