God's Not Dead 2 (2016)
When a high school teacher is asked a question in class about Jesus, her response lands her in deep trouble.
- This film is a sequel, taking place a few months after the first film.
We are introduced to new characters, and revisit characters from the first film.
A teenager named Brooke is trying to go about her day but is depressed because her brother died in an accident 6 months ago. Her parents seem to be over it and want her to be also.
Grace Wesley (Melissa Joan Hart) is Brooke's history teacher. She is very upbeat and was even voted teacher of the year. She lives with her elderly father whom she takes care of.
Rev. Dave returns and is having a bad day when Reverend Jude (also from the first film) shows up. He will be finishing his doctorate in the states and will be staying there.
Amy returns as a journalist she was diagnosed with cancer at the end of the last film and became a Christian while interviewing the Newsboys. She just came from the doctor, and is now friends with the band, and tells them she is cancer free. Now that her illness is in remission, she wants to seek God out while just living her normal life.
Martin Yip also returns as a Chinese college student. He became a Christian at the end of the first film and is now seeking answers to many of his questions.
At the end of class Grace notices Brooke seems upset and asks her. Brooke tells her she is fine but later seeks her out to talk. They talk about her loss and she asks Grace how she stays so upbeat all the time. Graces answer is Jesus. Later the Salvation Army comes to pick up her brothers things and a volunteer gives Brooke a Bible she found. Her family is atheist which is why she is confused as to why her brother would have one. Its all marked up with notes and she begins reading it.
In class Grace is talking about Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr's teachings about peaceful solutions. Brooke raises her hand and asks if it is also similar to Jesus' teachings. Grace agrees and recites some of Jesus's words from the Bible to show the similarities. One student takes out his cell phone and tells someone Grace has been preaching in class.
She is called in for disciplinary action and put on paid administrative leave while they investigate. She gets a lawyer from the teachers union a very young lawyer named Tom Endler (Jesse Metcalfe). He is not a Christian but feels as though that will help their case. At the next meeting they offer her a plea just apologize to the Board for her wrongdoing and it will all be over. She refuses as she doesn't feel as though she did anything wrong she was just quoting someone, not preaching. The case now goes to court.
The prosecutor, Peter Kane, goes to Brookes house to convince her parents to get in on this. It will help her get into college. They want to make this very public so Grace will be the example God is dead. They agree despite Brooke not wanting anything to do with it.
Rev. Dave is called for Jury Duty and he is selected to be on the jury for this case. Brooke and her friends begin protesting as the case goes on. Her best friend Marlene is Amy's niece. She calls Amy to try and get her to report on the story.
As the case goes on, Brooke goes to church and sees Martin. He, as a new Christian, has many questions, but she has more, and begins to ask him. She becomes a Christian in the church that night. Martin however is disowned by his father for his faith. He later decides to return to China to become a pastor. Meanwhile, Rev. Dave and other pastors receive a subpoena to submit their sermons from the last three months for review. He refuses.
Many witnesses are called to testify. Graces principal expresses how Grace had invited her to church one time (to support their students) and her colleague says how she talks about God all the time on school property. Grace and Tom need a new strategy they decide to make the case that Jesus was a real historical figure, just like Gandhi and MLK. They call in historians as witnesses and make their case. Suddenly Reverend Dave becomes sick and they must replace him with an alternate. He has appendicitis. They replace him with a young woman who dresses differently colored hair and makeup, piercings, tattoos.
Despite this, its looking positive when Brooke barges into the courtroom. She wants to testify to help her teacher. They agree thinking she will only help. However the conversation they had about her brother comes up. Kane makes the case that if they never had this conversation where Jesus was mentioned, she never would have asked the question in class or become a Christian. It seems as though all hope is lost and Tom tells Grace to prepare to lose.
To show their solidarity, Brooke and all her friends show up at Graces door that night singing How Great Thou Art by candlelight.
The next day Tom is no where to be found. Suddenly her barges into the courtroom and calls Grace to the stand without her knowing. He badgers her questioning her about her faith, causing her to cry and ask Why are you doing this? He goes on to ask the jury to just convict her already. He is found in contempt as he goes on and on, yelling, saying that this is the first step lets just silence all the Christians, and if this doesn't work, fine them, jail them, etc. He tells Grace later that he had to do it that way without her knowing so that the jury would see her true reaction.
At the Newsboys concert they phone in Amy to pray for the outcome. Amazingly enough, Grace is cleared of all charges. The replacement juror is a Christian, showing not to judge a book by its cover. They all go outside and a huge crowd is there singing and celebrating with Grace that God is not dead.
After the closing credits, Rev. Dave is arrested by the local police for not giving copies of his sermons for the last three months in response to the subpoena. He goes into the police car peacefully, and doesn't resist arrest.