It seems to be easy lately to think that the there is just a remnant of Christians, only a few that are left to raise up God Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But then a long comes an event or a message that demonstrates that Christians are very much alive, faithful and active.
Case in point the production of the television series The Bible produced by husband and wife Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. I will qualify this upfront by saying that I really did appreciate The Bible that it really was a faithful portrayal of the Bible. It always amuses me when people call the Bible ‘boring’. That is biblical illiteracy. If I can be a little tacky, the Bible has it all violence, intrigue, sex, infidelity, charity, faithfulness, sacrifice, integrity, pride and strength. The Bible has good, bad, somewhere in the middle, ordinary people confronting extraordinary circumstances. The last thing I would describe the Bible as is boring. One of the things that always annoyed me was the way different people/beings of the Bible have been portrayed in movies and media. Jesus always seems to be sort of soft and prissy, and that just could not have been the case. He was probably a carpenter, He spent so much of His earthly ministry outside, traveling around, even out on the boats with some of His disciples. There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus was very much a manly man and nothing in the Bible contradicts that. Another is this idea that angels are sort of beautiful, poofy women. Again that is not biblical. Any description of angels in the Bible depicts them as male. The depiction in the television series of angels as more like ninjas would be a lot more faithful to the biblical narrative.
Forbes Magazine did a feature on the couple and their production of The Bible and future productions based on the Bible. Their success, that I would consider a lot more biblicaly based, then most contemporary productions (yea, just ask me about Noah ugh), anyway “The Bible made its debut in 2013, and even on a relatively esoteric cable channel was able to outdraw the networks; at one point Burnett had the No. 1 show in America five nights out of the week. And viewers couldn’t get enough: The Bible has sold over 1 million copies via DVD and Blu-ray….the movie spinoff, which Burnett and Downey spent an estimated $1 million to bankroll, has done $68 million worldwide…” (Zack O’Malley Greenburg, Dorothy Pomerantz Forbes Magazine July 21, 2014 pp 55 – 60)
Clearly a faithful rendering of the Bible, not too pious, not too imaginary (yea like Noah) are greatly in demand. God’s story is the most compelling ever: “There are not a lot of books being read these days’, says Paul Telegdy, NBC’s president of late-night and alternative programming. ‘But there is one that’s being read and reread, and that’s the Bible.”
Burnett points out that a lot of contemporary television and movies are biblically based: “…he says take their dominant influence from the world’s most popular book: Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Matrix.” The Matrix??? I guess he’d know better than me. Point being is that too much media has either dumbed down the Bible, or made it too sugar coated or made it to ham handed, none of which are faithful renderings. Straightforward, human portrayal of the Bible is what God inspired the writers of the Bible to write and that has what guided the faithful for 2,000 years. There is plenty of hunger in the world for the real Bible. Let’s faithfully teach, preach and relate the Bible. The Holy Spirit will use that to lead and inspire others, we don’t need to embellish what was perfectly inspired by God.