The third installment of "God's Not Dead," titled "A Light in Darkness," focuses on the timely themes of reconciliation, forgiveness, and unity, cast member and producer David A.R White has revealed.
During a recent set visit earlier this month in Little Rock, Arkansas, The Gospel Herald learned that the forthcoming film, hitting theaters March 30, 2018, features an entirely different storyline than the first two "God's Not Dead" films.
While part one and two of "God's Not Dead" took place in a classroom and courtroom, respectively, "A Light in Darkness" follows "Reverend Dave as he is released from prison to a flurry of controversy. The growing social unrest leads to Dave's church being burned down, a fire with tragic results," according to the film synopsis.
"Devastated, Dave is launched on a painful spiritual journey as he fights against the university trying to keep him from rebuilding his church, and as his belief that "God is good all the time" is put to the test. Along the way, Dave enlists the help of his estranged atheist brother who will support Dave in his legal fight, but also challenges him to recognize that sometimes fighting doesn't require defeating those we disagree with, but rather finding a way to heal, and to rebuild," it continues.
White explained that with every "God's Not Dead" film, Pure Flix, the Christian entertainment company behind the franchise, attempts to both address hot-button issues currently affecting society and spark necessary conversations.
"[The films are] based on what's happening in our society right now," he said. "If you watch the first two, you see all these court cases that were happening at the time. That's our hope, that it's current and relevant."
This film, in particular, will examine the age-old question, "Why does God let bad things happen to good people?"
"To answer those question organically and from truth is hopefully what all of these movies have been about," White said. "I think by showing both sides...we're trying to bring these conversations out, and we're trying to bring them out in a real, organic truth. That's what we're seeking, is the truth."
In a society riddled with division and social unrest, White hopes "God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness" can help foster spirit of unity and compassion.
"The film is about forgiveness, it's about love, it's about bringing to light healing," White said. "You look at the evening news, and there's a lot of chaos going on in society and in our country. There's so much fighting, there's so much anger, you can't watch the news and be happy -- not that you could never -- but moreso now than ever."
"I think this movie is relevant for that, and hopefully...both sides of the aisle can go and watch this story about two brothers that really don't like each other -- which could really be the symbolism of America -- and [after seeing] healing, and forgiveness, and hope and love, could walk out being encouraged," he concluded.
Also featured in the film are actors John Corbett ("My Big Fat Greek Wedding") who plays Pastor Dave's estranged brother, Pierce; and Jennifer Taylor, Pastor Dave's new love interest, Meg. Additionally, Ted McGinley (Thomas Ellsworth), Academy Award-winning actress Tatum O'Neal (Barbara Solomon) and Benjamin Onyango (Reverend Jude) are part of the cast. The film is being produced by Michael Scott, David A.R. White, Brittany Yost, Alysoun Wolfe and Liz Travis.