God’s Not Dead is a movie whose plot revolves around a student named Josh Wheaton. Josh enters an Introduction to Philosophy course taught by Hercules himself — Kevin Sorbo — or Professor Jeffrey Radisson.
Conflict surfaces when Radisson tells his students they must write on a sheet of paper that God is dead, sign it, and turn it in to get a passing grade. Josh refuses to do this and winds up having to debate the teacher in front of the class.
In the final debate Josh asks Radisson why he hates God so much. Radisson says it’s because God let his mother die, to which Josh responds, “How can you hate someone who doesn’t exist?” In the end most every student stands up and declares “God’s not dead!” The movie ends with the Newsboys singing their song God’s not Dead which they dedicate to Josh. Somehow Duck Dynasty makes an appearance too.
We can get fairly hung up on something that God doesn’t get hung up on: proving his existence. The very first words of the very first page of the Scriptures read, “In the beginning God …” No explanation. Just assumed existence. God is the subject of this book Christians base their lives on.
And it’s this book that tells us about the one true God. Other nations believed in other gods. Numerous gods. But the God of Israel was one God, which made them unique among nations. Jesus later prayed, “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
The one true God is also a triune God: Father, Son, and Spirit. All three converge on the same scene at Jesus’ baptism. One God. Three persons. How do we wrap our mind around this teaching?
John of Damascus—a seventh century Greek theologian—helped when he developed the concept of perichoresis. “Peri” means “around” (as in perimeter) and “choresis” means “dancing” (as in choreography). John envisioned the Father, Son and Spirit like three dancers holding hands and dancing around in harmony and freedom. Perichoresis helps us see God as a fellowship and community of equals who share all they have and are with each other.
Then Scripture presents this one true triune God as a trustworthy God. Jesus called his first followers to “believe in the gospel.” “Believe” means to “trust.” The big decision from the beginning of time is “who are you going to trust?” There will always be other gods. They may be the gods of the Egyptians. The gods of Mesopotamia. The god of money or fame or power.
Or even the god of “me.” Some argue that Christians “have” to believe in God, as if they need a crutch. But another argument can be made that some “have” to not believe there is a God. You see, if I’m not God it would only make sense that I would give up control of my life and let God be in control. It’s much more convenient to just not believe or say God is dead.
So take out a piece of paper. Declare what you believe about God. And if you believe He’s who the Bible claims he is then get up and join in the dance.
— Excerpt from the BELIEVE Study Series by Randy Freeze