Reviewed by: Larry Amon
What should you do when your teacher is an evolutionist, and you believe in Creation? Answer
Creation or Evolution—What difference does it make? Answer
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Jordan Trovillion … Rachel Whitaker
Jay Pickett … Stephen Whitaker
Harry Anderson … Professor Kaman
Chandler Macocha … Evan Carlson
Clarence Gilyard Jr. … Professor Portland
Barrett Carnahan … Tyler Mathis
Justin Michael Brandt … Jason
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|Director:||Rich Christiano—“Time Changer” (2002), “The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry” (2008)|
|Producer:||Five & Two Pictures|
Five and Two Pictures
“When worldviews collide, sometimes it becomes… a matter of faith.”
Rachel Whitaker (Jordan Trovillion) is moving out and going to college. Her parents are proud, but sad to see her go. Rachel quickly settles into her new school, and, as a biology major, is all set to take her first biology class. The class is taught by Marcus Kaman (Harry Anderson), a popular professor who teaches Evolution. Rachel also promptly finds a romantic interest in a boy she meets.
Despite Rachel jumping into the college experience and adjusting well, she seems cautious in her new surroundings. However, it doesn’t take long for her convictions and beliefs to be challenged. Unfortunately, Rachel seems to yield somewhat in her beliefs, and this puts distance between her and her parents, especially her father.
When Rachel’s father, Stephen Whitaker (Jay Pickett), learns the professor is teaching Evolution, he drives three hours to the college and confronts him. In return, the professor challenges him to a public debate, which he reluctantly accepts. Stephen is concerned about his daughter’s lapse in her Christian walk, but Rachel is mostly embarrassed by her father and pleads with him to drop out of the debate. What will happen at the big debate? It’s Creationism vs. Evolution, and the stakes are high. Sides are drawn, and the audience for the debate is growing as the school paper, as well as the local press, gets a hold of the story.
This is a Christian film that is fairly family friendly. There are a few conversations in which some of the young men hint at making a move on Rachel, in a not so innocent way, but these are only briefly mentioned.
The movie makes some sound theological points about how we live our faith. Evan, a strong Christian student and acquaintance of Rachel, makes a point of saying that some people become Christians as a matter of addition rather than submission. He explains that some people just add Jesus to their present lives, rather than submitting their lives to Him.
I watched “A Matter of Faith” with my family, and my feelings about it are mixed. What is being taught in our schools and colleges, and especially as it relates to Evolution, is an important topic and one that has been addressed in films, such as, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” and “God’s Not Dead.” Despite these recent films, there is definitely still more room to explore the topic.
Unfortunately, I found the movie uneven. The ideas and structure of the film hold a lot of promise for an inspiring and entertaining story. For the most part I found the performances of the actors to be well executed. What I don’t like is that the story, especially in the beginning, jumps around too quickly without bringing the audience in enough to get to know the characters or situations. The other major issue I had was with Rachel’s father. At times, he appears to be several decades out of step with what’s going on in the world. For a Christian, that might not be so bad, except that it just doesn’t seem believable or relatable that he is shocked and surprised that a public university would teach Evolution. He should have expected this and prepared his daughter for it, especially as a Biology major. I certainly would have.
Overall, I like the plot, and I enjoyed some of the powerful lessons and conversations. The problems with the flow of the film and the believability of some of the characters do detract from the story, though. I was especially disappointed that the debate scene seems to end abruptly. A more developed scene here could have a gone a long way. The film does move quickly and, despite the previously mentioned issues, it should prove entertaining for Christian families.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None
Official movie site: amatteroffaithmovie.com
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