You don’t want to miss this.
In the weeks following this post, a good portion of America might actually be engaging in conversation about the Bible. Let that sink in. Your coworkers may watch. Conversation started. Maybe your kids may tune in. Ice broken. Maybe you even invite someone over to watch, or just invite them to watch. groundwork laid.
I’m talking, of course, about History Channel’s new miniseries on the Bible, produced by Reality TV mogul Mark Burnett, and his wife, Roma Downey. There has been a lot of press around this miniseries, hitting from all angles, to be sure. Without going into the critical analyses (especially having not seen it yet, myself), suffice it to say you cannot produce a 10-hour epic portrayal of the Bible without some push back.
But what should Christians think about such a series?
Glad for the conversation
As Christians, we ought to be very glad whenever discussions are started around what we believe. Heck, we ought to be thankful for conversations about the opposite of what we believe as well! People are about to watch the story of God’s chosen nation, Israel, and his loving provision for them. They will watch and learn about not just Jesus’ crucifixion but his resurrection. They may get a visual of what it means to be a disciple.
It’s time we just got excited about the conversation.
But what if it’s all “Hollywood?”
This is probably true. There will probably be inaccuracies. I’m sure there were some “punches pulled” so that various people groups wouldn’t be offended by the content (see this CNN writeup). But the real question is why are we trying to “punch” people with the Gospel?
It’s Hollywood! Ultimately, Burnett and Downey, as well as the History Channel and the A&E family of networks are after ratings! Liberties will be taken, stories that you and I might consider “crucial” will probably be left out. It is possible that this will be one big 2nd-grade Sunday School lesson, just portraying the biblical stories.
But they’re still portraying biblical stories.
So what do Christians do?
We embrace this, full force. This will be 10x more visually engaging than any sermon, and we live in a visual culture. We live in a world that loves story. To prove it, complete the following quotes:
- Go Ahead, _____ ______ _____.
- You had me at _________.
- Life is like a _____ __ _________.
Most likely, you don’t just know the rest of the quote, but you can picture the scene, context and dialogue surrounding the quote. This is great for our culture.
When we do have conversations, we must “have an answer for anyone that may ask” about the Hope we have, the faith we claim. And we need to “do it with gentleness and respect.”
Let’s embrace this advancement of God’s Kingdom and use it to point people to Christ!