In Review: Basic.Fear God


Francis Chan, former pastor at Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, CA, is a class act.  His heart for Jesus and the church is unmistakeable.  He speaks in such a raw way and with much emotion; there’s no denying his sincere desire to see the people of God love Jesus with their whole hearts.  Chan teamed up with David C. Cook (Chan’s publisher) and Flannel (the producers of the Nooma videos) to create a new video line called the Basic Series.  The series will be released seasonally (Part 1 is out now, Part 2 will come out this Fall), seven parts in all. 

Fear God, the first installment in the Basic Series, was released via worldwide simulcast over a month ago.  The Basic Series, named after a desire to explore the foundations of the Christian faith, begins with what the Bible calls “the fear of God.”

Chan explains in the video how the idea of the fear of God has been misconstrued in the church.  The church has either dumbed it down to simply mean “respect,” or it has adopted cultural lenses with which it discards the subject altogether.  Either way, Chan argues, we desperately need a healthy view of the fear of God because it is Biblically the beginning of wisdom and the path to life.

Personally, I really enjoyed Chan discussing how we talk about God.  He notes, “It’s really weird to me how nowadays people talk about God with such an arrogance.”  The personal reflection guide accompanying the DVD asks the following questions in response to this: “Do you have any arrogance when it comes to your relationship with God?  Stop. Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any arrogance in your heart.  Repent of what He shows you.”  This was a great test to my own heart.

On a technical level, the video production and quality, packaging, and included materials are par excellence.  The behind the scenes footage on the DVD revealed how dedicated Flannel was to making this a quality flick. 

While I really love the idea of a visual metaphor playing in the background of Chan’s message, it only served to distract and confuse me.  Initially, the start of Chan’s message and the start of the video synced really well.  However, Chan makes a turn in his message talking about friendship with God, being a child of God, and seeing God’s protection for his people.  At that point, it’s hard to reconcile the point he’s making with the visual of the girl who’s dreaming/drowning (or both).  Another unfortunate piece to the whole equation is the steep price relative to the short film.  Though the packaging and materials are great, the cost is disproportionate to the film length and message quality.

Overall, Francis Chan will undoubtedly stir your soul in Fear God.  Watching this will be a treat; unfortunately, I don’t think it’s worth the purchase.


The clip is good, and while I would recommend at least watching it, I don’t think the DVD & Personal Reflection Guide is worth $12.


If you’d like to watch the video online, you can purchase a viewing for $1 at Flannel’s store.

See the trailer below:

Caleb Gallifant


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