Archive for March, 2013

The Story of Abraham and Sarah

One of the immediate issues I have is that in The Bible (TB) Abraham and Sarah are always named Abraham and Sarah. IN the Bible it wasn’t until later in the story when Abram and Sarai’s names were changed to Abraham and Sarah.

In TB God does in fact speak to Abraham about his Abrahamic Covenant promise so they got that part right.

He has received this vision/message.

Abraham goes off to pull his family together first getting Sarah (who should be Sarai) and then Lot and his wife, I’m thinking alright they’re going to pack up and head off just like The Bible actually says- not so much.

Abraham goes on to say that God told him of a land they were to go to.

This is Abraham saying that God had given him a message/vision/mission and now he’s appealing to his family and his wife to join him in making that vision a reality.

How many current “Christian” churches are founded by leaders that have a “vision from God” “message from God” who then bring forth that vision/message to the church body and ask them to join him in making that vision a reality.

Also of note over and over again the narrator throughout TB will say over and over again- especially during transitions between segments/characters things like- “they were looking for a new leader.” “The people of Israel were looking for a new breed of leader.”

In fact I’ll mention this again when I get to the New Testament sections of TB but even in the introduction of Christ the narrator still says something like- “during this time of oppression and turmoil Israel is looking for a new kind of leader.”

There is an unfolding trend here and it can’t really be missed. TB is a string of connected leadership stories and not truly a story about redemption. It’s more man centered than God centered.

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Hello readers!

My Apologies. 

My most sincere apologies in fact for my lack of discernment regarding the visually lavish but Theologically bankrupt Miniseries The Bible (TB). 

I consider this a position of teaching and therefore I do take the admonition the Word has to say about the Teacher being held to a higher standard very seriously. Therefore I am coming right out and claiming beyond any doubt that I lacked discernment when I told you to go ahead and watch this miniseries on the History Channel.

A video will be coming online here within the next day or two where I’ll be speaking to the camera and making a few honest mistakes myself as I go over just a few of the Theological issues with TB.

However I’ll address a few of them here and make sure to get all the names right this time.

A Bit of Back ground

I think it’s fair to note, and wholly needed up front to help explain where this horrible Theology comes from at least in part. In an interview with producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey they were asked about who their Theological Advisors were.

The first three names out of their mouths were: Rick Warren, Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes!

Discerning Christians will recognize at least two of the three men listed, Rick Warren a Seeker Sensitive Pastor (Purpose Driven Church/Life) Joel Osteen THE Prosperity Gospel mega pastor (Your Best Life Now).

Feel free to look into them for yourself, a good place to start would be Fighting for the Faith!

Suffice it to say that getting any theology from such a group of mega pastors would be dangerous…unless of course you intend to produce a watered down and anemic version of the Scriptures.

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Here’s my review of Part two of The Bible and epic Miniseries event on the History Channel (check your local listings).

WOW!

I’m really not sure where to begin with this review, although I could easily do a blow by review like I did last week easily I think the honest truth is that took a long time. However it worked well so I’m going to do it again with quite a bit less detail this time.

I feel that this episode seemed to have the ability to give the stories more time to breathe, and that the stories because of that seemed to be a lot more powerful than in Part 1. Not knocking Part One at all just to be clear, still a supremely satisfying 4.5 out of 5. However this traversal of the stories of Joshua, Samson, Saul, Jonathan and David and Goliath and beyond was exceptional.

Samson was really a moving account and it was fueled by the performances of the gentle giant playing Samson and the actress playing his mother. There was just something very real there that took me entirely by surprise, and the ending of that segment practically drew me to tears.

Also of note is that I did not expect to feel sorry for Delilah but boy did I ever.

The brilliant acting is fueled with once again some very fine writing, that seemed to be improved in this episode too although I’m pretty certain it’s just that characters had more time to breathe.

The pain on Samuels face and in his voice when the people of Israel asked for a King really hit home. He got it as the prophet of God at the time that God Himself was their King…and to ask God to appoint a king over the people of Israel soured him.

Saul and Jonathan were nailed. Young David was nailed.

I am so glad that they went with a towering imposing actor to play Goliath and didn’t do some strange CGI thing. This 7’3″ actor certainly brought the menace and fear to his part.

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It’s often said in making a film that finding the right locations for certain shots is half the battle. This counts for itty bitty no budget Christian short films as well. Case in point I’m working on my own Christian Short called Future Drive and the central scene in the film is one of the most important. I just can’t choose the location…so I’m asking for YOUR opinion.

Both of these locations work fine for the scene in question and I’ve even done some testing at both locations.

The choices are….Location A:

Location A

Location A

 

Or Location B:

Location B

Location B

 

Please cast you votes using the Poll and Thank You! (Voting closes Midnight on Friday PST)!

In Christ,

Ross

 

The Bible aired it’s first 2 of ten hours the other night on the History Channel and I must say that in my humble opinion they’ve done a might fine job of selecting and showing the stories chosen.

The Ark/ 6 Days of Creation

The choice to start onboard the Ark and have Noah narrating the Creation story was really smart. And even though we only spent a very short amount of time on the Ark section of the story, it was by far the superior to NBC’s Noah’s Ark many moons ago. This Ark section and the way it was filmed practically made you a passenger on the Ark with Noah and his family, the waves smashing in, water leaks happening, Noah fixing the side of the Ark. It felt very real and powerful.

The interspersed shots from the 6 Days of Creation were also very beautiful. My favorite of them all might have been the close up of Adam Sitting up made of the dust of the earth. However I think the story was told beautifully even in its shortened nature.

Abram/Abraham and His Family

I will just say this right now but I really think that they got a great cast of actors and actresses to fill out the entire roster of characters. I really felt the family dynamic between Abram-Abraham/Lot/Sarah and the heartbreak Moses felt over Lot and his family. Storming the camp with his men to free Lot only have Lot say no and the emotion on his face.

The Sodom and Gomorrah was very well realized. Some dramatic liberties were taken however this is entertainment and that cannot be forgotten, and what was added fit into the dynamic-ism of their telling of the story. Also I’ll note that the Biblical story was intact, the Angels blinded the me of Sodom, they provided protection for Lot and his family intercut wonderfully with Abraham overlooking the event and having the famous chat with The Pre-Incarnate Christ.

And is it wrong that I actually was kind of relieved when Lot’s wife turned into that pillar of salt.

Once again comparing the scene to the one in NBC’s Noah’s Ark (Which re-arranged stories willy nilly for dramatic effect) is night and day. This is serious, showing God’s righteous anger. Showing how frightening it is to fall under the wrath of an angry God. Whereas in Noah’s Ark Lot snaps off part of his wife’s finger and keeps it for a souvenir.

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The Bible is a 5 Sunday, 2 hour per part, miniseries event that covers events from Genesis through Revelation and is coming to the History Channel starting Sunday March 3rd at 8 P.M.

The Bible is from happily married Christians Mark Burnett (Survivor) and Roma Downey (Touched by An Angel) they are also behind the Bible 360 App for smart phones of all varieties.

This has been a labor of love and hard work which faced numerous obstacles between conception and completion, not able to find funding for the project Mark Burnett ended up funding some of it from his own pocket.

The Bible features a mind boggingly huge cast of actors and actresses from around the world and its music comes courtesy of one of the greatest modern composers Hans Zimmer (Inception, The Dark Knight Trilogy).

I’ll be watching and reviewing each episode here at the Bible Runner Online so be sure to check in on Monday’s for episode reviews.

To get you all excited here’s the official trailer for The Bible!

Don’t forget to set your DVR’s!

In Christ,

Ross