- Audience-Alienating Premise: As stated below, this film has less of a pro-Christian, anti-atheist/anti-liberal bias than the first two. As such, the Christian Right accused the filmmakers of caving in to "the Left's" complaints about the first two and refused to support it, while everyone else took one look at the title, assumed it would be more of the same, and ignored it too. As a result, it flopped at the box office.
- Broken Base: More secular audiences think it's a Surprisingly Improved Sequel because it fleshes out both sides of the conflict instead of portraying the conflict as "Victimized Christians vs Evil Atheists". Unfortunately, the more Evangelical viewers the films were made for see these changes as a downgrade, seeing it as a cynical cash grab that forgoes its Christian messaging if favor of appealing to both sides.
- Critical Dissonance: Despite being considered a Surprisingly Improved Sequel by critics (at least compared to the previous two) it bombed at the box office and was derided by its usual audience for "not having a Christian message anymore", meaning that the usual audience only wants a dogmatic portrayal of Christianity.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: A lot of the more secular viewers appreciate the introduction of Dave's estranged brother Pearce, being a Foil to Dave as an atheist that doesn't fall into the negative stereotypes previous films have made atheists and secularists out to be.
- Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Giving a much more even-handed look at those who didn't believe in God and streamlining the story by reducing the number of subplots actually made this one of the more critically well-liked Pure Flix films.
- Strawman Has a Point: One news anchor mentions in a segment what could be a legitimate reason for opposing the church on public university grounds: apparently, it's funded by the school, while no other sect is. This raises a lot of church-state separation issues. While it wouldn't mean demolishing the church is necessary, at the very least they might financially separate, since the university is no longer private or Christian. However, this is never brought up again in the film.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Many fans of the two previous films have dismissed this movie as a "cash grab" which no longer had a Christian message. However, it has also been theorized that the movie's more even-handed treatment of the arguments presented, as opposed to the "Christians are right and Atheists are wrong" approach of its predecessors, may not have played well with the more dogmatic members of the franchise's fanbase.
YMMV / God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness