So if you can stomach that, it’s a great movie.
Gervais skillfully reels you into a world of gullible, one dimensional people with no religion at all. His first lie has, according to the movie, nothing to do with faith (unless you count breaking the 8th commandment a faith issue), in fact he uses the first lie to rob a bank of money and then continues to lie and rise in status and wealth by doing so.
While at his mother’s deathbed, Gervais crafts a lie to comfort her in her fear of dying and slipping off into what she thinks is nothingness. The “lie” he tells involves an afterlife with “mansions” for everyone and eternal joy….sound familiar? (See John 14:2) That message then spreads to become a quasi-religion centered around the “Big Man in the Sky”.
The not-so-subtle context of the film is that people of faith are delusional and imbecilic which, if you know Ricky Gervais, is the central rant of his life. If you spend any time listening to his podcasts you will hear his acidic opinion of people who believe in God over and over.
Recently I poked around through a book call “UnChristian”. It’s a book filled with interviews of people who have either been repelled from the faith by Christians themselves or by some perceived notions about what Christians are like. Christian Elitism is a common thread throughout this book as one of the repulsive characteristics of “church people”. This mirrored almost perfectly by the Atheistic Elitism of “The Invention of Lying.” And its funny.
This said…I think that this would be a great movie to watch with other Christians and then sit around stunned with some coffee and discuss afterwards. Gervais makes some very simple, incorrect, assumptions about what faith in God is and his actual message is “if you believe the lie you’re an idiot.” Well at least he’s honest and direct, a quality that many Christians would benefit from exhibiting.
Yours in Christ (who really is real I promise)