I feel a little like a TV guide service during these few weeks where the networks are rushing to take advantage of the Jesus conversation. NBC is running another two hour Dateline special tonight entitled The Power of Faith. I don’t have any idea what we’ll get in terms of content, but it’s sure to be more conversation material. Also, James Caviezel (who plays Jesus in the film) will be on Leno tonight. Somehow I missed Mel on The Tonight Show last night (probably because I usually can’t stand to watch Jay), but I’m told the vibe was mostly positive. Jay seemed to dig the film, and the audience was applauding Mel as he explained his motives and methods. On a less spiritual note, Bill Cosby will be on Letterman tonight. I doubt he talks much about Jesus, but it’s likely to be pretty good television.
One other note as the hype continues to swirl about The Passion of the Christ: As people of all faiths and perspectives pour out of theaters, reactions are even stronger than many expected. Some people love it; some people literally despise it. Frankly, I’ve read some reviews that are nothing short of vitriolic, even embodying a kind of verbal brutality that’s every bit as bloody as the physical brutality they find so repulsive in the film. We’re going to talk about all of this in the near future. In the meantime, don’t overwhelm yourself with the harsh and narrow commentary from either side. In fact, take a minute to read this Dennis Prager piece and let it be Pepto to the rhetorical diarrhea smelling up the rest of the media. It’s probably the most thoughtful and balanced perspective I’ve encountered when it comes to the different reactions so many will have to this experience.