You Can Do A Show About Christianity, Unless You Believe It’s True
by J Warner Wallace
Every Easter season results in a new round of television shows, magazine covers and newspaper articles casting doubt on the historicity of Jesus or the reliability of the New Testament. The major networks and news outlets are willing to talk about Jesus at that time of year, although few of them are willing to take Him seriously. NPR once featured an interview arguing for a version of Jesus that is “completely different from the one portrayed by… religious texts,” a Macleans article claimed that the Gospel authors mis-remembered, changed or invented their stories, and a Psychology Today author wrote that Jesus never even existed. CNN’s Finding Jesus is perhaps the most prominent example of this fascination with Easter season skepticism. After debuting last year, it quickly became the network’s highest rated production to date. This show examines ancient Christian relics and, week by week, demonstrates that they have little or nothing to do with Jesus of Nazareth. These articles and television productions demonstrate a principle guiding the major media outlets in our country: You can write an article or produce a series about Jesus, as long as it doesn’t claim anything about Him is true.
I discovered this first hand as I pitched a television series about Jesus to cable networks, based on my book, Cold-Case Christianity. Our idea was to produce a show that systematically makes the case for the existence of Jesus (and the reliability of the New Testament accounts), using the tools of a cold-case detective. In meeting after meeting, network representatives and producers would ask me a critical question: “What did your investigation reveal about the Gospels?” I always responded the same way: “I found them to be reliable eyewitness accounts, and I can demonstrate this evidentially.” Few of these network representatives were willing to talk beyond this response, although most were polite and gracious as they bid us farewell.
At first I was surprised. After all…
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