I’m a big fan of the Christian movies Fireproof and War Room, so I was looking forward to Facing the Giants, which looked like basically the same thing, but with high school football.
The other two movies have actual struggles and hard change and some serious real world difficulties in them…but not Facing the Giants.
In the first act of this movie, we see all the things wrong in the life of a losing football coach at a private Christian school: a failing job, a broken down house and car, infertility. Then he decides to turn his life over to God more fully, and suddenly everything magically turns around. He gets a new car. His wife gets pregnant. His team wins the state championship.
No, I don’t have a problem with the concept of miracles, but I don’t like a story where it’s that easy, or that selfish.
This movie turns God into Santa Claus, just waiting for us to say the right words politely enough before showering us with all the toys we want.
The big change he makes as a coach is really just doing his job a little bit better than before. And merely for that, a player’s father buys him a new car. What a materialistic gospel this movie preaches! It’s the definition of cheap grace.