The movie “Interview with God,” is centered on the life of Paul Asher, a young Christian journalist who begins to question his faith after spending time in war-torn Afghanistan. Paul receives an invitation to engage in three 30-minute interviews with God. Intrigued, Paul accepts. (Warning: Spoiler Alert)
An Interview with God – Christian Movie Review
What is the meaning of An Interview with God?
The storyline of the movie does a wonderful job of exposing the reality of an individual’s wrestling with God and his personal faith. Paul’s marriage is falling apart and his prayers, from his perspective, seem to go unanswered. While parts of the movie are thought-provoking and could serve as good conversation-starters, in the end, it is not particularly profound and leaves the viewers with more questions than answers. However, based on an interview conducted by Christian Post with Harrison Powell, co-producer, perhaps that is the movie’s primary intent.
Powell says, “I hope people will leave realizing that God loves them, and because of that, there is no question that is off-limits or question that He can’t handle or that in the asking, could ever change His love for us. I want people to feel empowered to share and discuss the tough questions in life.”
An Interview with God Theology
As a Bible teacher, I could not help but shake my head at some points throughout the movie. For example, when God concedes that perhaps He was “too harsh” during Old Testament times, the hair on the back of my neck curled. Does it honor God to present Him as second-guessing Himself? No. I understand the aim is to soften our idea about God, but is this biblical? – is it even wise? I would argue that it is quite dangerous. God, in His grace, has given us His Word. This needs to be our standard as to Who God is, not our feelings, which are unreliable and severely uninformed in comparison with God’s infinite wisdom.
There is also a discussion about free will and God’s will. God quips with Paul by responding, “if everyone attempted to do everything according to my will, nothing would get done.” God then goes on to describe a person paralyzed as to whether to brush their teeth vertically or horizontally. Again, I recognize the producers’ intent, but for someone unfamiliar with Scripture, this could lead down a wrong path by downplaying the importance of God’s will, which directly relates to His holiness. When Jesus taught us to pray, He begins by acknowledging God’s holiness. It is through this lens that we are to embrace the rest of the prayer, including, “…Thy will be done on earth, at is it in heaven.” (God is not concerned about how we brush our teeth, but He is most definitely concerned about eradicating evil.)
In the discussion of salvation, evil, and Satan (hell is never mentioned), God replies, “Satan is overrated” and “he (Satan) only has the power we give to him.” While it is true that Jesus has crushed our enemy Satan (and sin and death) through the Cross, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, Christians can resist the devil’s schemes and defeat his attacks (1 John 5:18), it is still important to remember that we live in a sin-cursed world that is ruled (temporarily) by Satan, albeit within God’s prescribed limits for God’s own purposes (1 John 5:19). While the devil is nothing more than a single fallen angel (a mere creature), he and his demon cohorts nonetheless have power, but only because God allows it for His purposes, which are often far above our understanding. In short, GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL.
What is the message in the movie Interview with God?
While I agree we as Christians very often give Satan more credit than he deserves, it is dangerous to sidestep the reality that he does wreck havoc on this world by enticing and enslaving people in sin (even though none of us can ever claim, “the devil made me do it.”
More importantly, as the movie addresses evil and Satan, it seemed odd that an acknowledgment that hell exists was left out altogether. At one point, God suggests to Paul that miracles are “within” each of us to live out and, in effect, make the world a better place by healing marriages, caring for the sick, etc. God encourages Paul, “you have more power than you know.”
I would agree; however, without a sound understanding of what the Bible actually teaches on these topics, this could mislead viewers to simply embrace God’s love, ignore that hell exists, and “go and make the world a better place”. But Jesus’s great commission was not to go and “make the world a better place” (actually, the Bible tells us that this world is reserved for judgment; 2 Peter 3:7), but rather to evangelize the world. “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19-20).
Why is speaking to God important?
Is An Interview with God a good movie?
Overall, the producers’ aim is worthy – to encourage conversations about God and faith, and in that regard, I would say they succeeded. The quality of the film is very well done. Even the concepts of God, evil, and salvation, if taken as a whole and carefully considered in light of the Bible (you almost need to “read between the lines” to get the gospel message), are reasonably on target (more on than off, but that’s the best I can say).
However, there are many places where, if what is being presented about God (or evil, salvation, etc) are taken separately, they could lead down the wrong path. While I commend the producers that pieces of the true gospel are ‘sprinkled’ in here and there, I felt it could have been more clearly presented – if not in the movie itself, then at least in the interview at the end, which would have been far better had they interviewed pastors or others who had some theological training to lead us into a deeper discussion and a more careful presentation of the gospel.
- Quality: 4 stars
- Human interest/story: 3.5 stars
- Theology: 2.5 stars
For a powerful exploration of God’s sovereignty over Satan, dive into the fascinating story of the man rescued from an army (legion) of demons through this 6-week, action-packed Bible study, LEGION: Rediscovering the God Who Rescues Me. You’ll never look at the story the same way again.
Shadia is a passionate Bible teacher, author and speaker who has a heart for seeing lives transformed by the power of God’s Word. She holds a master’s in biblical and theological studies from Western Seminary and is author of several books and Bible studies.