Friday, January 22, 2016

OPINION: Stand Up For and Demand Good Christian Content

Here's an except from my review on A.D. The Series:

The Bible has been source material for Hollywood for over a century. Some of Hollywood’s most memorable works do stem from the Golden Age. Those great Bible epics like The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur, and The Greatest Story Ever Told are universally loved and praised, but each have their share of inaccuracies. There are a ton of other Bible story adaptations since the Golden Age of Hollywood. Some Bible stories came in the form of made-for-TV movies, cable movies, and miniseries formats. Most cases are a rehash of the same stories but told with better acting and production values.

One of my favorite Bible adaptations is The Visual Bible: Acts from 1994. It literally only used the New International Version as its dialogue. So if critics of A.D. The Series want something truly pure and to the letter, I recommend that series.

Some of the critics of A.D. The Series made it seem like this was Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, or worse yet, that abomination of a production staring Jon Voight, the made-for-TV movie Noah’s Ark. Not even non-Christians could defend that latter production. Other critics try to argue that A.D. The Series focused more on violence and fictitious settings like Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods And Kings.

A.D. is among the best and most beautiful adaptations of The Bible to date. The series was not meant for children. It was targeting the older audience. The cruelty and brutality of the time were barely even portrayed as much was implied in the series. The show was on broadcast television after all. The Bible Series was considerably more violent than this, and the time of the Bible was a very violent time. The criticism against the violence is akin to those that judged The Passion of The Christ for being too graphic. Some secular publications labeled that movie as the “most violent movie ever” completely ignoring all the horror movies since the slasher flick era, and overlooking all the gory torture porn of the new millennium.

Series producers Mark and Roma truly devoted time and care to the show consulting religious authorities and experts at all levels. Moments that have been captured on film before have not been done this emotionally charged outside of The Passion of The Christ. I found myself moved to tears multiple times throughout the series even though I know the story very well. Still, it’s the kind of fresh perspective on the period that I truly appreciated. And I’m glad Pilate and Caiaphas were more than just secondary characters to the story. They were the tools that made sure Christ’s fate was sealed, and His destiny fulfilled. 

The issues with the show – even glaring ones that bothered me the most like the portrayal of Stephen – are not enough to detract from the awesomeness of this show. I feel the series paid respect to the source material and highlighted actual historical events mixed along with fiction. I do admit the uneven final episode and truncated finale was a terrible way to end the series. Even with more plot lines to carry over to the next season, the showrunners should have been smarter in closing out the freshman season with something that had more closure while still leaving room to continue. All in all, the series is still one that must be watched to be appreciated.

In a time where TV is now the go-to medium for quality entertainment, and a time where violent, and - in some cases - disgusting shows are all the rage, A.D. The Series is a show that merits support to continue more Christian programming. From the top notch acting, to the political intrigue and power play, to the production values and musical score, this is one miniseries I’m confident will find an audience on home video. I still hold out hope the second season will be done and air sometime late next year via a different medium. Until then, I do intend to watch the series again with those that have not seen it.


I reiterate this section because I lament the lack of Christian content on TV and film, meanwhile little support is given when something good does come along. The year 2014 was a great year for Christian content, but why did things fizzle out so quickly? The only bright spot in the year 2015 was War Room

This year a few films might fly under the radar, but I hope to highlight the good ones. We need to support good Christian content. The institutions of this country have silenced Christian speech at certain levels, and anti-Christian groups continue to wage war against us. Contrary to "popular belief", they are winning the War on Christianity. 

"Evil triumphs when good people do nothing." -Edmund Burke


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