Sunday night, televisions across America were tuned into a new Mark Burnett-produced series. But this latest Burnett offering wasn't what most people have come to expect from the man who is arguably the most successful reality television producer working today. Instead, more than 14 million Americans tuned in to the first installment of what Burnett has called a "love story" between God and humanity. Burnett and his actress-producer wife, Roma Downey ("Touched by an Angel"), are bringing to life the best-selling, most influential book of all time: The Bible.
What is it about this millennia-old book that still makes for great television? Put another way, why is the Bible still relevant in 2013? There are certainly many reasons.
As a piece of literature, the Bible is an exciting read. It is the ultimate blockbuster filled with love, lust, betrayal, wars, feuds, miracles and so much more. Between its pages are stories of action, adventure and romance. Just visit any children's Sunday school class to see the ability of its stories -- from Noah and the ark to Moses and the Red Sea to Jesus walking on water -- to captivate and enthrall.
As a guidebook, the Bible offers more answers than an encyclopedia and more wisdom than any financial plan. From how to resolve conflict to how to build a strong marriage, from how to raise children to how to deal with debt, the Bible answers the most pressing issues of our day.
At its core, the Bible is a single story. It is the story of a God who loves a people who don't always love Him back -- but He keeps loving them just the same.
I've had the privilege of seeing a sneak peak of Burnett and Downey's "The Bible." With moving performances, breathtaking cinematography, stirring music and top-notch special effects, I believe the series will set a new high water mark for the faith-film genre. Seeing just the first installment only solidified my hopes for this unrivaled story, coming to life on the History Channel over the next four Sunday nights.
For me though, the miniseries is about more than good television. I'm most excited to think of those who will be experiencing the epic love story of God's Word for the first time. My prayer is that they -- and you -- will be inspired to dive into the Bible for yourself.
In doing so, we become part of the story.