Joel Osteen and the History Chanel have produced a new mini-series called Jesus: His Life. The documentary is the History Chanel’s attempt to display Jesus’ life from his birth, death, and resurrection. Joel Osteen is joined by other false teachers and liberal scholars who add commentary throughout the series to events in Jesus’ life.
But the key aspect of Jesus: His Life is that every episode portrays major events in Jesus life from the perspectives of his family, friends, and enemies. These biblical figures are Joseph, John the Baptist, Mary, Caiaphas, Judas, Pilate, Mary Magdalene, and Peter.
Joel Osteen’s role in the mini-series is one of the biggest indictments against his theology. Next to his books and sermons, Jesus:His Life is yet another evidence that Joel Osteen isn’t any more faithful to Jesus and biblical Christianity than the atheist scholars featured in the series.
Jesus: His Life is filled with blasphemous and heretical portrayals and interpretations of Jesus’ life. Even if you look past the blasphemous and irreverent picture of an actor portraying the incarnate, holy Son of God, the mini-series openly questions the inspiration and inerrancy of scripture, and it adds fictitious events to Jesus’ life to sell a story foreign to scripture, a story that distorts biblical truth.
On their website, the History Chanel describes Jesus: His life as:
“A never before seen approach to the sweeping story of the life of Jesus Christ. Each episode is told through the eyes of the men and women closest to him: Joseph, John the Baptst, Mary Mother of Jesus, Caiaphas, Judas Iscariot, Pontus Pilate, Mary Magdalene and Peter. Each figure guides viewers through the emotional story of Jesus’ life conveyed through a combination of scripted drama and documentary-style interviews with historians and faith leaders.”
In other words, Jesus: His Life’s target audience are Christians who are bored with the Bible. And considering the show’s ratings and reactions from professing Christians on social media: Millions of professing Christians are bored with the Bible.
But Jesus: His Life won’t make audiences more interested in the Bible. It won’t make you read your Bible more often. Their visual display of Jesus’ life isn’t designed to direct your eyes back to the Bible. It’s the complete opposite of Tim Challies’ and Josh Byers’ latest book, A Visual Theology Guide to the Bible: Seeing and Knowing God’s Word.
A Visual Theology Guide to the Bible: Seeing and Knowing God’s Word is the sequel to its 2016 predecessor, Visual Theology: Seeing and Understanding the Truth About God. When I asked Tim Challies about the book in our interview a few weeks ago, he said:
“What we attempted to do is to closely tie words with images. We want people to read about the Bible, but also see the Bible. We want them to experience it both through words and through images. We do this through graphics, infographics, and other visual elements. We think this combines to make a unique, powerful, and attractive package.
Our hope is that people will learn about the Bible, about its big story, and about some of its individual elements in a whole new way as they see it presented in the visual form.”
A Visual Theology Guide to the Bible is covered with beautiful words and images about what the Bible teaches about God. What I love most about the book is that its visuals are designed to complement the book’s words, words that ultimately guide your eyes back to scripture.
Jesus: His Life is intended to entertain bored Christians. However, A Visual Theology Guide to the Bible is an engaging book designed to help Christians see and know God’s precious and perfect word. In the book, Tim Challies says, “The Bible is more than a cultural artifact or a literary curiosity. To Christians, the Bible is divine revelation: God’s message to the world.”
I’ve enjoyed A Visual Theology Guide to the Bible: Seeing and Knowing God’s Word, and I think you would too. Purchase your copy at Amazon.