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I couldn’t resist buying this album when I saw it for sale in a used bookstore in Cadillac, Michigan last week. The fact it cost a dollar helped me pull the trigger, but I am a well-known sucker for lime green Cardigans and quartets that have five people in them.
On the back of the album is a photo of a “First Reformed Church” someplace, and some of the band members have Dutch last names, so I’ve probably already offended several people who recognized their uncle on the album cover.
But really? Chances are you already knew your uncle was a dork. I have nothing against dorks. Some of my best friends are dorks. My kids would tell you that I am a dork. But I think at least I’m savvy enough not to market my dorkiness in the name of Christ.
There is a great legacy of dorkiness in the church. Do you remember the old Christian satire magazine The Wittenburg Door? They used to award a “Green Weenie” for the dorkiest thing in Christendom every month, be it somebody’s 50-foot-tall aluminum Jesus or the latest ranting by a televangelist. The Heralders album cover photo probably would have qualified. (By the way, back when the RCA published its own magazine called The Church Herald I always wanted to form a touring group of gospel musicians composed entirely of guys named Harold and call them The Church Harolds. But I digress.)
Anyhow, I’m all for bringing back the Green Weenies. And to get a new round of Green Weenies rolling, I’d like to award one to the History Channel’s less-than-epic mini-series called The Bible. Frankly, I’m amazed that we’ve gotten three episodes into this debacle without another member of The 12 commenting. But I suppose there is a plausible explanation – no one is watching.
Besides the fact that Noah sounded Irish (I kept waiting for him to say, “B’gosh and begorrah, on you go, two by two, and keep your mitts off me Lucky Charms”) and the strange fact that Samson appeared to be a Jamaican dude with dreads, the biggest failing of the History Channel’s dramatization of the Bible is that it’s boring. What’s surprising is that the mini-series is produced by the husband and wife team of Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, he of Survivor fame and she of Touched by an Angel. Those shows weren’t nearly as boring (or dorky) as what they’re doing to the Bible.
The problem is money. They don’t have enough of it to spend in at least two significant areas: actors and special effects. I haven’t watched all of The Bible, but I did see enough of Moses to laugh at his attempts at wild-eyed gazing. I said aloud to the screen, “This Moses is a dork.” That’s not good.
So, I started dreaming about my own production of the Bible. Who should direct? Peter Jackson? Steven Speilberg? How about the Coen Brothers? And who should star? Here are a few random actors I’d like to see: Tommy Lee Jones as Pontius Pilate, Geoffrey Rush as Abraham, Sean Penn as Judas, Christian Bale as Peter, Michelle Williams as Mary, Helena Bonham Carter as Mary Magdelene, and Gary Oldman as Jeremiah. What do you think? I’d love to see your suggestions for casting the Bible. Who should play Jesus? What a challenging role. And for that matter, who should play Paul? What do you think? By the way, don’t believe it when you get a sneaking suspicion that only dorks sit around and create their dream casts for the Bible. You can do it. Just remember when you’re casting any quartets to only feature four people.