I am a Bible nitpicker, because God and His Word are everything, and I applaud both "The Shift" and "The Chosen" for different reasons.
The Shift does not rewrite the Bible. It's obviously a modern version loosely resembling the story of Job, just like our lives are modern versions of a life looking to Jesus for the hard answers. Look at the unbelievable torture and mayhem in world news. "Where is God?", people would ask. GOD IS HERE. The story of Job and "The Shift" remind us that yes, life can get shockingly cruel, people are suffering horrifying evil, but God is here to walk us through it. He told us in the Bible of unbelievable End Times, of longing for death that does not come, but hold on to Him, because this life is not the end and our suffering is not for nothing. There is even a special place in heaven for the martyrs who suffer so much more than the fictional Kevin in The Shift, standing firm on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Chosen does not rewrite the Bible either, but carefully researches the Scriptures and cultures of that time to help us understand them, and the "artistic license" of added characters and stories is like parables packed with a matrix of biblical principles along with the heart of God as evidenced by all who know Him, all done with so much prayer for God's leading while encouraging the audience to read the Bible ourselves.
Yet, Christians need to be careful not to encourage producers and writers to take what God wrote and rewrite it, changing the direction, the core of it. Years ago, "King David," starring Richard Gere, was changed so that David MISSED Goliath with his first stone. So after David fiercely proclaimed that he "came in the name of the Lord," did David have to keep throwing until DAVID got it right? Or was God late? Or worse, did God miss???
Changing the framework of what the Bible says, changing the Truth that God gave us, because a producer or writer thinks his version is better? is NOT okay! It is not an "artistic license," it is blasphemy and God takes that seriously. It has always been so.
And that is why, when I see such well-made stories like "The Shift" and "The Chosen," I applaud! It's obvious to me how passionately careful they have been with God's word, how they took the time to take care and respect it, the hours of prayer poured into it, and the huge impact they have and will have for the Kingdom of God.
I pray directors Brock Heasley (The Shift) and Dallas Jenkins (The Chosen and Executive Producer of The Shift) continue to stand strong in the name of the Lord. Heavy criticism will come, as it always does when people pray, when the fruit gets ripe and heavy laden for harvest. All glory to God!© Jen Shroder
The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.