The Chosen, Evangelism, and Global Evangelicalism

The first-ever multiple season television show about Jesus Christ called The Chosen has amassed an impressively large world-wide following in its brief existence. With over half a billion views on its free electronic media app, the show has also become available on cable networks, streaming services, and broadcast television venues as well as making appearances in theatrical releases. In several respects, viewers are discovering that The Chosen is not the typical faith-based film experience. Despite its popularity—and perhaps in some cases because of its popularity—like any and every other television or film presentation about Jesus, The Chosen has also attracted a variety of reviews that are more critical of its artistic efforts.
As one of three theological script consultants for The Chosen, I am not a disinterested party when discussing it. But I do have some insights on the mission of the TV show as well as some of its operating principles. This paper discusses the balance of three of the show’s broader internal principles that have led to its attractiveness (i.e., authenticity, plausibility, and relatability) and outlines three ways the show is useful in evangelism efforts. Then the paper makes three observations about the potential impact of The Chosen on global evangelicalism and offers three cautions for consumers of the TV show, be they fans or skeptics or disinterested parties.