Facing the Giants
Written by Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick and directed by Alex Kendrick.
The plot is as follows:
After six consecutive losing seasons, high school football coach Grant Taylor believes things can't get any worse. He's wrong. After his best player transfers and his Eagles lose to the worst team in the conference, Grant discovers a group of fathers—and one of his coaches—is plotting to have him sacked. Barely making ends meet as it is and unable to start a family with his wife, who longs to be a mother, Grant Taylor has no help in sight, until …
With fear and failure seemingly defeating him at life's every turn, the downtrodden coach and husband turns to God in broken desperation. Trusting that God can somehow do the impossible, Coach Taylor and his Shiloh Christian Eagles soon discover how faith plays out on the field ... and off.
Does the plot glorify God? Yes, the plot indicates that Grant Taylor was trying to succeed by himself and it wasn’t going well - in fact, it was a disaster. So he humbly turns to God and puts his trust in our Creator. It’s then that Grant Taylor learns that faith belongs at the centre of our lives.
Does the film content glorify God through His Word: Does it make use of Bible verses and promotion of His commandments?
Grant read verses from scripture as he was reading his Bible in a field: The Lord is my rock and my strength...I will call upon the Lord ..so shall I be saved from my enemies (Psalm 18).
There was a man who went down the hallway, praying for each student, as he walked past their locker - he went to Grant with a message: He said a verse about the Lord opening doors that no one can shut and shutting doors no one can open, He went on to say, “You have kept my word, and have not denied my name.” This is taken from Revelations 3:8
Grant’s assistant coach spoke of “Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life.” This can be found in Matthew 7:13-14.
Grant mentioned Nehemiah’s work on the wall of Jerusalem, as a metaphor for a strategy that he wanted to use in their game.
Grant was visited by a man just before the state finals that spoke about the number of times God tells us not to fear in His Word.
Grant confirms with his team about nothing being impossible with God. This can be found in Luke 1:37: For with God nothing shall be impossible.
Towards the end of the film, there was a plaque on the wall that was a quote from Matthew 19:26: With God all things are possible.
How does the film promote the 10 commandments?
Promotes God as the only God
At the beginning of the film, the name of the school is shown on the school - it’s a Christian Academy.
A man called Mr Bridges is shown praying for students in the hallway. Grant had been employed at the school for 6 years and he recalled the man doing it since he had been there.
The father of a new student at the school called David, told his son that he had prayed to God for the Lord to make David strong and do something big, even though David was small in stature, to show how mighty God is. This reminds me of the life of King David and how he defeated the giant Goliath, by God’s grace.
Mr Bridges, the man who prayed for the students in the hallway, gave Grant the message based on Revelation 3, and also went on to tell Grant that God was not finished with him. Grant needed to stay where he had been planted, so he could bloom right where he was. Grant’s task was to prepare, in faith, for the blessing.
Grant changed his team meetings, telling the students the importance of God and the Bible and included prayer and thanks to God in their meetings.
Promotes being free from idols or refrain from promoting idols
Grant and his team’s motivation for winning was all about their own egos - it was just about winning to look good, further their talent or lay the ground for their future careers.
Honours parents or refrains from promoting dishonour of parents?
There is a scene with Matt, a student, and his dad. Matt refuses to listen to his father and uses a disrespectful tone to his father. Grant looks on in dismay.
In another scene, when Grant attempts to speak with Matt about his attitude towards his dad, Matt makes disrespectful comments about his father. Grant tells Matt that scripture says we should honour God by honouring authority. This reference can be found in Romans 13:1-2.
There is a scene where Matt, moved by new found faith, repents and apologizes to his dad.
Speak against lies or refrain from promoting lies?
Coach’s assistant (Brady) lied to Grant when he was questioned about a conversation with a parent. Grant was shown confronting Brady about his involvement in plotting behind Grant’s back. Brady’s lie betrayed Grant’s trust and put their good relationship at risk.
What Christian standards does the film convey?
Grant turned to scripture and prayer at the lowest point in his life, in the middle of the night. His wife also turned to prayer after seeing Grant praying.
Grant used scripture to prepare himself to receive a blessing from the Lord - he studied the Word.
Grant’s wife said the new training outline for the team he had made, with scripture references, was a preparation for life, not just for football.
Grant showed the boys his Bible and reminded them of its significance.
Salvation through Christ alone (does not promote good works)
In a team meeting, Grant mentioned to his team players that Jesus was sent to die for us .
Grant told Matt, during a conversation about Matt’s disrespectful attitude towards his father, that if he started following Jesus his life would be changed - however he couldn’t force faith on him. He also told Matt that Matt had no idea how much Jesus loved him.
There was a scene with a revival in the school. Lots of students confessed their sins, repented and accepted Christ as their Saviour.
Grant’s visitor just before the state championship game told Grant he had won the big one - he was referring to Grant’s acceptance of Jesus Christ as his Saviour.
You see Grant and his wife coming together to the Lord and turn to their faith to get them through the trials they were going through.
Husband as the head in his home and the local church
Grant’s wife is shown as being submissive.
Grant is the spiritual leader
Recognition of the value of life and blessing in children
Grant and his wife were desperate to have children, considering it a blessing and natural order of things in a marriage.
Recognition of the body as the temple of God
I reflected on how American football is brutal on the body and how God meets us where we are and transforms us from there.
Does the film give glory and honour and thanks to God?
Grant turns to scripture and prayer at his lowest point in his life, humbling himself to God. He tells the Lord He can take whatever He wants because He is God.
Grant and his wife pledge to continue to love the Lord through their trials and even if they are unable to have children.
Grant’s speech to the boys about the meaning of life referred to giving honour to God. He makes it the new foundation of the team’s approach to life on and off the field, telling them that he wanted them to honour God with their attitude and behaviour.
Grant tells the team: If we win we praise Him, if we lose we praise Him.
Grant gets a gift for the work the Lord did through him. The parents acknowledge that Grant's faith in the Lord was the reason for the change in the team’s results. Grant acknowledges that the gift was from the Lord, as the Lord owns all we receive.
Grant gives God honour and glory when a game doesn’t go as expected and a member of the team agrees with him - repeating that the Lord is to be praised whether they win or lose.
Did the film encourage my faith? Absolutely. It depicts that our faith is for all seasons, not just when things are going well. The Lord is ultimately all we have. This reminds me of John 6:66-68, when some disciples left Jesus, due to unbelief and Jesus asked his twelve disciples if they were also going to leave. Simon Peter answered: Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
What actions did I do, as a result of seeing the film?
I reflected on my own giants and how God is in control and needs to be given honour and glory, no matter what is going on - because He has saved us all from an eternal death, giving us the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Another thing I do is look up the Bible verses I am unfamiliar with, or have forgotten about and been reminded of through the film.
Would I change anything about the film?
Actually, nothing I can think of. Of course American football is pretty brutal, but God meets us where we are.
Facing the Giants is another film I have watched many times, and enjoy it just as much each time. It has a strong message about how our faith can open up the door to miracles from the Lord, when we allow Him to work through us, centered on faith. It also shows how we relate to courage and fear, which the Bible says does not come from God. It shows the power of the Word, when we come to it with a humble heart, and how it connects us to God, through prayer. It reminds us of the amazing gift of salvation we have in Jesus Christ and how the Lord is faithful to those who put their trust in Him. And lastly, it depicts very well what we will go through over and over again in this world - trials.
The good news is that a day is coming that will be the last day, for this sinful earth. Then Jesus will return and make everything new.
Revelation 1:3 says that time is at hand. Revelation 22:12 says he is coming quickly and Revelation 22:6 says the promises of the new Jerusalem are “faithful and true.” Halleluyah!
Thank you very much for reading this review. Until next time, peace be with you.
Film site: www.facingthegiants.com
NB! The links I reference for my films is the source I used, but it is not an endorsement of the entire film streaming company. I am sure this particular film can be found on various digital streaming companies.
Source for film thumbnail: http://www.kendrickbrotherscatalogue.com/facingthegiants/