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Who Is God?: A Small Group Experience (Basic) DVD – 1 Dec 2010


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Product details

  • DVD
  • Publisher: Cook Communications Ministries Intl; Box DVD/Pa edition (1 Dec. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434700798
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434700797
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 14.6 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,142,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

BASIC.Who Is God? A Small Group Experience is based on the first three films in the BASIC series featuring best-selling author Francis Chan: FEAR GOD, FOLLOW JESUS, HOLY SPIRIT. In this small group experience, Francis Chan explores the weighty topic of the Trinity, distilling the reality of the nature of God into foundational truths. Seven complete sessions engage your group in challenging, innovative, and accessible discussions on the nature of God and what that knowledge means for those who believe in Him. Includes three program DVDs; one promotional DVD-ROM with video clips, trailers, flyers, sermon outlines, a leader's guide, etc. and six study guides.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Evans on 3 Oct. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful presentation for anyone wanting to discover more about The Person of God.
It is full of profound insight into the character of God, yet explained in a simple and modern way.
I would recommend this series of DVDs, you will not be disappHoly Spirit (Basic.)Follow Jesus (Basic)Fear God (Basic Series)ointed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Basic Series 14 Dec. 2010
By Jon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Wow....after viewing the lessons and the introductory video, handouts etc., I am compelled to do more. I have been on a long journey for years that has led me to believe the exact things that Francis is teaching. We have Americanized the Bride of Christ, telling her how she should dress, how she should look, what she believes. We have mistakenly taken the American Dream and laid it over the church. If it's good for business it has to be good for the church...God only blesses right? Curses are so Old Testament. Instead, I am going to do this lesson series with a bunch of people who are tired of "doing" Church and go out and "be" the Church to others. Every believer is called to be a disciplemaker, to go and and baptize and teach...not alone but with Jesus, with the Holy Spirit. Jesus didn't say, hey you "called" people become missionaries...he said "go". This is a great way to get started in that direction.

Thanks Francis. Thanks Flannel. Thanks God!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A thought-provoking, challenging and ultimately God-glorifying study resource 4 Jun. 2012
By Aaron Armstrong - Published on Amazon.com
Choosing small group curriculum is never easy, as many a discipleship or small groups pastor can tell you. There is a wealth of great material out there... and more than a few lemons. Having experienced both over the years we've led small groups, I was excited and a little nervous about Basic: Who is God? featuring Francis Chan.

Because people in our group are coming from a lot of different places (a couple are even coming out of a different Christian tradition altogether), it was really important to me that we address some of the essential truths of the faith, which the videos do exceptionally well, looking at the Trinity from the perspectives of our need to:

1. Fear God;
2. Follow Jesus; and
3. Embrace the Holy Spirit

Each video is insightful, challenging, beautiful, and sometimes a bit odd. Chan speaks with great conviction about our need to fear God--that the Bible doesn't describe a reserved reverence but a pants-wetting holy terror of the Lord. But the purpose is not to be afraid, but to realize that when we fear God, we're free of every other fear. We don't need to fear anyone or anything else. Equally challenging is his call to follow Jesus--don't just study what He says, do it. Finally, he reminds participants of the power of the Church's witness when we've embraced the Holy Spirit--radical love, radical generosity, radical fellowship. Many in our group (myself included) were left feeling convicted as we realized that there is a degree to which we've become complacent in our relationship with Christ. We don't always ascribe the fear to God that is His due. We don't always actively obey. We often resist the Holy Spirit's leading.

The impression I got as we watched the films and worked our way through the discussion questions for each session (seven in total) was that we need to collectively and personally repent and turn away from a laxidasical attitude toward our relationship with Christ. Certainly this was my experience both as the facilitator and a participant. Working through our follower's guides individually between meetings, I certainly found myself further challenged to not simply let this study be an intellectual exercise, but look for opportunities to live in light of the truths found within the study.

While my feeling toward this series is largely positive, viewers do need to be aware of an important truth when it comes to anything Francis Chan. Because Chan is arguably best known for an almost (to borrow Kevin DeYoung's phrase) "Tasmanian Devil" Christianity--which has a healthy (over)dose of go-go-go, do-do-do--we can quickly feel beat up and burnt out if we're not careful to prayerfully consider what we hear and discuss. Some of it won't really apply to us and sometimes, because of his own background, Chan simply overstates his case. This is particularly evident when he gets into discussion about how we do church in North America. He's right to be troubled by the complacency he sees in American evangelicalism, to be sure, but in trying to get back on track, Chan winds up going too far to the other side--everything needs to be more spontaneous, more unexpected--to the point that (at least in his presentation) he appears to ignore the fact that the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of order. Chaos is antithetical to Christian worship. So yes, we need to embrace the Spirit in our worship--our churches must follow the leading of the Spirit, must embrace the power of the Spirit in all we do--but we be careful to avoid jumping to conclusions that suggest that order and structure in our gatherings are a sign of quenching the Spirit.

A second point of concern is more of a practical one. There are a lot of questions in the discussion portion of each session. A lot. Leaders will need to carefully manage the time allotted for discussion if your group has members in a time-crunch (think babysitters or early starts at work). If you're not careful, you'll find your time for individual prayer and fellowship is eaten up!

I mentioned earlier that these videos, while beautiful, are also somewhat odd. This is due largely to the producers of the video, Flannel (creators of the Nooma series). The imagery is striking--Chan is dressed in a white t-shirt and light jeans while set against a black backdrop, the contrast of which is almost overpowering--but sometimes you don't know what's going on. It sometimes appears creative at the expense of communicating. Our group often had to stop and ask, "Okay, what's the deal with the paper wall--and why are there giant white boxes in the desert?" The visuals are intriguing, to be sure, but I couldn't quite figure out the point (particularly in the third film, which features the visuals I mentioned).

All that said, would I recommend a small group run through Basic: Who Is God? Despite a few reservations, absolutely. The films are thought-provoking (if weird), the discussion is challenging, and the content overall is God-glorifying. There's not much more you could ask for. If you're looking for a new small group resource, I hope you'll check it out.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A call to return the church to it's original form. 17 Oct. 2012
By Meelec Fan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Our small group did the entire BASIC. series during the spring and summer of 2012. "Who Is God?" is the first part and "We Are Church." is the second part. This series is WONDERFUL, and definitely worth the time it takes to go through the 14 sessions. In our group we transcribed the liner notes for each session and printed out the notes with the questions so that each person could have their own copy to write on.

Francis Chan is a powerful speaker, and in this series he really provides a simple and "basic" explanation of God and the Church. HOWEVER, this study is radical and Awesome even if you are a long time Christian: because Francis does such a great job explaining why the world church today needs to CHANGE and return to the form of the Acts church in the New Testament.

Imagery: The abstract imagery of the movie was a little hard to understand at first, so it is best to explain it before you watch the series. The first three characters are all "new" Christians. As you watch the first three movies you are expected to realize that the three converts are having an encounter with God and breaking out of their personal or secular "Box." The box metaphor then extends into the next four movies. Anyway, as long as you realize the original characters are becoming new Christians, the rest of the series should make sense. It took our group a little while to figure it out.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Chan's first three DVD's from the BASIC SERIES, plus additional studies 18 May 2013
By DR-J-J - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The first thing to know is that this study is PART ONE of a two part set. Part one is called WHO IS GOD (this set). Part two is called WE ARE THE CHURCH and is available separately. Both sets have additional study material that makes them great for group study. They both use videos from Chan's 7 DVD set called BASICS.

Features the first three BASIC films on DVD:
· BASIC.Fear God DVD
· BASIC.Follow Jesus DVD
· BASIC.Holy Spirit DVD
· Six (6) "Who is God" Follower's Guides, corresponding to the interactive DVD studies
· Resource DVD with video clips

This series is actually part of the 7 part series from Chan on BASICS. Very Good. See below for comments on that complete series.
But, you might consider showing the final four videos in the series also. The final four (of 7 DVDs) is called "We Are the Church" and they really supplement the first three so very well, it would be a shame to do one series and not the other. The original idea for this study "project" is called BASICS, and that series has all 7 DVD's in it. It is one continuous whole with excellent dramas that were produced for it... and they don't stand alone very well. You need to know what is happening along the way. :) Still, an excellent series.

-----

Review of complete 7 DVD series:
The Good:

Frances Chan is an outstanding communicator. His casual style and fierce love of the Lord comes through in all he does. The Basics series is no different. His teaming up with Flannel Video Productions (Nooma producers) really create a first rate production value to the series. And yet, it is also decidedly aimed at a "boomer and younger" audience. The message is incredibly important.... What are the basics of the faith and how then should church look like?

As you might have guessed, Chan speculates that church is not being done all that very well. And that the church can do something about that. Namely, we are to Fear God, Follow Jesus, and believe that the Holy Spirit can control our lives for good. In addition, we are to then be dedicated to being in Fellowship, read and obey the Word, Pray to the Lord as He commanded, and be connected in communion. And each of these 7 areas are given their own teaching DVD along with an integrated drama. If we follow through on these 7 Basics, our church will be vibrant with worship and our living faithful.

These truths are often missed, says Chan, because so many of us simply "play" church. While we may practice or give lip service to these 7 areas, we often miss the very importance of each. This is easy to do because of our culture, even the culture within the church, says Chan. So, making this change is a matter of changing our hearts and minds, recommitting ourselves to the things of importance.

What makes the series dynamic and compelling is the focus in each of these areas. Frances Chan has made the focus so very clear that it is doubtful that anyone but a non-believer could be unmoved by it. Therefor, I highly recommend the series, with a few caveats below.

THE DRAMAS: Good & Not So:

The seven DVD set has some wonderful illustrative drama that is added through out the videos. In fact, those dramas are one continuous whole that leads us from commitment to the fear of God to fellowship and communion in Christ. This storyline adds greatly to the ability to use the videos with others, as you get the message from two different ways ... through Chan's teaching and through the dramas. The production value is very high, making this a very dynamic series.

As good as the drama is, some may complain that it is unclear what is being communicated. The extra materials (bonus material) at the end of each DVD helps remove some of the confusion. For instance, I was initially confused as to what the WHITE BLOCK "buildings" were. I thought, "Oh, that is the church...and our disciples have broken free of churchianity!" Hardly so. And that is good. :) The second time through, I realized that the blocks were rather an important idea in the film/drama: They represent individuals. More importantly, they represent trapped (or fallen?) individuals. (i'll continue some of the analogy below, just skip the next paragraph if you are not interested).

FURTHER DRAMA EXPLANATION:
[So the WHITE BLOCKS are individuals trapped or separated from God and His Spirit. They are the white rooms that we see from the INSIDE in the first two DVD's. The wind (papers flying around) represent the Holy Spirit (breath of God) and the effect of the wind/spirit on the individual. At the end of the fourth DVD, the three actors look out over the "city of white blocks" and see the SPIRIT (wind) setting another person free. With each new person being set free and then controlled by the Spirit, the young believers can reach out to others and also focus on their own growth in Christ.]In the first two DVD's (and part of the 3rd, the person is trapped in the room (white box) until the end of each video. From then on, the believers are free to learn of their faith and serve others.]

The dramas are all quite well done and excellent for discussion starters with a group.

THE BAD AND NOT SO GOOD

If this is to be a series on the basics of the faith, then two items are obvious in their lacking. I don't mean to say that that these items didn't get mentioned (or that this or that pet doctrine should have been included), but rather that there was a definate lack of clarity and lack of definition that could have added greatly to this series (avoiding a lot of confusion). The two items? The GOSPEL and the GREAT COMMISSION.

"Wait a minute," you protest, "JJ, I remember him mentioning the Great Commission in video two!" True enough. But it is not developed well and I believe it deserves its own DVD, if fellowship and communion get their own focus, why not disciple-making? And if you disagree, that still leaves us with a glaring absence of the GOSPEL. Let's face it, the Gospel is more important than prayer, than fellowship, than just about any other area. If it is not for GRACE and the GOSPEL MESSAGE, we would all be lost. So why is it missing?

Some may say that the first video in the series (fearing God) is the gospel. I don't see that as much of a option. Listen to the Fear God DVD and it is clearly not the Gospel. It is about obedience... over and over again. And, how, can a man/woman truly FEAR THE LORD if they are not already renewed in mind and heart? If you say that the second item (Following Christ) is the Gospel, again, this is about obedience... "follow every command of Jesus" Such as "Be perfect as my heavenly Father is perfect," and that clearly isn't the Gospel. We can't be perfect, so we need God's grace...His Son's sacrifice on our behalf. Where is this in the series? It is a missing element that detracts from the series. Some will conclude that to be a "Christian" I need to fear God the Father, then follow whole-heartedly after all that Jesus tells us to do, then, when we do those things, God will reward us with his Spirit (which makes us special). Where is sin? Where is the message of his Saving Grace? If Fear of God and Following God's commands could save, then there would be no reason for Jesus to come and live as man, die, and establish His church. Christ wouldn't be needed since we already have the Law and the Prophets. My point is simply that clarity is lost in the process...I assume that Chan presupposes saving faith and His saving provision of Grace.

[UPDATED]
I found the Gospel in the Basic Series! :) Part of the problem is that Chan (and others) often explain the Gospel as "following Jesus." I suppose the assumption is that if you are doing that (following), then you are doing what you need and have already been saved (or, for some, that is the cost of being saved). But, even though this confusion exists in the DVD series, it is something that I know Chan has spoken about before (that he doesn't equate "Obedience in following Jesus" with the "Gospel") That is why I was confused. So where is the Gospel? At the end of "Following Jesus" the man in the video repents, and leaves the room. In the Pamphlet that accompanies these DVD, the questions that go along with these same visuals have the gospel clearly inserted right at this point. No, it is not seen on the video. I think it should be. I think Chan should do a voice over about the Gospel at this point (it is important to mention the cross!). He doesn't. But, in print... in the extra material that is given with the DVD's, it is clear as clear can be.... the Gospel is given, the cross explained, the resurrection to newness of life... it is all there in print. And that is great. The leader (if a church group goes through this series) should bring this out in their discussion. (see pages 28-30 of "Personal Reflection Guide").

MORE ON DISCIPLE-MAKING:
I really expected to see more on disciple-making (for our new believers) is the drama of the DVD's. In the Final Series DVD on Communion, one of our three actors (the original girl, Abbie) goes off on her own, away from the fellowship. Where is she going? I was certain I knew. I figured she was going to find some others and start teaching and discipling those new believers. It made perfect sense since Abbie is said to be the leader of the three, and the one that most would identify with. And yet, the series ends without any mutiplication, without any continuation of "disciple-making." It ends with the group merely "finding" each other again and being happy in each others company. WHAT!? Was this a Francis Chan drama!?! I don't know how many times Chan has told Christians that we are not here to just safely find comfort in this world, but to reach out, to serve, to speak His word, to disciple others... and yet, these dynamic dramas end with self-love as the main focus (yes, Christians do love each other... but that is the conclusion?!) I have to believe that if Chan had it to do over again, he would end the series with a call to be like Christ and to reach out.

So, when I say that I was taken back when there was no disciple-making...I am referring to how the series ends. Perhaps what we need is a BASICS.MULTIPY and bring back our three-some of actors to each start reaching out to others in meaningful ways... some Gospel clarity could be added when they start discipling others, each in their own way. Sure, they should still stay "brothers and sisters" and be supportive, and yet, they would reach out to the next group of disciples and teach the way that they were taught. Wouldn't that be a great way to end such a great series!? When you consider Chan's latest series ("MULTIPLY") is on discipleship, the loss of this topic is clearly an oversight.

Conclusion:
Despite the short-comings, I think there is a lot of good in this series and should be considered with much positive praise. This series would certainly create discussion and renew faith commitments if used in a small group or SS class.

**** Four Stars

PS... I had turmoil over the ranking of this series. First, I thought it was inadequate in several important ways and yet that it was such an important message, that even glaring weaknesses couldn't get me to click "It's OK, 3 Stars" or lower. So, I join many others who have really liked this series. And yet, I have significant reservations for how such a series can be used, since the Gospel is never clearly presented.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Basic Who is God? 6 April 2012
By Dr. Rick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The videos are definately not what I expected - not that they are all bad, just different. Chan's sermon/teaching during the video is pretty good. But following the path the video takes with all of its questions, seems to cause my group to loose interest.
One member of the group felt it was too elementary, (and she left the group) not sure if I agree with her since any bible subject can be taught at different levels to reflect the spiritual maturity of the group.
Now we watch the video, we use the questions the material provides as long as we can, but when the material seems to be going on and on and the group begins to lose interest, I turn it off and we open up the floor to discussion, as long as we stay on the subject of the material. This approach seems to work best for my group.
I also feel the material costs too much.
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