Holy Week always prompts a shower of Christianity coverage in the mainstream media. Recently readers and viewers have been doused with reconstituted Jesus Seminar skepticism and a few location shots, but this year it seems even the journalists tiring of that game. The major newsweeklies shifted their coverage from the usual "Who was Jesus—really?" to such topics as Jerusalem in A.D. 33 (Time) and the growth of the early church (U.S. News). And this Saturday at 8 p.m. ET/PT, The History Channel will air a pleasantly surprising original documentary, "The Apostle Paul: The Man Who Turned the World Upside Down."

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 ...

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