What’s happened to the History Channel?

Ok, last night I watched a lovely episode of Modern Marvels on the B-52 bomber, (not the whole thing, like 5 minutes…I was doing a couple other things) but I was surprised to find it on.  These days you’re likely as not to light on “Alien Abductions,”  “Nostradamus’ Prophecies” or “UFO Hunters” when flicking past HC.

Now it seems the Easter weekend line-up is heavy with Biblical Battles, David vs. Goliath, and currently, Antichrist.  The Biblical Battle shows aspire to history.  E.g., when the scholars were addressing Moses as general, they suggested that parting the Red Sea was easily explained as a result of Moses’ familiarity with the region (he’d apparently wandered there a bit in his youth); he knew the tides, the narrows, the shallow areas of the Red Sea, etc.  It seemed to me the miraculous side was significantly downplayed.  Knee deep, wading at low tide at the exact right time and spot (no evidence presented, just stuck on the thought, how could it possibly have happened like it did for Charlton Heston?).  It’s the History Channel, what do you expect?

Well, the program on the Antichrist is more open to non-historical explanation.  I suppose it has to be; after all it’s about the impending future.  We don’t have to rely on the Bible for all of our evidence about Biblical battles.  (The search for secondary evidence gives anthropology grad students an excuse to dig in the sand.)  But our key to the impending future of the Antichrist is found in the Bible, or at least in speculation based on the Bible.

The show points to a growing number of signs, from bar code technology to the formation of the state of Israel, which foretell the coming of the Antichrist.  Unlike the first coming of Christ, announced by John the Baptist, the Second Coming is announced by the Antichrist, a polished, silver-tongued deceiver.  But I’ve never understood how this could work.  Obviously Steven King is no authority, but why on earth would anyone ever have followed Randall Flagg, in The Stand?

The History Channel doesn’t focus much on the positive message, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son…” but at least they’re offering a little biblical exegesis this Easter.

Happy Easter!

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