Reviewed by: Karen C. Flores
Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer
What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer
Does God feel our pain? Answer
What about the Psalm 91 promises? (“…no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent…”) Answer
Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer
David A.R. White … Reverend Dave
John Corbett … Pearce Hill
Jennifer Taylor … Meg Harvey
Tatum O'Neal … Barbara Solomon
Ted McGinley … Thomas Ellsworth
Shane Harper … Josh Wheaton
Samantha Boscarino … Keaton
Anne Leighton … Angela Ellsworth
David Maldonado … Roger
Mike C. Manning … Adam
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Pure Flix Productions
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Pure Flix Entertainment
“God’s Not Dead: A Light” in the darkness is the third installment to the “God’s Not Dead” series. This story picks up where “God’s Not Dead 2” left off. It starts with Pastor Dave getting arrested and put in jail. Then due to the unlawful manner he was imprisoned, the courts release Pastor Dave. Unfortunately, students protest that Pastor Dave and St. James church are bad publicity for Hadleigh University. Through a protesting student, the church catches on fire and is destroyed. Since the church is on university property, the school board uses this devastation to try to get rid of the church and its entire congregation. The whole situation causes a huge debate among believers, non-believers, etc.
When Pastor Dave chooses to sue the educational institution, it brings about media madness. The lawyer that he picks is his own brother. There are now heated arguments on television and on social media focusing on whether the church should stay or remain. In the meantime, Pastor Dave goes through his own personal struggles. There are difficulties between Dave and his brother as well. These add more depth to the pastor’s character, and they do not take away from the story. This film helps audiences see some the issues the church is facing in this modern era.
I must start by saying that I feel that this movie is much more coherent than the other two films. The first film is saturated with different stories and characters, none of which connect to each other in any way. The only commonality is the concert at the end. The second movie does provide more cohesiveness, because the main plot centers around a school teacher on trial for saying the name of Jesus in public school. However, there are still a few subplots in the story that do not adhere to the main storyline.
In this installment, the plot is basically around Pastor Dave. The viewers are already familiar with Pastor Dave from the two previous pictures. He plays a minor role in the earlier ones, but now he is the protagonist. The movie audience has more sympathy for him. The prior stories show the Pastor as a jovial, even-tempered man. In this third one, we see how he handles the tragedy of loss: his church, his friends, and his family. His reaction is not necessarily what we might expect. We are given a closer look at how a Christian might act and react to misfortunes in his life.
Once again there are secular people who could say this is an “us vs. them” picture. I do not agree. It is dealing with Christian issues in the American church of the twenty-first century. I feel that it brings up the question as to how do we deal with issues captured under the state vs. the church? How to deal with ungodly authority? How does love and forgiveness come into play? I appreciate the overall view that being light in the darkness may mean sacrificing your own rights. I feel that it is a movie worth seeing.
There is violence in the movie, which is utilized for dramatic effect: the church exploding into fire; a person punching another person in the face, and a student throwing a brick at the church. I was bothered by the fighting that went on, but I don’t know how I would react if I was faced with some of the tragedies that occurred.
The sex is mild; you see men and women wiggling close to each other at a party and a boy and a girl kiss. A girl is swimming in a two piece bathing suit. There is no nudity.
I would not recommend that children under 10 years old see it. The fighting and blow up scenes are too intense. But for older ones, I highly recommend this film.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.