The Bible on the History Channel, Part 2

I just can’t go with everyone on this. Let me ask those who are so strongly supporting this series: Is it really all that engaging? Is it really all that entertaining? It’s not its accuracy that is reeling you in.

My take of last night’s installment (at least as much as I have the interest to share at this point) is that it is mostly focusing on violence.  It has emphasized a fair amount of sexuality as well. You might say, “Well, it’s in the Bible isn’t it?” Sure. Violence and sexuality are in the Bible but they must be seen and understood in the larger context of knowing the whole story.

The problem with the show as I see it at this point, beyond the blatant inaccuracies, is balance. It seems so far that it is a chronicle of all of the bloodiest moments in the Old Testament. Another problem is a complete failure to leave the audience in awe of an awesome, loving God who has a plan. Instead, we get the refrain from the on screen characters, “God is with us!” without any indication that He is with them in any significant way other than to condone violence or to take over the land. Anyone who really knows the Bible understands that from the very first to the very last the thread of redemption runs through its pages.

On a positive note for Burnett and Downey: I took a brief look at the devotional book they have designed based on the series and it reads like you would want it too. It’s reverent; it seems at first blush to be theologically correct. Even though Downey refers to Della Reece (which I have an issue with) it does not seem to be overly laden with “touched by an angel” theology though it certainly has some of that as well. All I can say is that it is too bad that the series doesn’t capture some of the reverence and love of God that Burnett and Downey seem to have. And if you think that such a message can’t be found from the very beginning of the Bible, then you don’t know the Bible!

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