For the past year or so, I’ve been working on a video documentary called The Real Jesus. Part one is entitled: Debunking the Myths of the Jesus Seminar. It is almost an hour long. I also have a working script that would take several more hours if it were produced in its entirety.
You can read the scripts and see clips from the video here:
Part one of the DVD has been about 90 percent complete since August. I like the way it came out. However, my biggest frustration has been that I am not a professional narrator. I am also not a theologian. So I wanted to recruit a good narrator and get about ten Bible experts in front of a camera to record answers to questions in order to flesh out the remaining ten percent of the project. However, the time and expense required has delayed completing the DVD.
Believe it or not, I work as a teacher and The Forerunner International has been my “hobby” for the past five years. I used to work on Christian media projects full-time in the 1990s. This is the type of project that would have taken a month or two to complete on a full-time schedule. I was recently at the point where I felt terrible that this is still not finished and requires more work.
But here is the good news.
Last week, I had a revolutionary idea on what to do with this video.
First, go here and look at this:
I uploaded this last week. It’s lower quality streaming video compared to the same thing I already have at my web site:
But it occurred to me that I might eventually get a bigger audience on YouTube, which has become one of the most popular Internet sites since Google bought it a few months ago. My clip doesn’t have a huge amount of traffic so far, but that will change once I advertise the following on my website.
I am going to produce the entire Real Jesus Seminar as a weekly Podcast!
Within the next few months, I expect that thousands of people will have watched The Real Jesus on YouTube (and as embedded video on other websites). In addition to offering one long seminar on DVD, I am going to offer 10 minute weekly or biweekly clips on the Internet. It will be just like having my own TV show. I will also create Podcasts of other videos I’ve produced.
People will still have the option of ordering the DVD, but I am going to do it differently at first. This way tens of thousands of people will be affected rather than hundreds.
Let me explain how I came to this conclusion. As I explained, the main log jam I encountered in completing the DVD was in getting good narration and finding some “expert theologians” to do the interviews.
It’s not as though theologians are hard to find in central Florida, the main problem is my time and money. I also talked to a video producer friend of mine about hosting the video. That is still an option, but the problem is his commitment to other projects.
Then it dawned on me that I don’t need experts to make it appealing. I can just do it in the style of a Podcast — since that is going to be the format in which most people would want to view it. Essentially, the “stand-ups” can take the form of a round table discussion with two or three friends.
I have two friends in Melbourne, Florida who produced a pro-life video for MTV’s Unfiltered program in 1997. (Yes, I know that sounds strange, more on that later!) I helped my friends, Joel and Ariel, with the videotaping since I was around pro-life activism 24/7 back then. I thought at the time that one day we would do a TV show together.
The way all television is going to be done in the future will be Internet based. When I was growing up, there were less than 10 channels to choose from. When cable came around, suddenly we had a few dozen channels. Then came digital cable and satellite with hundreds of choices. Now within a few years, we will literally have millions of Podcast channels on the Internet. Everyone who wants a TV show will have one.
When I say that I want to produce a Podcast, really what I am talking about is one or two minutes of commentary within one of the videos that I have already produced. Each Podcast will start with a short introduction:
Introductions: “Hi! I’m Joel” and “I’m Ariel”
Ariel: “This is our program on The Real Jesus. This is a DVD produced by Jay Rogers of The Forerunner and we are going to look at the presentation in 10 parts.
Joel: “We are going to look at part one of The Real Jesus — this is a presentation that examines the phenomenon of The Jesus Seminar and whether or not Christians ought to take their claims seriously.”
Ariel: “What is the Jesus Seminar? First, let’s explain what we are talking about.
Joel: “Apparently, it’s this group of liberal theologians who meet once a year and discuss what Jesus really said and did.”
Ariel: “So these are people who claim to be Christian theologians but all they do is cast doubt the validity of the Bible.
Joel: “And whenever there is a popular program about the Bible on ABC, the History Channel or the Discovery Channel, these are the so-called “expert” theologians that get the most air time.”
Ariel: “As Christians we want to be able to offer another view when we encounter someone who has seen one of these programs. I know I do because my friends always want t know what I think. So watch this and you’ll understand more.”
Then we will have the video for seven to nine minutes. It would be followed by a wrap-up of a short discussion and summary. “Wow! That’s great Joel! How can people get this on DVD?”
Some of the Podcasts will have more discussion. Rather than interview the experts, we will research what the experts have written and quote them as part of a round table discussion. I will appear in some of these as the video producer.
That’s it. We will produce the introductions and conclusions to ten programs at a time.
A few years ago people starting putting up streaming videos about their personal lives. It was a newsworthy phenomenon. But webcasting and podcasting have become even more popular now that more people have broadband. Streaming video will soon be up to broadcast quality and beyond. I read somewhere that by 2010, most people will get their television and entertainment this way.
So that’s the plan for the weekend. By Monday, I’ll write up a report on how it went.
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Your comments are welcome!
High Quality Paperback — 200 pages
A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism
Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner
The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.
Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.
Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.
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Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
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Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
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Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
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Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
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Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
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