Rethinking Cultural Engagement: A Review of God's Not Dead

Blaine Charette


This paper will examine the God’s Not Dead franchise as representative of a recent wave of American Christian films that present evangelism and apologetics within the framework of the so-called ‘culture war’. The films are provocative and have generated much negative comment, yet it will be argued that when they are taken as models of a particular kind of Christian response to the ever changing landscape of American society important questions can be asked about how Christians might better engage cultural change. Moreover, since the theological perspective and rhetorical style of these film have prompted the criticism that these films function more as propaganda for a particular political ideology than as genuine witness to the Christian faith, it will be argued that they can provide a helpful stimulus towards greater self-criticism within the Christian faith community. The paper seeks to encourage discussion on the possible impact of these films on perceptions of the Christian faith, on the challenges they pose for Christians who might think about and approach the issues related to faith and secularism in a different way, and on the character and form of a positive and responsible engagement with secular culture.

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