{source}<iframe style=”float: left; border: 1px solid #000000; background-color: #C0C0C0; padding: 2px; margin: 10px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -khtml-border-radius: 3px; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px;” width=”400″ height=”225″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/QJGgWEMmgNs?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>{/source}I’m sorry I didn’t research and recommend this series before the first episode.  I hope most of you were able to watch.  A.D.: The Bible Continues is the most recent production by Roma Downey and her husband, Mark Burnett.  Roma Downey describes the series: “This is not Sunday school.  This is Sunday night drama.”  Jim and I watched the first episode and would agree with those words.  James Peel wrote a review of the first episode for the Denison Forum website.

Some critics will comment on the extra-biblical content of the two-hour episodes.  There are some imagined and creative conversations and events.  Interestingly, it was those moments that had Jim and I talking and wondering about whether they might have occurred in reality.  The Bible doesn’t tell us everything that happened, just everything we need to know.

The first episode did a superb job explaining the reality of the resurrection.  One by one, the show addressed the most common explanations that people have given for the empty tomb, and then creatively showed the viewers why those explanations would not be logically true.   The only logical explanation for the resurrection is found in Scripture.  Jesus, the Son of God, was raised from the dead.

The remainder of the twelve episodes will contain events largely found in the book of Acts.  I have the program scheduled to record in our home.  I don’t want to miss a single episode.  Can I suggest you all do the same?  I think the show will be watched by a lot of people, many of whom are not Christians.  I also think Christians will watch the series and realize the power of their faith, and choose to make a stronger personal commitment to Jesus as their King.   It will be good if God’s people are able to engage in the conversations about the show.

An article in The Washington Post said, “This new series goes for a more gritty and human approach that tries to understand the characters as humans caught up in the politics of the day. Only about half of the material comes from the Bible, with the rest from historians of the period.”  I’ve been teaching through the Minor Prophets, which deal directly with the politics of their day.  Many of those involved in the study have made a comment to me about the relevance of those books to our American culture today.  

Human nature is a constant.  God’s people struggle with the same sins as our ancestors in the faith struggled with.  The series promises to address the human weaknesses in every follower and the power of God that overcomes those weaknesses.  The Christian movement was begun by a very small group of people who chose to live with the power and direction of God’s Holy Spirit.  God never needed vast numbers to succeed.  Most of the time in Scripture, God chose the weak to become great, in his strength.  Paul knew that and wrote, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong” (1 Corinthians 1:27).  

I watch the news, read the statistics and observe the trends in the American culture.  My first reactions are rarely the “God thoughts.”  The truth is found in Scripture.  Our culture won’t change because Christians win a vote, although that would seem nice.  Our culture won’t change because of anything Christians “mobilize” to accomplish.  Our culture will change when God’s power is unleashed.  Powerful Christians are people who revere God and yield their own thoughts, ambitions and wills to his plan.  The Holy Spirit leads, we are called to follow.

The disciples didn’t change the world – God did.  The early Christians didn’t change the world – God did.  We won’t change the world – but we can ask God to do that.  The pursuit of power, even if that pursuit appears to be biblically based, will not change the world but the people who pursue God will enable his power to be unleashed in the world.  

We are entering a season of politics.  We will need to pay attention and ask God who to vote for.  There will be candidates who are pursuing the Christian vote.  I hope we can vote for a person who is pursuing God – that is the candidate I could trust.

I think the A.D.: The Bible Continues series will show us the difference between the apparent power of politicians and the real power of God.  The series is well done and very entertaining but the greater value will be found in the way it prompts God’s people to think.  The pursuit of politics and power was central to the culture Jesus chose to step into.  Could it be that He would choose those same circumstances for his timing again?  That is definitely worth taking the time to think and pray about.

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