(We received these books as a gift from Sophia Institute, and Phil was happy to review them below)
In our increasingly secular society, Christianity continues to be of great interest. There are those who love Christ, those who scoff at him, and those who hate him. But there are very few people who are ambivalent towards him. He continues to be in our time as he was in his time, a “sign of contradiction”. Even in our society that has moved further from Christ there is still great intrigue about his life and legacy. We can see this clearly by the fact that NBC is airing a new miniseries dealing with the beginnings of Christianity called: A.D. The Bible Continues. Whenever there are major television and film productions dealing with biblical events, it is a great opportunity for Christians to grow in their own understanding of our faith and to evangelize others.
As my wife and I sit down and watch these episodes, we have found two resources from Sophia Press that will help us understand the importance and meaning of the events we are watching. Trying to understand the Catholic faith in today’s world is difficult enough. Trying to understand what it was like for Christians 2.000 years ago is nearly impossible. In his book Ministers and Martyrs, Mike Aquilina has made the time of the Apostles and the early Church accessible to all his readers. This book clearly explains the beginning of the Church, the persecution that Christians faced, and the great heroes and saints of that time period.
The Catholic Viewers Guide by Veronica Burchard will make a great companion to this miniseries as well. This would be great to use with your family or friends or even with men or women’s groups. As a high school Theology teacher, I could definitely use this when teaching about the Early Church. I love how this book breaks down each episode and identifies the time period being covered and the key characters that you will see. It gives background information, important vocabulary, scripture references and questions to discuss after watching each episode.
So if you are planning on watching A.D. The Bible Continues, be sure to get your hands on the only Catholic viewers guide out there. It will not only make the this miniseries come alive, it will also strengthen your own faith by helping you reflect on the saints and martyrs who gave their life to hand it on to us.