A Question of Faith: Struggling with Doubt

In Pure Flix’s A Question of Faith, three different families from three different cultures have their hearts and lives torn open by a series of tragic events. Highlighting the sorrow, anger, and hopelessness of these situations, the film examines all three families, as they struggle with their beliefs and decisions in the aftermath. 

Reverend David Newman (Richard T. Jones) and Theresa Newman (Kim Fields) are raising their two sons as best they can, with the requirements of the church and ministry often pulling them apart from each other and their family. John Danielson (C. Thomas Howell) wants his daughter, Michelle (Amber Thompson), to sign a recording deal, and the growing mountain of bills he has at home impacts his anxiety over the deal. Kate Hernandez (Jaci Velazquez) wants her daughter to be safe and to find success in school and life. 

But then, Hernandez’s daughter, Maria (Karen Valero), texts and drives, strikes the Newman’s youngest son and sends him into a coma. Suddenly, the opposite of the Newman and Hernandez family prayers is coming true, while the Danielson family prayers may be answered - because Michelle is hospitalized waiting for a heart transplant. 

While the stories of these three families are interwoven in Ty Manns’ script, their individual arcs allow Kevan Otto (Grace of God, In the Name of God) to show a variety of struggles that people of faith experience. How do people of faith deal with balancing their life and family when work responsibilities arise, even when those people work at a church or ministry? How do they handle great loss - like the loss of a child tragically - and the feelings and emotions that follow? How do Christians appropriately handle being the victim of someone else’s decisions, someone else’s sin or misuse of free will? What does it look like when we experience a crime, and how are we to pursue justice with mercy? And finally, what should Christians think about organ donation?

Jones’ Rev. Newman is clearly the main character, and unfortunately, he’s portrayed as a pastor who isn’t able to grasp some of the main elements of Jesus’ gospel. Like forgive those who hurt you. Like trust in the Lord. While it is true that Christians struggle with the same things everyone else do (the situations don’t change, but how we handle them… should) and that applies to pastors, A Question of Faith certainly makes Newman the individual most in need of God’s grace (and most ignorant of it). 

Faith and trust are greatly tested in times of persecution and tragedy, but when they rise to the challenge, when they show who we really are, God’s power is able to be made evident in us, for the growth of those around us.