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Review: Overcomer


When the town’s main factory closes, John Harrison, basketball coach, loses his main purpose in life. Family after family relocates and one after another of his great players move away. His hopes of a championship disintegrates as the team does, and it is hard. To make matters worse, he is asked to coach the cross country team instead, and he knows nothing about running.

Hannah Scott runs because it is the only thing she is good at, but she also has asthma.

A basket ball coach, a very unlikely cross country ‘team’, and an unexpected hospital visit lead to startling outcomes for both John and Hannah. Overcomer presents a thoroughly satisfying story, with solid characters that breathe life into a somewhat predictable plot. There is excitement, yes, but I left satisfied with something far more impactful than action—this movie shows God at work, and it can do God’s work in those who watch it as well.

This beautiful movie shows what happens when we truly understand what it means to be God’s child. We are wanted, we are loved, and we are forgiven. Families can be broken, but they can also be resilient when God is at the center. People can be broken, but in Christ they can be made whole. Because of his goodness to us, sinners can repent.

Without being sentimental but with a full presentation of the gospel, Overcomer filled my eyes with tears and my heart with hope and gratitude. Jesus has died for our sins. We are loved despite our sins. And we can pass this on, once we learn what it means to define ourselves as children of God.

Another thing that Overcomer does is this: It shows people making a decision for Christ, and then it turns to Ephesians 1 and 2 which clearly point to God’s prior work in our salvation and in our good works. For those who take the effort to read and think, the two sides of the one glorious truth of salvation are brilliantly presented in an action and emotion filled story, hinting at one solution to a long-standing controversy: stop being abstract, and instead see God’s story in action.

I have been a Christian my whole life and I was blessed by Overcomer. I image new Christians would be, too. Because it is a good story with talented acting and directing, I suspect non-Christians would enjoy it as well, and for them the potential blessing is greater than for anyone else. I highly recommend it to almost anyone—runners, coaches, Christians, non-Christians, married people, abandoned people, those facing despair, those who have been wronged, parents—anyone who enjoys a good story with a good message. For more, watch the trailer.

The same day my husband sent me a link to a talk by Paul Washer discussing how Christians can learn to love God more. It is an excellent accompaniment to this movie. Although both the movie and the talk, being limited, miss important nuances, they both remind us: read the Bible, read it a lot. Read it for what it tells us about God—and for what it tells us about us, and for whatever else it has to say. This will require reading, rereading, and thinking, but it is the way we learn to love God and understand how to obey him.

If you enjoyed this review, you might want to connect with me on GoodReads where I eventually share what I read or friend me on Facebook where I occasionally show up. 

Disclosure: This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. and is available at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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