Have you ever noticed how vehemently atheists defend their position? Their lack of belief in God is not just a detail of their lives, like “I am a Seahawks fan” or “I work for Boeing.” The atheist’s attack is full on, an in your face crusade, demanding to be heard and seen. Such is Dr. Sol Harkens in Let There Be Light.
When I heard the name Sol I heard it as Saul and the name accurately describes the character of Dr. Sol Harkens. His tactics very nearly meet those of Saul before Christ changed the man and then the name, before Saul became Paul.
“But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house; and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison.” Acts 8:3
While not physically abusive, Sol is driven to spiritually crush any Christian to cross his path. Saul was a stickler for the rules but Sol has an ax to grind.
The movie opens as Sol, played by Kevin Sorbo, is promoting his new book, Aborting God: The Reasoned Choice. He relishes any opportunity to outwit and out shout the Christian foolish enough to take him on. But, his real enemy is God. Once married and the father of three sons, he is now divorced following the death of one of his sons to cancer. He is mad as hell and crashing about like a wrecking ball. The crowds love his passion and gut-level punches, making his Christian opponent seem ridiculous and naïve. He drinks throughout his argument and ends exhorting his audience to drink all they can in this life before the Great Nothing on the other side. I have to admit to feeling intimidated myself by his powerful attack.
Off stage, Sol’s life is awash in alcohol, from his posh studio apartment to his public appearances and interviews to his family interactions. He is a wreck of a man, bent on drinking himself to death. His ex-wife and remaining sons shy away from him and he insults everyone who dares enter his sphere. He is primed for his personal road to Damascus. Damascus arrives in the form of a car accident and near death experience. Sol the Avenger becomes Sol the Believer. Those who helped his avenging star to rise now scatter, leaving him in his emotional blindness, awaiting the Lord’s direction.
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord…even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:12-17
Up to this point, the movie is riveting and dramatic. It is a story of redemption and hope that even the hardest of hearts can be broken and mended by Jesus Christ, that we must never stop praying for those still in darkness. The second half is too predictable and takes a turn I found unnecessarily grievous. Sol’s wife and sons are played by Sorbo’s real life wife and sons and the interactions between Sorbo and his oldest son are especially good. Let There Be Light was produced by Sean Hannity so kudos to him for his efforts to spread the light of Christ.
Also, to the parents of young children, you have a treat in store for them this Christmas with the release of The Star, an animated nativity told by the animals. My timing is off or I would have loved the opportunity to review it. Merry Christmas to you all…may Christ’s light shine on you and yours.
~ Cheryl Kurtz