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Running by faith

Tanner Stine (RTR Movie Holdings)


Running by faith

Faith film Run the Race keeps its message real

Former NFL quarterback turned minor league baseball player Tim Tebow and his brother, Robby, are the executive producers of the new Christian film Run the Race. Tebow told the Christian Post he wanted to make an “authentic” film because “the Christian life isn’t cookie cutter.” Well, it’s true some faith films convey simplistic resolutions to hard times. To be sure, Run the Race stays in its lane, but credible dialogue, convincing performances, and solid production make it one of the faith-film genre’s better moments.

In Run the Race, hard times abound. Brothers Zach (Tanner Stine) and David (Evan Hofer) have lived by themselves in near-poverty for two years. Their alcoholic father (Kristoffer Polaha) abandoned them after their mother died of cancer, although he still lives in town. A head injury that ended David’s promising high-school football career continues to plague him. Zach’s prospects of earning a college football scholarship take a hit when a knee injury sidelines him. David’s faith remains strong, but Zach has walked away from his church upbringing.

“You stack the cards against me, and then expect me to believe in You?” Zach asks God. But around the corner lies yet another tragedy—and a real test of faith.

Will a secular audience appreciate a PG-rated film (underage drinking, gratuitous male shirtlessness) that makes no effort to disguise its Christian message? What about this story might favorably impress unbelievers? Some might identify with the boys’ response to their father: One forgives, while the other wants nothing to do with him. Zach and David’s strong, brotherly relationship will move viewers, both seekers and saved. And when Zach sees the light, he challenges unbelievers with what they know deep down, however much they might deny it: “There are only two ways to run—to God or from God.”

When we run to God, we discover that long beforehand He ran (Luke 15:20) to meet us.