The God Who Wasn't There

The God Who Wasn't There

DVD - 2005
Average Rating:
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Holding modern Christianity up to a bright spotlight, this bold new film demands answers to the questions few dare to ask. Your guide through the world of Christendom is former fundamentalist Brian Flemming, who examines believers and their beliefs.

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r
rswcove
Apr 11, 2016

This was an interesting movie. I feel that the makers of the film may have overstated their case, and think the similarities with other solar messiahs isn't quite as strong as this movie makes it seem. Still the movie was compelling and interesting and was influential is helping push me over the edge from agnostic to atheist.

I suppose that fact will be a negative for many. But make of it what you will.

n
Nursebob
Dec 17, 2014

Writer/Director Brian Flemming grew up in a religious home where he was indoctrinated into the fundamentalist mindset at the local Christian Academy. Now a happily born again atheist he sets out to shake the very foundations of his former beliefs armed with a bit of logic, some historical trivia and a handful of university scholars. Starting with Jesus and working his way up to God, Flemming highlights biblical inconsistencies, the lack of scientific evidence and the intellectual apathy among Believers themselves. Along the way we meet a young philosophy student who shows how this cold inhospitable universe is actually geared more towards the formation of black holes than life; a Berkeley professor specializing in folklore who makes several uncomfortable comparisons between the alleged life of Christ and the lives of countless mythical heros (virgin birth, God made flesh, earthbound ministry, execution, resurrection...); a doctor of neuroscience who fears the rise of religious extremism in this day of nuclear weapons; a "Christian Atheist" who laments the rise of dogma and biblical literalism; and the co-founders of snopes.com, a website devoted to debunking urban myths. Flemming himself interviews the principal of his former school who begins to squirm a wee bit when asked to separate faith from fact. It's during this interview however that we catch a glimpse into Flemming's true motives. Like Michael Moore, he has a bone to pick and a vendetta to accomplish. There is a resentment in him towards the lies he felt he was taught and although I can sympathize with him I was still left with the impression that this wasn't a documentary so much as it was a personal catharsis. "I reject the Holy Spirit..." he whispers conspiratorially while skulking in his former school's chapel, and by invoking this one "unforgivable sin" he invites us to celebrate his new found freedom. Nevertheless, the arguments put forth by the film's talking heads were both intelligent and highly compelling.

j
j7swiftlib
Dec 15, 2014

Firstly, I am not a Christian. I am a full on skeptic.

Even so, this film is cr*p if only due to the horrible synthesized burbleburbleburbleburble UFO expose' soundtrack. Relentless. Irritating!

Most of the information is close to correct, but presented with such morose certainty and smugness you will want to slap the narrator.

Also, completely devoid of any sense of humor.

The first review here at this site is right on:
>Honestly, quite sophomoric

d
darlenestrom
Aug 18, 2013

God (!) I just do not even know where to begin to comment on this .. piece of material.
I just cannot believe this amateur home movie actually made it into distribution and any library would have anything to do with it. Where is a level of quality control. There is not a shred of depth or honest questioning from this very frightening young man. Not that fundamentalism (or Christianity, or religion in general) should not be rigorously questioned. It not only should be - the time has come that it must be.
Just do your homework, ask the proper question of someone who is educated and experienced with what it means to understand spirituality. I did not see any of those people in this home video.
If you are needing some background in the mythology side of the story, a book called Pagan Christs by J.M. Robertson might be a place to start.
There are many excellent authors that have risen in the last few decades that have a lot to share of early Christian times, Meyers and Pagels being just a couple of the more mainstream ones.
All of that however is not the real knowledge, that knowledge is only found in experience. And the catch to that experience, that awareness is that you cannot be afraid. Somehow you have got to ditch the fear, look into the depths of your mind ...
Better yet just study A Course in Miracles and have everything you need to know answered. There are, I think, six copies available through the library. That is if you really do want to know ...

tfreeman132 Apr 21, 2012

The interviews with the scholars were very good. I especially liked the interview with Robert Price. It was very informative and his presentation was very reasonable. I think the presentation would be more credible if representatives of the fundamentalist view were scholars familiar with the issues and not off the street evangelicals from a Billy Graham crusade or an extremist with a website. There are many evangelical/fundamentalist PhDs from well respected universities who have well reasoned answers to the question about alternative deities present before the time of Jesus. It can be argued tht many are later than the time of Jesus and many of the stories are viewed to be dissimilar to Christianity. Not that I agree, but not all fundamentalists think they were fabrications of Satan. If you are going to debunk a fundamentalist view of other deities, at least have it be from someone who has done research in the are, and not some poor soul ambushed on the way down the street.

m
mdgates
Apr 27, 2011

Fascinating. I only wish it was longer.

a
Anarchy_Bunny
Oct 13, 2009

The documentary begins with some excellent interviews but then degenerates into a shrill and petty attack on the church the documentarian attended during his youth. Honestly, quite sophomoric...and this comes from someone who lacks any respect for these organizations.

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