Peter T Chattaway

God's Not Dead 2

53 posts in this topic

No details yet, but they're promising one.

 

Will Josh Wheaton vanquish other evil professors, perhaps at other campuses? Maybe, like many other sequels, he'll go to Europe! I hear there are lots of militant secularist atheists there!

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The only question I have is ... can we kill it?

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The only question I have is ... can we kill it?

 

Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

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Peter T Chattaway said:

 

:No details yet, but they're promising one.

 

 

You mean threatening!!!

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Alissa Wilkinson posted this in a Facebook group as a press release from Pure Flix. The official title: God's Not Dead 2: He's Surely Alive

 

Starring Melissa Joan Hart as "Grace Wesley."

 

(Los Angeles, CA) Pure Flix, the largest independent faith film studio just wrapped production for God’s Not Dead 2: He’s Surely Alive. This film is the highly anticipated follow-up to the immensely successful God’s Not Dead, which grossed over $60 million last year at the box office. God’s Not Dead 2 features a star-studded cast that includes: Melissa Joan Hart (Melissa & Joey), Jesse Metcalfe (Dallas), David A. R. White (God’s Not Dead), Hayley Orrantia (The Goldbergs), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters), Sadie Robertson (Duck Dynasty), Robin Givens (Head of The Class), Fred Thompson (Law & Order), Maria Canals-Barrera (Cristela), with Pat Boone and Ray Wise (Robocop).


Other returning cast favorites include: Trisha LaFache (Amy Ryan), Benjamin Onyango (Reverend Jude), Paul Kwo (Martin Yip), and Newsboys (Michael Tait, Duncan Phillips, Jeff Frankenstein, and Jody Davis).

About God’s Not Dead 2:
Scheduled to be released in theaters Easter 2016, God’s Not Dead 2 will have audiences standing unashamedly and firmly in their faith during a time when it seems increasingly unfavorable and divisive to do so in the public square. The film takes audiences back to Hope Springs, Arkansas … home not only of Hadleigh University, but also of Martin Luther King Jr. High School, where beloved teacher of the year Grace Wesley (Hart) helps students understand and enjoy history. Grace’s love of teaching, her love of life, and her love of people all come from the same place: her love of Christ. So when Brooke (Orrantia), a hurting student grieving the loss of her brother, finds Grace at a coffee shop, their conversation naturally leads to Grace sharing with Brooke the hope she finds in Christ. However, when Brooke asks an honest question about Jesus during a lesson Grace is teaching about Dr. King and Gandhi, Grace’s answer lands her in big trouble—almost before she finishes giving her reasoned response. With the principal (Givens) and superintendent teaming up with a zealous civil liberties group represented by an attorney with no love lost for God, Grace faces an epic court case with, the help of a sympathetic and charismatic defense lawyer (Metcalfe), that could cost her the career she had always dreamed of—and expel God from the classroom once and for all. In a story that could easily be pulled from today’s headlines, it’s good to remember some things will always remain the same: "God IS Surely Alive!"
Edited by Joel Mayward

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However, when Brooke asks an honest question about Jesus during a lesson Grace is teaching about Dr. King and Gandhi, Grace’s answer lands her in big trouble—almost before she finishes giving her reasoned response. 

 

 

I wonder if it's whether or not Gandhi is in Hell - a la the kindling to Rob Bell's Love Wins (dang it, I realized I wasted a good joke last week - I could've asked why everyone was hashtagging Bell's book!).

Edited by winter shaker

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And the Lord responded, "Don't call me Shirley."

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Starring Melissa Joan Hart as "Grace Wesley."

 

Wow. Seriously doubling down on the allusive/allegorical naming.

 

Some of my proposed alternate sequel titles, via Twitter

 

  • God Died, But He Got Better
  • Generalissimo Francisco Franco is Still Dead, and God Still Isn't
  • God: Not Dead and Loving It

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How many "highly anticipated follow-ups" has the original GND had already?

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With the principal (Givens) and superintendent teaming up

 

Um, American universities don't have either of those offices.

Edited by Tyler

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With the principal (Givens) and superintendent teaming up

 

Um, American universities don't have either of those offices.

 

Grace teaches at a high school--Martin Luther King Jr. High School, to be exact. The focus moves from atheist prof vs. Christian freshman to Christian high school teacher vs. secular school board. But it's all set in the same town as the previous film, it seems.

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God's Not Dead But Give Us Time

 

God's Not Dead But He's Starting to Wish He Were

 

God's Not Dead and Russell Wilson's Not Having Sex With His Girlfriend

 

Also, coming next year, the franchise mash-up everybody saw coming:

 

God's Not Left Behind

Edited by Overstreet

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I gotta say, I'm pumped for this one. Mostly I'm anxious to see how it will perform compared with the first. Same basic plot, same company, same creative team (Cronk, Solomon, Konzelman), same target audience. Can lightning strike twice? 

 

Because here's the weird, inescapable thing about God's Not Dead. Of course it's as bad as its worst critics say it is. And yet, through some great mystery, God has blessed it. 

 

Team Solomon-Konzelman is the not-so-secret weapon here: devout Jersey Catholics who have somehow tapped into the contemporary Evangelical psyche with alarming success. God's Not Dead is for a certain audience what Easy Rider was for the hippie generation. In years to come it will be looked on as a fascinating relic, a crystalline picture of how a certain subset viewed itself. Or perhaps it's a cynical pandering to that audience. I'm not entirely sure.

Edited by Nathaniel

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Because here's the weird, inescapable thing about God's Not Dead. Of course it's as bad as its worst critics say it is. And yet, through some great mystery, God has blessed it. 

 

 

 

This is a remarkable statement. What's your definition of blessing? Financial success? Popularity among the very target-audience it flatters? 

 

In that case, God has really, really, really blessed Jurassic World.

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Like I said, it's a mystery!

 

All I know is that Konzelman and Solomon felt that God led them to tell this piece, and they prayed over the whole project, and they are sincere Christians. The film was widely seen, financially successful, and has now inspired a sequel. I'm sure they are feeling blessed, indeed!

Edited by Nathaniel

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I haven't seen the film, but from talking with various evangelical friends they found it inspiring (and yes, I know some will find that concept horrifying.)  I remember reading somewhere that Ravi Zacharias has said that he has found more hostility towards Christianity when he speaks at North American universities than he has found with speaking in front of some Muslim audiences (It's a good guess that he didn't mean ISIS - or some others in the Middle East.)  Many Christians feel that there is a real opposition to faith within the academy.  Yes, there are those who feel that there hasn't been, but I've talked with others who feel that there definitely is.  In my travellings (mostly online) I've interacted with some professional philosophers and others in the academic world and there are those who basically think that faith is absurd, in some cases even obscene.  But here's the thing, they can often be proven to be incorrect and shown that their atheist/ materialist paradigm is built on outdated science (more 19'th century understandings than 21'st century.)  They are just as reluctant to accept that which doesn't fit with their paradigm as many Christians can be, perhaps more so.  In this, they are sometimes telling a lot of people, who are in their classes to get an education, some bunk.  I've interacted with several people who have lost their faith because of this nonsense.  I know one fellow who had worked with a Christians drug addiction ministry and who had seen deliverences from drugs there.  He went to university and had a philosophy professor convince him that God does not exist.  He is now a philosopher who actively speaks out against faith.

 

 

God can work through some pretty flawed stuff (he works through me from time to time) and I have little doubt that this film is being used to inspire people to keep the faith while in the universities.  Maybe even inspire young Christians who are interested in philosophy and science to rise up and make a difference within some of these settings.  (EDIT :  I mean in a more appropriate way than I understand is in the film.)

 

That being said.  I'm also not trying to imply that Christian film critics shouldn't point out the film's flaws and/or encourage a better understanding of film, and better filmmaking coming from the Christian subculture.  Or that the problems with some of the Christian subcultures responses to this film shouldn't be pointed out.

Edited by Attica

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I agree with Nathaniel that God's Not Dead will be a fascinating relic of the evangelical subculture, in the vein of the Left Behind books or the teeth of Joel Osteen. I'd also agree with the more cynical assessment of the filmmakers' motivations--that they're pandering to a particular audience in order to make more money. I disagree in the sense that God has "blessed" the film and the filmmakers by giving them the financial success to make a sequel. Using that logic, the Saw or Fast and Furious or Terminator franchises are much more blessed. After all, John Conner and Jesus Christ have the same initials. ;)

 

I'm also unsure GND is really helpful to young evangelical believers. I'd actually argue that it's quite harmful in its approach of affirming detrimental paradigms, a sort of echo chamber for a damaging worldview. Sure, I'm convinced God can redeem terrible situations and people and films; he's certainly done that in my life. But to suggest that sin should abound so that grace can abound more, well, I'll agree with the apostle Paul in Romans 6: may it never be! When I've spoken to younger Christians about the film, it's either affirmed their desire to go to Christian schools and/or prompted them to not attend a public or "secular" university, or it's made them question the very validity of science and philosophy. It's not that we shouldn't question science and philosophy--we should!--but we should be asking helpful critical questions and engaging in healthy, humble dialogue, a posture this film doesn't profess. So, I actually worry about having the sequel as akin to the "camp high" experience of youth, where they felt close to God at a summer camp or missions trip, then live off that spiritual fervor until the next camp/event. The sequel may have the power to simply reaffirm the unhealthy paradigm in its target audience, a power I find very worrisome as an evangelical pastor.

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Joel.  I appreciated your thoughts.  

 

Could it be that even with its potential negative impact this film is inspiring those it is supposed to inspire?  Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to argue this point, but it just seems to me the only way to make sense of any idea that the filmmakers felt "called" to make this film.  Although another explanation could be that we can be "called" to do something and then put our own views and ways on top of what we are led to do, thus hampering the original intention.  But then there is he question of foreknowing that we would do this......

Edited by Attica

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Joel Mayward wrote:
: After all, John Conner and Jesus Christ have the same initials.

 

Don't forget James Cameron!

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Joel Mayward wrote:

: After all, John Conner and Jesus Christ have the same initials.

 

Don't forget James Cameron!

That's right! Then his films receive a double blessing.

 

Attica, I can concede that some genuine good could come from the viewing of the film due to God's redemptive and gracious ways. But based simply on the film's merits alone...I'm still not sure. The filmmakers' apparent intentions with the first film were evangelistic, correct? Text or tweet "God's not dead" to your unsaved friends, or invite them to a screening for a presentation of the Gospel. Even if their tacit motivations were financial (i.e. they knew they'd get evangelicals to buy tickets), if we give them the benefit of the doubt, the intentions of this sequel are still dubious. Maybe the evangelism tactics of the first film *didn't* work, so let's try it again, inviting more friends or different friends to screenings, or trying a new hashtag? Or maybe the tactics *did* work, and thousands entered into the evangelical world as born again Christians, so the filmmakers made this sequel in order to save more souls. In either case, I'm very doubtful of the effectiveness of these bait-and-switch tactics. I'm also wary of evangelicals thinking they've effectively shared or practiced the good news of Jesus by sending an enigmatic text message to their contacts, which the film promotes.

 

Also, if the filmmakers follow the same pattern, the protagonist for God's Not Dead 3 will be named C.S. Saddleback.

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Good thoughts again.  And yeah - the text message thing is kind of silly.  It's part of some Christians ways of thinking.... sending out a text message is a "stand for Christ" and lets not bother to consider that some may find it offputting.

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