Professor Jeffery Radisson is the main antagonist of the 2014 Christian drama film God's Not Dead.
He was portrayed by Kevin Sorbo, who also played The Sovereign in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and voiced Hercules in God of War III.
Radisson was born an only child; it is unknown what happened to his father or anyone else in his family besides his mother. Once a God-loving Christian, Radisson's life changed at the age of 12 when his mother was dying of cancer; despite his prayers, his mother died, leaving him alone. Ever since, he hated God for taking everything from him and repressed His existence by becoming an atheist.
Radisson eventually became a philosophy professor. At some point, he fell in love with one of students, Mina Shelley, a few years before the events of the film. They were live-in boyfriend and girlfriend in the movie.
In November 2012, Radisson forces his new students to write "God is dead" with their signature on a piece of paper. One student, Josh Wheaton, is a Christian and can't do it. Radisson then requires Josh to speak from the podium during the last twenty minutes of the next three classes to prove God's existence. He attempts to make Josh mess up, but during the last session, he's pressured by Josh into revealing why he hates God; he says that God took everything from him, revealing that he even knows God exists. The other students now get to choose whether or not God is dead; beginning with Chinese student Martin Yip, everyone rises and says God is not dead. Radisson is defeated.
During this time, Radisson has been verbally abusing Mina for being a Christian, so she leaves him. That night, after the third and final session, Radisson finds the note left by his mother before she died. His mother asks him to forgive God for taking her away from his life and to happily live on without her. Moved by the letter, he wants to make amends with Mina, whom he deduces is at a Newsboys concert at Hastings Center. While crossing the street, a car hits Radisson and drives off. At that same time, two pastors, Reverend Dave and an out-of-town minister, go to help Radisson. The out-of-town minister says that Radisson's ribs have been crushed and his lungs are filling with blood, meaning he will die soon. Dave says to Radisson that the car could've killed him instantly, but God has given him a second chance to believe in Jesus. Radisson redeems himself and announces he gives his life to the Lord before dying.
Villain only in Opinion
Radisson's leading character trait is atheism which, while called out as a notorious act by the characters in the fictional universe of the God's Not Dead films, shouldn't be considered a notorious act in real life. As Villains Wikia has acknowledged, real life is not black and white like in fiction, so non-believers are neither good or bad for refusing to take up religion even if they criticize religion like Radisson does. Rather, people pick their stance on religion just like they pick their ice cream flavors.
Despite being the main antagonist of the film, the film's protagonist Josh Wheaton who is also Raddison's main opponent isn't much (if not any) better than Radisson either, as while Radisson tried using science and reason to criticize religion, Wheaton himself tried proving that Christianity is right and atheism is wrong, even when Wheaton protested Radisson wasn't being respectful of his Christian beliefs.
|“||If you're looking for an easy grade without much work put into it, now would be your turn to leave.||„|
|~ To his students|