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16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (NKJV)
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I think you guys who are complaining about 2 dimensional portrayals of Atheists have rather missed the point of the movie. (And oddly, it seems like many of those with that criticism haven't seen the movie anyway.)
Is an Atheist going to like this movie? Spoiler Alert: No. But then, this movie isn't for Atheists.
Strangely, the Atheist characters actually get as much development as any other character, sometimes even more. The story of the Professor is a lot deeper and more complex than even the protagonist. Is it Oscar nominee material? Well no, it's pretty cliche', but it doesn't really have to be an Academy Award contender. It does the job.
This movie is not meant to be a deep character study on people from different worldviews. It's a pressure valve.
Here's what I mean. These days, Christians are feeling pretty defeated, aren't we? Every time we turn around we see Christianity fighting what seems like a losing battle with the LGBT community, radical Islam, politicians, you name it. It's easy to see where a movie like this will appeal to those who feel this way. Whether you personally believe that Christians are losing the culture war or not, we can all agree that there are plenty of people who do, and it is these people the movie was made for.
It's a feel good movie for people who are sick of being called zealots, Flat Earthers, religion nuts, homophobes, superstitious, etc. It's a movie for people who feel like a story that gives them a little hope and validation. Just watch the closing credits, where they include a list of legal cases in which Universities were successfully sued in court for suppressing students' rights to religious expression.
So the movie was a success in that it does what it sets out to do. I liked it, and I would recommend it to any Christian.
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