Have you ever taken a second to wonder how Christianity spread from just 12 apostles to the billions of believers around the world today? Or what sacrifices were made so you can enjoy the faith you know today?
TBN’s six-part documentary series, Inexplicable: How Christianity Spread to the Ends of the Earth endeavors to not only answer these questions, but expand Christianity’s reach further still.
At a recent press junket, Crosswalk interviewed Inexplicable’s host (Dennis Haysbert) and executive producer (Dr. Norman Mintle), and sat in on a panel discussion, to see into the making of this documentary and how our readers could benefit from such a profound story.
Here are 5 reasons you should keep up with TBN’s Inexplicable series:
1. Inexplicable Is Hosted by Dennis Haysbert
You may know Dennis Haysbert from Allstate commercials or maybe as the President on 24. Haysbert, with his deep, rich voice that made him an icon, walks the audience through each episode, explaining events, and asking the questions that are sure to be on listener’s minds.
To executive producer Norman Mintle, Haysbert was the clear choice to be the host. “We’re looking for integrity in our host, we’re looking for gravitas, and we’re looking for someone who could represent us as a guide through this journey of 2,000 years that we’re cramming into 6 hours. And Dennis was absolutely perfect. “
Haysbert shared with Crosswalk that working on this project “made him more of a man of faith.” And after viewing the first episode premiere for the first time with the rest of the audience, Haysbert was in awe of all the work that had come together: “I am just blown away… I’m just so happy to be involved in this.”
In response to what got him involved in Inexplicable to begin with, Haysbert says “What drew me to this is the need to know… It was very important to me to become a part of this because a lot of things I spoke about I didn’t know.”
And Haysbert certainly will not be the only one to learn something new with this series.
2. Inexplicable Will Tell You Stories You Have Never Heard Before
The six-part series spans 2,000 years and 20 different world regions, sharing not just the historical facts of how Christianity spread, but the beautiful and inspiring stories that spurred it on from the lead characters’ perspectives themselves.
Dr. Mintle shares: “What we wanted to do was find stories of people, some known, and some completely unknown, and let their stories of their life and how they helped spread Christianity tell our stories throughout all six episodes. So, you’re going to see that sort of story over and over again. Some people you know, Constantine you know, Augustine you know. Perpetua you didn’t know.”
#1 New York Times Bestseller Eric Metaxas, who hosted the panel, went so far as to call Inexplicable a public service because of how informative and inspiring it is. As an author of many Christian books himself, he shared “I feel like I have a sense of the history of the faith, but then you watch something like this and realize no, there are huge holes,” and “It’s a vital service because there are tons of people, some Christians some not, that know nothing about this. And when you encounter it, you cannot help but be affected. There’s just no doubt about it. I think we live in a culture where it’s very easy to ignore this stuff, but when it comes infront of you, it touches you.”
From early church martyrs and heroes, to historical events that God used to spread Christianity, you are sure to walk away knowing something more about God’s sovereignty and the spread of his Word than you did before. And it is all historically accurate.
3. Inexplicable’s Historical Accuracy Will Build Your Faith
Dr. Jerry Pattengale, lead historian of the project, compiled over 1,000 pages of research to create a series with such historical integrity that your faith will be stronger than ever. This was of highest priority to the documentary’s creators.
After the premiere, Dr. Mintle declared “Everything you heard tonight, is to the best of human knowledge, 100% accurate. We want the world to see this series for the next hundred years. And I want people never to be able to say ‘Oh you Christians made that up… You always do that, you always inflate stuff’. And so Jerry was there to bring us scholars and to be our quality control and say ‘That, to the best of all human scholarship, we know to be accurate.’ Not only has it been fun, but we’re striving for intense accuracy and legitimacy and authenticity.”
With such a strong historical basis for the incredulous events that transpired, audience members will have no other explanation for the stories but the hand of God—and can rest easy doing so.
4. Inexplicable Uplifts Women of the Faith as True Heroines
The creators of Inexplicable took pride in not only highlighting great men of the faith, but women as well.
Haysbert cites the stories of the women he narrates as some of the most memorable, and Dr. Mintle focused on women who “… were key, had key roles, in the spread of Christianity. And in fact, as we were reading the script [for the second episode], the line said Heroines and Heroes. And Dennis said ‘Shouldn’t it be Heroes and Heroines?’ I said ‘No. No, we want Heroines first because there are more women whose stories we’re telling in that episode.’”
The stand-out character of the first episode was a 3rd-century female martyr, named Perpetua. The creators were able to share her impactful story of perseverance and dignity from a place of such heart and accuracy because they actually used transcripts from her personal diary.
Her story, among many others, is sure to empower you to live unashamed of the Gospel.
5. Inexplicable’s Production Quality Is Top-Notch
In order to get this series out to the world as soon as possible, TBN used six different production companies to create the six episodes. But their attention to detail makes the series cohesive and aesthetic, incorporating art, stunning graphics, and culturally accurate actors and settings.
Metaxes shares “The visuals and the production values—spectacular. Praise the Lord. This is really fine work.”
Kelly-Jayne McGlynn is the Family Editor for Crosswalk.com. She loves being able to combine her love for God with her love of writing, and highly enjoys being at a job where the debate over the Oxford Comma actually matters.
Photo Courtesy: TBN, TheStateofFaith.com
Kelly-Jayne McGlynn loves her role as Family Editor for Crosswalk. She sees the act of expression, whether through writing or art, as a way to co-create with God and experience him deeper. Check out her handmade earring Instagram and Etsy for more of her thoughts on connecting with God through creative endeavors.