I must admit, when I heard Mark Burnett was behind the creation of the 5 week mini-series to tell the story of the Bible, I was pretty skeptical. I watched as all the Celebrity Christians started to tweet to watch The Bible when it appeared on the History Channel, and my pessimistic nature came to full froth.
Surely this was some grand marketing scheme to sell T.V. After all, Mr. Burnett is one of the most successful television creators of all time. And now, I thought, "we were going to be subject to another "cheesy" version of the Bible." I knew Christians would rally behind it, just because it was called The Bible. (Let's be honest, we haven't been known as a tribe of creative geniuses in the last decade.) I was afraid Mr. Burnett was giving ammo to my Atheist friends who once again would call into question the viability of a 2000 year old book critical it would in any way relate to our world today.
I even watched the first episode, and on a whim tweeted some snarky comment about how all the people looked like White people speaking perfect Queen's English. (I really am sorry about that Mark.)
And here's where it gets interesting...
Last Sunday night, the Braner Party of 7 was sitting around the living room looking for something to wind down Easter Sunday. I reached for the remote, and The Voice was on. Usually, the family is interested in hearing new music, and voting on who is the best audition, but ALL my kids said, 'Dad isn't the Bible finale on tonight? Turn it to The Bible." I was SHOCKED!
My kids are 14, 11, 9, 8, and 5, and all of them were really excited to watch the last chapter of the mini-series. I sat in amazement as they started asking questions about chronology of the Bible, purpose of the Resurrection, and finally the message Paul was tasked to take to the Gentiles.
Well, I stand corrected. I owe Mr. Burnett, and Ms. Downey a huge apology. The production was incredible. Instead of being someone ashamed to explain the Bible to my Atheist friends, I found myself excited to show certain chapters of the Bible through the eyes of this new way of thinking.
The section where Peter was all alone and called to the Centurion spoke deeply to my soul. He was called to explain the faith to Kings in the face of uncertainty, and I must be honest; I've been in that place more than once in the last year.
In any event, I just wanted to take a little time to say thanks. Thanks to @markburnetttv and all those who were involved in the creation of the Bible Experience. I, @braner, apologize for my pessimistic first outlook. I look forward to exploring the chapters I missed, and am proud of seeing someone willing to push the conversation to the public square. With a world continuing to retreat from spiritual formation, we need creative forces like this to bring the discourse to the water cooler, the public square, and the normal times of conversations among friends. The Bible Experience has afforded that chance to talk about God and not be weird.
Today the Bible comes out on Blue Ray and DVD. If you have a chance, pick it up and see how interesting the producers flew through several thousand years of story line. As usual, the book is better than the movie, but this time; it's awfully close.