1303 Views |  Like

God’s Not Dead: Interview with Producer/Actor David White

Pure Flix Entertainment is renewing interest in God by asking its viewers to consider one of the most important questions of our day, “Does God exist?” through the release of GOD’S NOT DEAD, March 21, 2014 in over 600 theaters nationwide. The film features a star-studded cast, an appearance by Duck Dynasty’s Willie and Korie Robertson, and special performance by the Newsboys and their hit song “God’s Not Dead.”

Willie and Korie Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” play themselves in “God’s Not Dead.” Picture courtesy of Pure Flix.

Pure Flix Entertainment, the number one faith producing film company, is known for producing and distributing Christ-centered movies for the purpose of changing our culture for Christ and being salt and light in a media-driven culture.

Willie and Korie Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” play themselves in “God’s Not Dead.” Picture courtesy of Pure Flix.

This feature film is certain to ruffle some feathers and stimulate many intelligent conversations about God just as the Ken Ham-Bill Nye Debate on Creation/Evolution did on February 4, 2014.

Kevin Sorbo gives a performance of a lifetime as the arrogant philosophy professor who expects his students to sign away their faith with the stroke of a pen. Picture courtesy of Pure Flix.

Kevin Sorbo gives a performance of a lifetime as the arrogant philosophy professor who expects his students to sign away their faith with the stroke of a pen. Picture courtesy of Pure Flix.

In GOD’S NOT DEAD, college freshman, Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper of Flipped), finds his faith challenged by an arrogant philosophy professor (Kevin Sorbo of Soul Surfer) who requires his students to deny the existence of God or face a failing grade.

Josh, whose dream is to attend law school, finds himself having to choose between his faith and his future without the support of his parents, classmates, or girlfriend.

Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper) gives a brilliant defense of the existence of God under immense pressure. Picture courtesy of Pure Flix.

Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper) gives a brilliant defense of the existence of God under immense pressure. Picture courtesy of Pure Flix.

He seeks the advice of a minister (David A.R. White of Revelation Road) who points him to Matthew 10:32-33 and confronts him with these words, “Your acceptance of this challenge may be the only meaningful exposure to Jesus that some in his class will ever have.”

Risking his future, he steps out to prove the existence of God. He puts God on trial with the professor as the prosecutor, himself as the defense attorney, and the students as the jury. Before landing this role, Shane Harper prayed diligently for the opportunity to play Josh Wheaton as his passion is apologetics.

David A. R. White (producer) portrays the minister who gives young Josh Wheaton spiritual advice. Picture Courtesy of Pure Flix.

avid A. R. White (producer) portrays the minister who gives young Josh Wheaton spiritual advice. Picture Courtesy of Pure Flix.

Also starring Dean Cain (Superman) as a self-absorbed executive, every character in this film must deal with the ultimate question, “Does God exist.?” The film is rated PG and is Dove approved for ages 12 and above. It is a must see for all youth groups and a powerful lesson that when one stands for one’s faith, it gives others the courage to stand and believe.

This film is from today’s headlines as college students step into the shoes of Josh Wheaton everyday when they leave home only to find their faith challenged in the halls of academia.

Dean Cain portrays a business executive who feels he has no need for God. Picture courtesy of Pure Flix.

Dean Cain portrays a business executive who feels he has no need for God. Picture courtesy of Pure Flix.

Many of us can remember the days we encountered professors who took pride in knocking our beliefs out from under us. We are living in a day when the very institutions such as Harvard, which was founded to promote “Truth for Christ and for the Church,” are now doing the opposite.

My own struggle in this area caused me to search and learn how to stand for my faith. But for many, the alluring rhetoric of all-knowing professors, can wash away the foundations of their faith, leaving them feeling hopeless and confused.

Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper) confronts Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo) with this revealing question, “How can you hate someone that doesn’t exist?” Picture courtesy of Pure Flix.

Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper) confronts Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo) with this revealing question, “How can you hate someone that doesn’t exist?” Picture courtesy of Pure Flix.

The late Chuck Colson warned us that our culture will be changed through colleges and universities:

We must train the mind by inculcating truth and developing graduates who
will go out and infiltrate the world with the love of Christ. A society without
a foundation of moral absolutes cannot long survive.

When we send our young people out into the world of higher education, we must send them with the full armor of God, knowing that their faith will be challenged.

Chuck Colson repeatedly warned us about the influence of liberal colleges and universities in our day.

Chuck Colson repeatedly warned us about the influence of liberal colleges and universities in our day.

We expect secular universities to deny the existence of God, but many have faced the same challenge as Josh Wheaton in universities that bear the name of Christ. Whatever the circumstances, this movie is a powerful reminder that those who follow Christ must be prepared to defend our faith in an increasingly godless society.

And when we take that stand, we may never know the ripple effect and the lives impacted by those who are watching. As William J. Federer has stated, “Whoever controls the media and education, controls the country.” It is evident that Pure Flix through this movie is trying to influence both.

Sonoma Contributor Ginny Dent Brant recently met with David A. R. White, an actor who plays Pastor Dave and is one of the producers of this film, at the NRB Convention in Nashville to ask him questions about this soon to be released film.

SCH – What made you focus on this theme for this movie?

DW – We asked pastors, “What do you think the church needs in a movie?” Most of them said, “We need something about apologetics. There’s a lot of people who don’t know how to defend their faith.” We were introduced to the Newsboys and their song God’s Not Deadand the book, God’s Not Dead: Evidence for God in an Age of Uncertainty by Dr. Rice Broocks.

So we partnered with them to make a film involving apologetics. But we knew it would not reach very far, if it was just a documentary. So we asked our screenwriters to weave in six storylines about people who were searching for God’s existence in their situations. Our screenwriters brought all these together. They did a great job. It was not easy.

Dr. Rice Broocks is the author of “God’s Not Dead: Evidence for God in an Age of Uncertainty.”

Dr. Rice Broocks is the author of “God’s Not Dead: Evidence for God in an Age of Uncertainty.”

SCH – How did you get Willie and Korie Robertson involved?

DW – The story was written for this type of celebrity casting. A lot of prayer went into deciding who that would be and their names came up. It took six to nine months to accomplish.

SCH – What are you hoping to accomplish through the release of this movie?

DW – This movie puts every person center stage and asks, “What do you believe? Is there a God or not?” Although we’ve had hate comments from atheists on our website, churches and organizations across this country have joined forces with us for this film. It was made for His glory.

The Newsboys’ hit song, “God’s Not Dead,” inspired this film. Picture Courtesy of Pure Flix.

The Newsboys’ hit song, “God’s Not Dead,” inspired this film. Picture Courtesy of Pure Flix.

SCH – The movie seems to indicate that some atheists and those who deny the existence of God really have a vendetta against God. Do you find this to be true in real life?

DW – I know several atheists. Although it’s not always the case, I believe a lot of atheists have been turned off to God by hurt in their lives. For our purposes, we try to figure out why a character is like he is. This incident in the professor’s life fit our story.

SCH – The film’s hero clearly states, “If God does not exist then everything is permissible.” Do you feel the moral decline in our society is due to the rise in people who deny the existence of God?

DW – I think so. We started out as a Godly nation with prayers in the schools and courts. And as that declines and we remove God from every area of our public lives, we see the decay. When you remove God, the existence is evil, and that evil grows.

David A. R. White is one of the founders of Pure Flix Entertainment. David and his wife, Andrea Logan White, are both actors. Picture Courtesy of Pure Flix.

SCH – Kevin Sorbo, Shane Harper and Dean Cain were great picks for this film. As an independent filmmaker without a Hollywood budget, how were you able to combine the contracting of these three actors with the appearance of the Newsboys and the Robertsons?

DW – Honestly, it was the Lord’s blessing and favor on them. We pray over these movies and we really thought Kevin, Shane and Dean as well as the Robertsons were all supposed to be in this. The Duck Dynasty controversy has been a positive thing because they were standing for what they believe and it mirrors the message in the movie.

SCH – This movie was informative and entertaining which will enhance its success. Was it difficult to create this balance?

DW – The hardest thing about Christian film making is creating that balance. We cater to a group that is loyal and encourages us, yet can be very opinionated. It’s very hard to tie in a message of hope and redemption organically out of this story. We are constantly learning how to do that better. If you don’t take a film to the cross and give an evangelical message, some feel you have sold out. We pray for God’s wisdom to find the balance He wants for each project. We wanted this project to reach beyond believers.

The Newsboys give a live concert and are part of the storyline in God’s Not Dead. Picture Courtesy of Pure Flix.

SCH – What can people do to ensure this powerful movie is brought to their area? How can they use it as a tool for ministry and carry out the message?

DW – They can click on this link (Check for Screenings) and see where it will be playing and how you can plan to bring the movie to your city. Just the trailer is a conversation starter. Everyone has a hole in their heart and is seeking what they believe about God. We believe a lot of nonbelievers will see this film.

SCH – They can also spread the trailer and details on social media and to their area of influence. This is a great movie to bring friends to and a great tool for sharing the gospel. It’s a movie you will want to see twice.

David and Andrea balance a busy lifestyle with three children. Andrea plays one of the moms in “Mom’s Night Out” which will be released in May, 2014. Picture Courtesy of Pure Flix.

SCH -What other movies is Pure Flix soon to release?

DW – We released and distributed 24 movies last year and we shoot between 5 to 8 movies each year. Revelation Road: The Black Rider, (the third installment), which is my baby and has a great evangelistic message, will be out in September. Redeemed, which was filmed in LA and Brazil, is an important movie about faithfulness in marriage and will be released later this year.

For more information about this film, go to God’s Not Dead Official Site or visit the Christian Film Database

Click here to view the movie trailer. Then pass it on!

Ginny Dent Brant is a writer and speaker who grew up in the halls of power in Washington, DC. Her book about her spiritual journey with her father, Harry S. Dent, Sr., Finding True Freedom: From the White House to the World, was released in 2010. Chuck Colson was her cover endorser. She is a former trustee of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Ginny and her husband Alton live in Clemson, SC. To learn more about Ginny visit www.ginnybrant.com