Wednesday, July 17, 2013
And before you accuse me of heresy and demanding I resign my post because I'm saying in public I didn't like something that apparently all Christians are meant to unite behind... well just hold your horses. I'm not critical of the people who made it, or even what they tried to do. I'm not saying it won't be useful for some. I'm not even saying I'm right. I'm just saying I didn't like it and I want to explain why.
For me the reason I didn't like the Bible is the same reason I pretty much don't like any Christian movie that is made ever. And that reason is that Christian movies or productions don't seem to be good at letting me take a step back and think for myself about the themes. For example in the movie World War Z with Brad Pitt that I just saw last week many things happen. Zombies rise up, Brad saves the world. But the cure or the solution to the zombie apocalypse is to make people sick with deadly virus (which somehow can be cured later) because the zombies only go for healthy people. Anyway, without saying anything directly to the camera, this movie has explored the theme of how strengths can be weakness, of how weakness can be strength. In fact I think it gives me a window somewhat into the world of Paul in his letters to Corinthians and helps me understand that actually weakness can be strength. That God is made strong through our weakness. It's not a direct link, but a related theme. And movies, and TV shows or mini-series work best when they teach not through plot but through theme. And this is why I didn't really like The Bible.
Look it's great that constantly the characters turn to each other and say, 'we must trust God'. But it would be better if, and this would take the brains of some far more skilled movie script writers than me, it would be better if we saw the story unfold and implicit in the theme was trust in the face of adversity. I also found the narration clunky, normal TV doesn't do that.
My other problem is that The Bible (like the actual written version) is a story of sinful, imperfect people being used by God even though they fail, give up, and often lack trust in God. Abraham and the Israelites in the wilderness both lack trust in God and His promises A LOT. But the faithfulness of God to His promises remains. Sure the people in the story have some good moments. But I'd like to see more of the bad moments (in the TV show).
So I don't know how you would do this, but I'd be more interested in a show that figured out what some of the big themes in the scriptures were and then figured out which stories best explored those themes. Kinda like how the book of Esther never mentions God but explores themes anyway.
Did you watch it last night? What did you think?
Posted on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 by Chris Bowditch
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