main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Film: God's Not Dead
What Do You Believe?

God's Not Dead is a 2014 movie about Joshua, a college student who has joined a philosophy class with the firmly atheistic Professor Radisson. Radisson demands the students to write the words "God is dead" with their signature, to get a passing grade. When Joshua refuses, he offers him the chance of having a debate about it, and is determined to humiliate him.

There are a few sub-plots too, such an Arabic girl Ayisha who is afraid of her Christian faith being discovered by her father, a pair of missionaries suffering chronic car issues, Amy Ryan an atheistic blogger suffering cancer, and the girlfriend of the Radisson whose faith drives a wedge in their relationship.

Compare and contrast with The Ledge, the polar opposite ideological equivalent film.

This movie contains examples of:

  • The Abridged Version: God's Not Dead in 5 minutes.
  • A God Am I: Radisson threatens Joshua with it:
    Radisson: You think you're smarter than me? In that room there's a God, and I'm him.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: "How can you hate someone who doesn't exist?"
  • Author Tract: The film is a very good example of Christian propaganda as its antagonist is basically one huge strawman of atheism.
  • Based on a Great Big Lie: The film takes inspiration from a supposedly authentic, but actually proven fictional, story of a young Albert Einstein humiliating his Atheist college professor who was arguing God doesn't exist.
  • The Cameo: Willie Roberston from Duck Dynasty fame makes a couple of appearances in the film, he was presumably included after the main filming was completed, when his father, Phil, caught the media's attention for his pro-Christian and anti-gay remarks.
  • Contrived Coincidence: While it's possible, it's incredibly unlikely that Josh would be the only Christian, or the only person who believes in a God of any kind, in a classroom of 80.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Near the end, after Radisson reads a letter from his late mother, he decides to try to reconcile with his girlfriend; but then he gets hit by a car and dies.
  • Easy Evangelism:
    • Raddison converts as he's dying, mostly to push the insulting "There are no Atheists in Foxholes" message that, deep down, Atheists will believe in God when death is staring them in the face.
    • The same goes for the Atheist blogger Amy, who converts when she finds that she has cancer.
  • Egocentrically Religious: Joshua's girlfriend shows shades of this when Joshua states that he wants to do God's will, and she replies that God wants him to be with her.
  • Hollywood Atheist:
    • Radisson's only reason for his atheism is because he hates God because his mother died of cancer.
    • The left-wing blogger, Amy, who is snarky of religion until she gets cancer and at the end asks to "know God".
    • Amy's boyfriend is an atheist who admits has no morals and gloats about his perfect life.
  • My Car Hates Me: The missionaries' car does not start, neither do all their rental cars until the end.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: It was actually pointed out by one critic that none of the good Christian characters engage in affectionate physical contact other that a small kiss in the cheek.
  • Offing the Offspring: Ayisha's father looks like he's going to do this after throwing out his daughter, but ultimately doesn't.
  • Politically Motivated Teacher: Radisson, as he tries to force his atheism on his students.
  • Straw Character: Raddison, the main antagonist of this film is an over-the-top atheist who's filled with hatred towards the perfectly decent Christian lead. As the movie progresses, he becomes more and more over the top. To add insult to injury, he turns out to be a Hollywood Atheist who is bitter about his mom dying. The film ends with him getting hit by a car and converting as he dies.
  • Smug Snake:
    • Professor Radisson shows intellectual prowess during debates, but also shows a very large ego threatening Joshua's education and career over his religion.
    • Amy's boyfriend dumps her when he learns about her cancer, and brags to his mother that he has a good life despite being cruel and she has dementia even though she was a kind person.
  • Take That: Generally against Atheists, but also against Liberal college professors.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Radisson met his girlfriend when she was a student of his class.
  • Tears of Remorse: Ayisha's father cries these after throwing her out of the house.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Radisson has one after Joshua repeatedly presses if he hates God, declaring that he always hated him since his mother died.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The story has a lot of similarities with the Chick Tract Big Daddy.

God Help The GirlFilms of the 2010sGodzilla (2014)

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy