Earlier this week I watched “A Lamp in the Dark, The Untold History of the Bible”. Its available for free on youtube, and is pretty fascinating. Alas, it is not without serious problems.
The biggest issue is the overwhelming anti-Catholic bias and selective one sided cherry picking against them, all the while completely failing to mention similar issues on the protestant side.
With respect to Constantine, “If Constantine were a true believer, how could he turn and persecute other Christians?” and all the while Calvin’s murders of fellow Christians was strangely absent in the presentation.
The video also states that the crusades began, not as an assault upon witches, or upon Muslims, but upon Bible believing Christians, namely the Albigenses.
Now, this is where things really go off the rails…
If Albigenses are Bible believing Christians, then the Bible must ascribe not to a trinitarian God, but rather two different gods, namely the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and a second god of evil. Likewise, it must hold to Jesus as being a good moral example, and not part of the trinity.
Those are really severe errors… and while the Albigenses did address a number of issues where the Catholic church was running off the rails, the film only focuses on the parts they got right, not the fact that they were far from orthodox Christianity in basic beliefs.
And this is where things are super strange. The Waldensians, earlier peers of the Albigenses did hold to orthox Christianity, and in most ways, one could say they were Bible believers. The problem is one of chronology screwing up the anti-catholic narrative surrounding the inquisition, or in giving the documentary writers the benefit of a doubt, a truly massive fail at fact checking.
And that is what is so sad about this… this could have been a really great documentary, but when such obvious errors are made, everything becomes suspect, some of it hilariously so. Things like the emergent church being a catholic conspiracy are crazy making, or in a similar vein being upset that the American Bible Society presented Pope Benedict with a polyglot Bible.