National Geographic Channel premieres the new documentary series, The Story of God with Morgan Freeman, April 3, 2016. It will air over the course of 6 weeks in 171 countries and in 45 languages worldwide.
“As a whole, The Story of God with Morgan Freeman seeks to understand how religion has evolved throughout the course of civilization, and in turn how religion has shaped the evolution of society. Although in our current geopolitical landscape, religion is often seen as something that divides, the series illuminates the remarkable similarities among different faiths, even those that seem to be in staunch contrast. This is a quest for God: to shed light on the questions that have puzzled, terrified and inspired mankind, not to mention Freeman himself.” National Geographic Channel
I must admit that I was a bit apprehensive about what I was about to be watching. I knew this type of program would have the potential to be controversial and even possibly go against my beliefs.
As I screened the first three episodes of the series, Beyond Death, Apocalypse and Creation I had these three takeaways:
As one who loves to travel, I was intrigued.
As one who loves to continue learning, I was interested.
As one who loves God and His story, I was inspired.
As a traveler: I’ve done a good bit of globe trotting in my life. I appreciate seeing new places and cultures. The Story of God took me on virtual trips to Egypt, Turkey, Israel, India, Italy, Thailand and more. Some places I had been but some were new experiences.
As a learner: Morgan Freeman spent time with monks, archeologists, theologians, and historical experts. There is so much we can learn if we allow ourselves to step out of what we know. I appreciate these folks and National Geographic for giving us this educational opportunity.
As a believer in Christ: I was inspired by what I saw and learned. For someone who is has a firm foundation in what they believe, we don’t have to agree with everything we hear. We can utilize what we learn from other belief systems to bridge the gap and begin some great conversations.
Morgan Freeman takes us along on his journey to discover how our beliefs can connect us. The series begs us to ask questions. Questions worth asking. Questions worth hammering out. Questions worth searching the answers for.
“As we put this series together, we sought answers to some of mankind’s biggest questions, but in the end, what surprised us most was to find how personal those answers were for each of us.” Said Executive producers Lori McCreary and James Younger. “We hope The Story of God will help open an interfaith dialogue about ideas and values that we all share, not that we disagree on.”
In the Creation episode, Freeman points out that, “Every religion has a creation story.” He dives into the trying to find out where and when humans first began our conversations with God. He suggests that we could learn a lot about ourselves if we could figure that out. Freeman traveled to Turkey to see if he could unearth the birth of farming and possibly trace that back to the Garden of Eden. He suggests that the beginning of farming occurred after the fall of man in the Garden. Although there are many who speculate, no one has yet discovered facts disclosing its whereabouts.
I feel this series might be unpopular due to the hard fast views of those who think science and religion cannot cross paths while others will argue that science wouldn’t exist without God. The Story of God, in my opinion, is presented in such a way that presents historical and geographical facts while posing questions that, if one can keep an open mind and can see it as educational rather than confrontational, can bring about peaceful conversations.
The series could also be unpopular among those of a particularly strong religious background. My recommendation is, however, for the religious skeptic, like myself in some ways, to watch it with this scripture in mind, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) Ask the questions. Seek until you find the answers. And for those who don’t believe in God, knock on the door.
Each episode is centered on a different question about:
End of Days
Who is God?
I recommend watching this series with a sense of wonder and a spirit of learning. Then let the conversations begin.
“It is my fervent hope that people will open their hearts and minds and see that our beliefs don’t have to divide us but they have the power to unite us.” Morgan Freeman
For more information about The Story of God with Morgan Freeman, visit www.natgeotv.com.