I watched the limited release movie “A Matter of Faith” this past Monday and just had to blog about it. This movie is basically a copy of “God’s Not Dead” but the topic of creation/evolution instead of just the existence of God. I had high hopes for this movie as it was actually endorsed by Answers in Genesis (and they don’t do that … EVER). I was greeted at the theater door by a man from the church who sponsored the showing, and even had a short discussion with a couple following the movie. The experience was great… the movie was another story.
Let me start with the good. It is a great basic introduction to the creation/evolution debate. If you’ve studied the topic for more than a couple weeks though, you are going to find the actual apologetics in the movie lacking. It is very simple. I was wondering how they were going to tackle the topic and do it justice since the topic is sooooo big! The problem with creation/evolution is that when you answer one question it normally raises another. This movie could have gone for 3 hours just with that back and forth. And THAT would have thrilled me! This movie is under 90 minutes, and the actual debate is less than 20 minutes with half of that actually being used to wrap up a character development than actual apologetics.
I kept wondering where the actual science for creation was… it was absent! No mention of the flood, no mention of DNA in dinosaur bones, no mention of genetic entropy, or salt in the oceans, or creation predictions coming true, etc. It just kept coming back to being a ‘matter of faith’. Which is true, but they were just cutting to the chase. In the end all debates about origins come down to faith, but they left several accusations from the evolution professor unanswered in the movie. That is unacceptable. I’m sure I was more critical on the actual debate scene because it would have never, ever, ever happened like that.
Beyond that, the acting is not great. It’s hard for me to critique acting seeing that I couldn’t do much better myself, but it does distract. Some people might take issue with the polished clean Christian-ese dialogue. I could hear them out on that. They would say ‘real people don’t talk like that’. And they are pretty much right… but some people DO talk like that (very respectful). So that didn’t ruin it for me, but the acting was not believable.
They should not have worked so much on the character development / side stories. No one came to this movie to see a love story. They came to see a dramatized version of the Ham/Nye debate. If that is what you are looking for, this is NOT that movie. Again, I’m surprised AiG put so much work into promoting this movie. Just goes to prove although I do love AiG and what they do, we creationists are not all clones of everything they say!
If you are looking for a basic introduction to the debate, this movie would work for that. If you’re looking for anything more, this is not it… which is too bad. In my past I’ve made movies with my brothers, and I even at one point thought about making a movie with a plot similar to this – so I was really excited to see this. Oh well, it was good that a wide audience was able to get a decent introduction to the topic. Hopefully it leads them to blogs like this or other resources to give them real, complete answers, because if they try to copy the responses in the movie they are going to find that won’t work very well.
Coming soon I will be blogging on two Christian movies that HAVE blown me away! Stay tuned.