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The man who inspired ‘God’s not dead’ movie

Ming Wang's story was portrayed by Martin Kip in the movie God's Not Dead Photo: Martin Kip

Ming Wang’s story was portrayed by Martin Kip in the movie God’s Not Dead. Photo: Martin Kip website.

When Ming Wang immigrated to the U.S. from communist China in 1982, he had no idea 32 years later his story would help spark a popular Christian movie — God’s Not Dead.

He landed in the U.S. with a Chinese English dictionary in one hand and $50 in the other. He was an atheist and an off spring of Mao Zedong’s cultural revolution.

After being accepted into Harvard Medical School, Wang went on to become a cataract surgeon and now runs his own clinic in Nashville, Tenn.

While at Harvard, Wang befriended a Christian professor who shared his faith with Wang.

In an interview with Christian Post Wang said:

“A Harvard professor, a professor of pediatrics, and a believer, saw the status of mind that I was in, confused and in crisis.

“He knew that because of his medical expertise, I would listen to him out of my respect of his medical knowledge. So he saw an opportunity, to guide and influence me, to broaden my understanding of life, to a broader prospective by introducing faith in my life which could help answer the questions that I had and for which I could not find answer in science.”

According to Wang, the turning point occurred when the professor asked the young Chinese student if a car could miraculously form on its own, or did it need a creator? If it needed a creator, then how could Wang believe his brain could form by chance.

Wang said:

“I have come to realize that faith and science serve to different purposes, they are the two sides of a coin: science is about what things are, and faith is about why things are.”

God’s Not Dead — The movie

Wang’s conversion was eventually included in a book, God’s Not Dead, written by the Senior pastor of Bethel World Outreach Church in Nashville — Rice Broocks. He wrote the book on six atheists who had converted to Christ.

In the movie of the same name, produced by Pure Flix, Josh Wheaton (played by Shane Harper) is a devout Christian attending university. He enrolls in a philosophy class where the professor (Kevin Sorbo) will only pass students who agree that “God is Dead.” Josh refuses to sign the declaration.

The professor comes up with a compromise. He will debate Josh on the existence of God. After a series of debates, the students will decide who wins. Josh will pass or fail depending on the outcome.

In the movie, Ming Wang is portrayed by Martin Yip (Paul Kwo) who is a classmate of Josh and challenged to accept Christ through Josh’s testimony. Many of Wang’s arguments and comments found in the book are not only used by Martin but other characters as well.

The movie also featured a guest appearance by Willie and Korrie Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame.

The movie with production costs of $3 million opened in selected theaters at the end of March grossing $9.8 million. Entertainment Weekly called it “The biggest surprise of the weekend.”

The first weekend of April it was the No. 4 grossing movie in North American with $7.8 million in sales through 1,758 theaters. Though its gross was down from the previous weekend, this drop was much less than what most movies experience from one weekend to the next.

During the second week, the movie slid from No. 4 the previous weekend to No. 5 during the week and then by the next weekend was back to No 4. Such bounce backs rarely happen and it showed a continued strong interest in the film.

In a rare feat, GOD’S NOT DEAD opened in the #4 position, moved to the #5 position during week 2, only to move BACK UP to the #4 position last weekend. This is truly amazing! – See more at:
In a rare feat, GOD’S NOT DEAD opened in the #4 position, moved to the #5 position during week 2, only to move BACK UP to the #4 position last weekend. This is truly amazing! – See more at:

Wang — who has also started the Wang Foundation for Christian Outreach to China — told Christian Post, he believes the movie will help spread the Christian message:

“This movie, will help me, in my continued effort to teach the students, to tell my life story, from science alone, to now faith with science. Believing in God, in faith, in research guided by faith, has inspired me to do all what I have done, medicine, charity, art… everything.”


Read more:


What happens when an atheist professor becomes a Christian?

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