The Bible: Reality TV gets it right

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Tip: Watch “The Bible,” History Channel, Sundays at 8 p.m. throughout March.

The truth is I don’t watch a whole lot of TV.

And while I am good-naturedly chuckling as I think about this, I especially have no interest in reality shows like “Survivor” and am offended by the “historical Jesus” nonsense routinely offered as “documentary” programming.

The manufactured predicaments of what little reality TV I have seen – jungles, bachelorettes, whatever – make me cringe: the programming allure seems to be the revelation of the ugly truths and deceptions of the dark side of humanity. Coarseness is king (and queen). Dignity is for losers. It reminds me of me at my worst. Yuck.

“Historical Jesus” is a lately-popular secular academic and entertainment media euphemism best translated as “the Jesus of the Bible didn’t really exist.” This is a dark deception of the most lethal sort –the spiritually dead trying to kill the rest of us; the blind leading the blind (Matthew 15:14) into the inglorious pit of doubt and death.

There is a great reason why there is so little historical evidence of Jesus: the grace of Christ and the glory of God are written in the Bible and in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, not by scribes in the pages of secular history. “What is unseen is eternal,” (2 Corinthians 4:18) is how the Bible puts it.

Modern culture, on that score, has it just backward: it insists worldly physical evidence trumps inspired faithful truth and ridicules any suggestion to the contrary. Rather than understanding that Jesus is author of true freedom and the remover of all shackles, culture portrays Christian faith as limiting rather than freeing – the Bible is for the close-minded; church is for the intellectually limited; serious biblical exposition has no proper place in mainstream cultural conversation. Satan revels in the lies.

All that may explain why every other on-air and cable TV network rejected the five-episode miniseries “The Bible” (8 p.m. ET Sundays) which began airing March 3 on the History Channel. The series was produced by Mark Burnett (producer of “Survivor,” which is why I was chuckling above) and Roma Downey (actress, “Touched by an Angel”). It is backed by author and Pastor Rick Warren (“40 Days of Purpose”) of Saddleback Church. “The Bible” is a big time, truth-telling production. In this case, seeing really is believing.

And the truth is, this is must-see TV.


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