Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Review of “The Bible” Mini-series Part 5: Where’s the Beef?

April 3rd, 2013 Post by
Wheres-the-Beef1Growing up my dad always used the old Wendy’s commercial line, “Where’s the beef?” when coaching basketball (balance, eyes, elbows, follow-through). Now, Dave Thomas was thinking economically (not theologically) when he came up with that world-famous slogan. But that’s the phrase that came to mind Sunday night as I watched the fifth and final installment of The History Channel’s The Bible. That little question, “Where’s the beef?” not only works well on squirrely junior high boys at basketball camp or for selling people a greasy hamburger (and don’t forget that Frosty!). But “Where’s the beef?” is actually a profound theological question.

In other words, where’s the substance, the content, the 200 proof theology, the solid food of doctrine and the meat-and-potatoes-teaching? For man does not live by bread alone but by every Word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. As  Chris Rosebrough said at the beginning of his excellent critique of The Bible on Monday’s episode of Fighting for the Faith, “It’s not so much what was said as what wasn’t said that was the most glaring problem with episode five of The Bible.” Agreed. If God’s Word is food, I found myself still stuck in a food line starving after Sunday dinner was served up. The solid food of Scriptural doctrine was missing at key points and the main course of Christianity – Christ crucified and risen for the forgiveness of sins – wasn’t on the table after the actual account of Holy Week was over.

To be sure, Sunday’s episode had some good appetizers: The disciples prayed the Lord’s Prayer just as Jesus had taught them as they sat in Jerusalem prior to Pentecost. Considering the overall miniseries was ten episodes long, they spent an appropriate amount of time on the events of Holy Week. Positively speaking, another thing that stood out was the attempt to show what was going on with the disciples after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension. There was even a Trinitarian baptism.

However, when it comes to the main course, the overall meal amounted to little more than empty calories. It wasn’t so much what was on the plate as what was left in the kitchen, that was the problem for this viewer. At the end of the evening, I couldn’t help but ask, “Where’s the beef?” So, here are four courses I found missing from the table on Sunday evening.<read the rest at Steadfast Lutherans>