A.D. the Bible Continues (Sundays, 9:00 p.m. EST on NBC) delves into the first 10 chapters of Acts. Beyond A.D., hosted by E! News anchor Jason Kennedy, features a discussion panel composed of pastors, authors, and Christian celebrities who dissect elements of the current episode.
Filmed at Real Life Church in Valencia, CA, before a live studio audience, Kennedy prods the panel to comment on everything from the filming locations to the motives of Saul and Caiaphas. Questions posted on social media are also used to propel the discussions. Each episode closes with a performance by a special musical guest. Israel Houghton, All Sons & Daughters, and Colton Dixon are among those scheduled to appear.
TSO was on set for the filming of one of the most engaging segments of the series, Episode 5. Featuring only two guests, this episode paired Louie Giglio, Pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta and founder of Passion Conferences, with tobyMac (Toby McKeehan), Grammy Award-winning artist and former member of D.C. Talk.
Unlike most of the other musical guests, McKeehan joins Giglio on the couch to analyze the drama unfolding after the stoning of Stephen. The duo produces an easy banter as the dialogue covers motivations of the Biblical characters, historical background, and personal anecdotes. Giglio even addresses those who take issue with the fictionalization of Biblical stories.
“People always are going to say this about a show like A.D., ‘Well, this wasn’t in Scripture’, and I’m like, ‘No, it wasn’t.’ … No, but you take that in the context of what this show’s doing, which is opening conversations for people and trying to make the story feel like a real human drama.”
Giglio’s Biblical knowledge and insight is renowned and his commentary on Beyond A.D. is notably, and expectedly, discerning and deep, but it’s McKeehan who surprises with open and vulnerable contributions. His are relatable observations, seen not through the eyes of a theologian but as a man who fervently and honestly seeks after Biblical truth and attempts to apply it to his daily life.
While he calls it a “Louie answer”, McKeehan poignantly comments on a scene where Peter accuses Saul of not knowing love.
“Saul said, ‘I do love…I do love tradition’. Man, I thought, I would hate to go down loving tradition. I want to go down loving Jesus. I want to go down loving people.”
While Beyond A.D. is intended as a companion to A.D. the Bible Continues, the show admirably stands on its own merits.
New episodes become available on Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST, but all aired episodes are available for viewing at nbc.com/beyond-ad.
Episode 1 (Aired 4/11)
Mark Burnett, Roma Downey, Kurt Warner
Musical Guest: Israel Houghton
Episode 2 (Aired 4/19)
Juan Pablo di Pace, Jud Wilhite, Christine D’Clario
Musical Guest: Christine D’Clario
Episode 3 (Aired 4/25)
Christine Caine, Judah Smith
Musical Guest: Lincoln Brewster
Episode 4 (Aired 5/3)
Ron G, John Gray
Musical Guest: The City Harmonic
Episode 5 (Aired 5/10)
Kirk Cameron, Chipo Chung, James MacDonald
Musical Guest: All Sons & Daughters
Episode 6 (Aired 5/17)
Louie Giglio, tobyMac
Musical Guest: tobyMac
Episode 7 (Aired 5/24)
Erwin McManus, Wilfredo “Choco” de Jesus, Michelle Williams
Musical Guest: Colton Dixon
Episode 8 (5/31)
Bob Goff, Rich Wilkerson, Jr., Josh Henderson
Musical Guest: Hillsong UNITED
Episode 9 (6/7)
Derwin Gray, David A.R. White, Michelle McKinney Hammon
Episode 10 (6/14)
Samuel Rodriguez, Paul Baloche
Episode 11 (6/21)
John and Lisa Bevere, Charles Jenkins