My family and I have seen the first three episodes of The Bible and find them fairly curious. There are quite a few inaccuracies in the programs, not only in the presentation of the biblical record, but also with regard to the ancient culture. I’ve read the comments of some folks who refused to watch the program or who have criticized it. I sympathize with their viewpoint – naturally, I want it to follow the biblical text much more closely than it has. But I am also concerned with the mindset of the critics. Does it reflect a genuine concern for biblical accuracy, or is it a sign of living in a bubble?
I’m firmly convinced that one of the reasons why people are leaving the church is the existence of a “fundy-bubble,” as some call it. Too many Christians have made the church into their own spiritual and intellectual ghetto – a fortress of solitude to protect them from the world. Rather than learning how to engage the culture and help transform it, some Christians sit back and merely criticize culture, making sure they don’t dirty themselves by ever coming into contact with it. I don’t think this is what Jesus had in mind when he told his followers to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). I think that the apostle Paul would take issue with that viewpoint as well, given his comments about destroying opposing arguments (cf. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; 1 Timothy 1:18). You cannot wage a war if you avoid the enemy.
I have read several stories of a person raised in a Christian home who later left for another church fellowship, denomination, or spiritual path. Just this morning, I read a “deconversion” story about a young woman who was raised in a strict Christian household. Between being sheltered from the world and being forced to go to church, this young woman felt like she had to choose between the two. She is now a relatively happy atheist. Living in a bubble is not only inadvisable, but unbiblical.
Over the next few weeks I will be posting some of my own observations on The Bible, pointing out not only the inaccuracies, but also those points that I thought were interesting and even helpful. Whether you’ve seen The Bible, plan to see it, or refuse to see it, I hope you will join me.