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God’s Not Dead: A Light In The Darkness Review - Uplifting, Challenging, Real

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God’s Not Dead: A Light In The Darkness, from Pure Flix Entertainment, presents the third installment in a series of faith based films that begin with a genuine faith struggle and work around the theme to a solution.

Directed and written by Michael Mason, God’s Not Dead: A Light In The Darkness, stars David. A.R. White, John Corbett, Tatum O’Neil, Ted McGinley, Jennifer Taylor, Benjamin Onyango, Gregory Alan William, Samantha Boscarino, Micke C. Manning, Shwayze, Jennifer Cipolla, and Dr. Cissy Houston.

A Light In The Darkness begins with Reverend Dave Hill, played by David A.R. White, who’s fierce independence and beliefs has him arrested for not submitting his sermons to city officials for examination.

Leading St. James church, which his father did for forty years before him, and an estranged older brother, played by John Corbett who has his own set of unanswerable faith questions, he sees the dwindling congregation as a passing phase.


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In order to have an extended reach he brings in Reverend Jude, played by Benjamin Onyango, a man whom he calls a brother, and the two devoted to God’s calling, even in this modern era are hopeful of God’s provision even here at Hadleigh College.

With the academic environment often producing intellectual debate and challenging views on the world, life, faith and other hot button issues, the students at Hadleigh, Keaton, played by Samantha Boscarino, her boyfriend, Adam, played by Michael C. Manning, and friends, Sydney, played by Jennifer Cipolla, and friend Teo, played by Schwayze, are part of the conversation as young adults transitioning to adult hood at a pivotal time in America.

On this day, the kids are charged over the St. James’s pastor, Dave Hill, refusal to turn over his sermons and as one topic lends itself to another, the question and debate over God, religion and a central question of where is God, especially in time of unequivocal, tragic, sorrow. Where is God then?

Keaton, who has faith and is struggling in her new found freedom to maintain the faith commitments that came naturally when she lived at home, pushes Adam away. Challenged for the affection of someone he believes he loves by an unseen God he spray paints the church announcement board and throws a rock through the window.

Unbeknownst to him, both Reverend Dave and Reverend Jude are just around the corner and hear the glass break. Checking out the damage, Reverend Jude heads to the basement to assess the damage, he switches on the light and the spark ignites a gas leak from a broken value hit by the rock.

Reverend Jude is killed in the explosion, the hundred year old church destroyed and suddenly what seemed as a new beginning is a struggle in faith.

It is at this point where the theme of the existence of God or the realities of God are faced. Reverend Dave’s brother, Pearce Hill, played by John Corbett, who has his own faith questions is called back home to fight the legal challenges raised by the universities effort to block rebuilding.

We meet Barbara Solomon, Hadleigh University Board of Trustee Administer, played by Tatum O’Neil, and Thomas Ellsworth, the Dean of Hadleigh University, played by Ted McGinley who become challenges to the rebuilding of the church.

God’s Not Dead: A Light In The Darkness is clearly a faith based film and yet the wrangling of the board and the challenges faced are clearly legitmate actual everyday not sugar coated or glossed over in an attempt ot presume God will miraculously show up, stop time, innovation, ideas or progression and sprinkle a little pixie dust and the eyes of their understanding will be opened.

Life isn’t that way and neither is this film. God’s Not Dead: A Light In The Darkness brings to the forefront real issues in the question of faith. What happens when God’s way is not ours? Or when God decides to use the destruction of the enemy for good? The good part is great and the destruction part sounds a bit like pain and injury.

God’s Not Dead: A Light In The Darkness is more than a testimony to God’s goodness as the two banter back and forth in the beginning; as many doubt if God is good all the time. The film shows genuine emotional responses, not blind, mechanical responses or bible toting believers who refuse to see the genuine hurt or questioning that a few memorized biblical verses won’t magically heal or answer.


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The talented cast brings the layers necessary to have Christianity in the 21st century and where does it fit in, or does it, is it a myth, what about the issues of church and state and even more simply federal monies on the university level. The script was very well researched, well written and the cast able to convey each of these questions, with conclusions that may seem a bit too genuine as some would prefer the candy coated delivery.

God’s Not Dead: A Light In The Darkness is a message for the modern era. Be prepared to question the preconceived judgements of Christians as it allows for even anger (gasp).

God’s Not Dead: A Light In The Darkness is a real film and opens in theaters March 30, 2018. See it.

 

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