The Gospel of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ has been preached and is known to thrive in some of the most diverse and exotic places on the planet. The Silk Road with its many varieties of cultures, languages, and peoples is no exception to this rule. “The Silk Road” is a term coined by a German geologist and explorer in the late 19th century to describe not a single route but a network of roads stretching from Xian, China in the east to as far west as Venice, Italy and as far south as India. While different parts of these roads were more or less active at different times in history, there are two periods of intense activity I wish to speak about today. The first spans the 7th – 10th century when the Byzantine Roman Empire and her capital city of Constantinople (New Rome) provided the midpoint and gateway for this road. The second period is the 13th-15th centuries when the Mongol Empire and its peace (Pax Mongolicus) greatly protected and encouraged trade on the eastern end of the road in China.
The beloved disciple and evangelist John teases us with these words toward the end of his very mystical narrative. But beyond teasing us into writing yet one more book about our Lord and Master, I believe St. John’s words serve as a kind of license to create and imagine contexts and conversations beyond the true Gospel account, while remaining faithful to the original canon of revelation. Dallas Jenkins’ series The Chosen, now in its third season at Angel Studios, continues to be that incredible re-imagining.
Happy Easter to those on the Western calendar. Christ is Risen! Alleluia!
To those of us in the East, 4 more weeks til we party in the resurrection. But our friend Dallas Jenkins has given us a reason to celebrate early. FINALLY, media featuring the Son of God that is not overly sappy, obvious, moralistic, or preachy. Tonight in honor of Easter Sunday, Dallas gave us episode one of season Two of The Chosen. I recommend watching the whole first season and giving this brilliant man all the money you have saved up to donate to worthy evangelism! I cannot tell you how long I have waited for such understated, artistic loveliness. You will not be disappointed!
I ran this post last year around this time and was just listening to the audio plays again this morning as part of preparations for Holy Week. Our priest always challenges us to read the Gospels all the way through, if possible. But those who prefer to listen on an MP3 player or CD might find the following dramatic presentation a helpful bridge to the story of the Gospels.
Just before the beginning of Great Lent, I was thumbing through my library wondering again what would be the best thing to read in this season of the fast. It is a good and pious practice during the forty days of fasting not only to increase prayers and attendance to church services but to practice some form of media fast and engage instead in one good spiritual book that will help one reflect on the life of Christ and repent of sinful habits. It was then that I came across an article which highlighted the book or rather set of plays that C.S. Lewis frequently read during Lent. This and the name Dorothy Sayers both caught my attention. Sayers is popular for her saying that “the dogma is the drama”; i.e., contrary to popular opinion that learning right doctrine is for dull and doltish people who like dusty libraries and don’t know how to have a good time, the dogma of the Church, relating first and foremost to the identity and work of Jesus Christ as He reveals the worship of the All-Holy Trinity, is rather for those who wish to engage in the greatest of all dramas. Continue reading →