A Matter of Faith can be summed up as: a bad B-movie version of God’s Not Dead. Everything in the film, from the acting to the filming to the message, was sub-par. Even worse was the ending message. While a few good points were made, it leaves audiences with the faulty message of, “Nether Evolution or Creationism can be proven, so just pick which one you trust more.” Honestly, if it wasn’t for the few good points it made, it would have received only one star.
A Matter of Faith follows a young girl, Rachel Whitaker (Jordan Trovillion), as she experiences college life for the first time. She soon starts to become swayed in her beliefs while listening to her Biology Professor (Harry Anderson) teach about Evolution. A couple of boys she likes also take her away from her beliefs. When her father (Jay Pickett) notices that she hasn’t even opened her Bible while being at school, he decides to confront her Biology teacher about the matter. The confrontation ropes him into a formal debate on the subject, much to the embarrassment of his daughter. Clarence Gilyard Jr. (Matlock, Left Behind), Chandler Macocha (Missing Pieces), and Barrett Carnahan (The Thundermans) also star.
From the very start, the film had an aura of a low-budget picture. The introduction was slow, the actors stilted, and the video quality was lacking. The opening scene showed a father and daughter walking in a park. The daughter starts to throw stones in the lake. When she goes to pick up a stone, she finds a 50 cent piece. A young boy grabs it out of her hand and smirks he leaves. The scene ends on the little girl’s look of disappointment. That’s it. No dialogue. No excitement. No point. Obviously, the scene would be explained later in the film as a meaningful moment for the girl, Rachel Whitaker, and her father. Why!?! Of all the different life experience that the writers could have come up with, they chose this. I don’t understand.
From there, we see Rachel’s first experiences at college. It wasn’t long before she forgot about her Bible and started to believe everything her Biology Professor was telling her about Evolution. This transition appeared a bit too fast for me, but considering that the story had to be condensed into a 2 hour film, that part wasn’t a major concern of mine. If fact, I thought it was a good choice to show her question her beliefs because college is the time when many Christians are challenged in their faith. They are on their own for the first time and begin to wonder if their parents really have the right answers.
Unfortunately, Rachel is also easily influenced in other areas of her life as well. Her friend convinces her to ask a guy if she can crack 3 eggs over his head in exchange for $100. He agrees, and she proceeds to crack 2 eggs over his head. Then, she says she is satisfied and takes the $100 back because he would only get it if she cracked 3 eggs over his head, not 2. This kind of mean-spirited behavior is not only appalling, but she then puts all the blame on her friend who talked her into it! What kind of example is this supposed to set? That it’s not your fault if someone else talked you into it? The writers tried to make this cute, but it isn’t.
Just when you think the film couldn’t get worse, we get the end. Rachel’s father, Stephen Whitaker, takes the stage to debate the Biology Professor, Professor Kamen, on the evidence of Creationism. Professor Kamen eats him alive! After referencing scientific evidence that supports his side, he says that Christianity doesn’t have any evidence to support it and that man crated God to explain life’s mysteries. What does Stephen do? He basically says that he can’t explain it and that we just have to have faith. WHAT!?! Of course there is evidence for Creationism! How long was this guy preparing for this debate? Did he do any research at all? Amazing scientific evidence to support Creationism can easily be found in the books The Farce of Evolution and The Creator and the Cosmos. I guess he was just too busy moping about how his daughter didn’t support him.
To save the day, an ex-professor of the university stands up and starts to make a real case for Creationism. He stated that, “Man did not crate God because if man had its way, it would rather God did not exist.” However, the argument was seriously lacking and the debate was essentially called a tie. A TIE!!! Need I say more? Just imagine the look of disgust on my face.
To end on a positive note, I did agree with the point that if Evolution is taught in school, Creationism should as well. Our schools only teach one answer and they mock anyone who would dare to believe anything else. I, myself, have experienced this struggle since middle school. I’ve spent 10 years of my life listening to my teachers mock and ridicule everything that I believe in. That is why I think this topic is a great one to bring into the light…but not with this movie.
What Age Is It For?
Although rated PG, anyone younger than high school age would find this film boring and any good points it made would be lost.
Looking To Show It at Church?
Please don’t show this at church. Although it is readily available on Netflix, there are so many better options. God’s Not Dead is a fantastic film on the subject and, as mentioned earlier, the books The Farce of Evolution and The Creator and The Cosmos are both really good books to read. The Farce of Evolution is a good book for Bible studies. The Creator and The Cosmos is a very “heavy” read so I wouldn’t recommend it for a Bible Study. However, I do highly recommend it if you want to understand deep scientific facts about the creation of the Universe and how they point to God as the creator.