Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The History Channel’s The Bible Parts 5 & 6: The Absent God

funny-History-Channel-Dr-EvilIt’s no exaggeration when I say I’ve been mulling over in my head for a great deal of time exactly how I was going to write this. There are so many ways in which this miniseries is just plain wrong that it was difficult to figure out which angle to take. When watching this latest installment of History’s series “The Bible”, I probably woke my sleeping daughters at least three or four times yelling at the TV.

The easy and obvious tack is to pick apart each detail of Scripture that is incorrectly portrayed. There certainly are a lot of them. In the Daniel portion there is a confusion of Darius with Cyrus. The timing of the arrival of the Magi seems to be off when compared with Matthew’s Gospel. When Joseph hears the truth about the Child in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, it is not in a dream. When John the Baptist sees Jesus, he sure looks like he’s meeting Him for the first time. And when John the Baptist is beheaded, there is no wedding, daughter, request, or silver platter. But these are details, and though they’re important, these oversights fall by the wayside when the real issues are examined. There were also a couple of artistic licenses taken — the snake in the wilderness during the Temptation comes to mind. But again, one expects a certain amount of license even for a dramatization of the Bible.

I had a couple of sheets of paper with scribbles and arrows and a bunch of underlines, trying to make sense of how to present some of the more glaring problems with this presentation. No one’s faith is going to be shaken by a mistake over Darius, or by Magi showing up to the manger. But there are a number of issues that must be noted, and many of them undercut the major teaching of Holy Scripture. As Lutherans, we believe that the Bible speaks two words to men: God’s Law that convicts us of sin and shows us the need for salvation, and His Gospel that shows us how He has saved us in Christ. For us, it all comes down to this teaching about justification. Now, it should come as no surprise that a program put together by a modalist, a new-ager, and many Christians who hold to erring confessions of the Faith will not be Lutheran. I hope no one expected this series to even feel Lutheran, because there was never a shot at it. At the same time, I think most of the truly glaring errors can be reduced to this: God is simply missing.

I wish I had a really eloquent way to say it, but I don’t. God just seems to be away from <read the rest at Steadfast Lutherans>