As anyone with passing knowledge of Acts is already aware, Paul's life story contains plenty of made-for-TV drama: dark past, supernatural conversion, travel, death threats, shipwreck, interpersonal conflicts, imprisonment. The documentary pretty much takes its details on these events straight from Acts: narrator Martin Sheen (whose voice lends an odd West Wing feel to the whole thing) simply reports that Paul's conversion and healing from his first stoning were "miraculous," his message was inspired by God, and he persuaded thousands to accept Christ. Another voice quotes Scriptures about the stories. The historicity of the book is, refreshingly, never questioned.
In addition to chronicling Paul's exciting life, the film touts his pivotal role in liberating Christianity from its Jewish trappings and transforming it into a world religion. One of the documentary's talking heads suggests that without Paul, we (21st-century non-Jews, presumably) might never have heard of Jesus. I don't quite buy the idea that God's worldwide mission rested entirely in Paul's hands, but then again, we're talking about the "Apostle to the Gentiles," ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more