After watching Season 1 of the popular video series, The Chosen, I was quite favorably impressed. I found Jonathan Roumie’s portrayal of Christ closer to my idea of how Jesus might have come across than had been the case with any other film on the life and character of Christ that I had ever watched. Those early episodes seemed to make Jesus’ patience and interaction with His disciples more real. I began encouraging others to watch the series.
But then, as Season 2 unfolded, I became increasingly uncomfortable with the extent of unnecessary extra-Biblical conjecture in The Chosen’s story line. I understand that in films like this some degree of “editorial license” is going to have to be granted. But the speculative backstories seemed to become excessive, annoyingly belabored, and — from my perspective — dangerously misleading to viewers not well-versed in what the Bible itself actually does or does not say.
In addition, I began to become aware of the potentially influential role in this project of those who are not evangelical Christians. Certainly I can understand consulting with Jewish scholars in order to better understand first century Israel and Judaism. But consulting is one thing. Working on this series with those who are not evangelical in their theology and view of the Bible on this series is quite another — be it those of Jewish, Roman Catholic, or Mormon persuasion. This becomes a particularly big deal when portraying the character, words, and demeanor of our Lord Himself.
Dallas Jenkins is the creator and director of The Chosen. Jenkins has stated that this series may go on for many years yet Just how doctrinally discerning is Dallas Jenkins? Is he committed and is he able to guard the content of the series from critical theological drift? After listening to what Jenkins himself said while being interviewed by a Mormon in 2020*, I am not so sure that he is.
Mr. Jenkins often deflects concerns about his working with those of aberrant faith and doctrinal persuasions by encouraging viewers to just “judge the content.” But it’s more complicated than that. To cooperate in a series like this with those espousing views that are not Biblical lowers the bar of orthodoxy in and of itself. It lends credibility to false views and heretical faith systems. I could go on.
The enemy of truth is working overtime these days. His tactics are ever so subtle. You and I cannot be too cautious. From now on, at the very least, all viewers of The Chosen should go on high alert.
To understand the concerns expressed here more specifically, take three minutes to read this succinct statement just released by my friend and fellow apologist, Pastor Dwight Oswald: CLICK HERE.
* To listen to (or to read the transcript of) the 2020 interview mentioned above, CLICK HERE.