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Exclusive: A.R. Bernard talks how CNN’s ‘Finding Jesus’
could convince skeptics of Christ’s existence
Interview By Kenya Hobbs // Article By Ann Abrams
Posted March 3, 2017
Photo Courtesy of Grace Hill Media
How can you effectively share your faith in a rapidly changing world where many believe the Bible
is a fairytale and Jesus is a fictitious character?

How can you confidently witness about Christ when there are widely published
reports that the
U.S. public is becoming less religious and millennials—those born between 1982 and 1994—are
falling away from the faith, and
leaving the church now more than ever?

How can you overcome the loudly expressed disparaging views of Christianity and growing
intolerance for the teachings of the Bible, and share an ancient Gospel in a rapidly changing

These questions are on the minds of many followers of Jesus Christ that may feel ill-equipped to
formulate convincing arguments to grab the attention of the biggest skeptics of faith—particularly
when it comes to Christianity.

But A.R. Bernard, Founder and Senior Pastor of the 37,000-member
Christian Cultural Center in
Brooklyn, NY is not intimidated by the times in which we live. The practical leader, who says he
aims to communicate the gospel in ways that “educate the mind, stir the heart and motivate the
will,” sat down for an exclusive interview with Empowering Everyday Women Online Magazine.

During his discussion by phone with Kenya Hobbs, COO of Empowering Everyday Women
Ministries, Inc., the mega pastor, who is participating in Season 2 of
Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact,
airing on CNN Sunday, March 5 at 9PM ET/PT, shared an optimistic view of witnessing in
the 21st century.

Bernard views
Finding Jesus—a series that focuses primarily on Jesus’ journey throughout the
ancient world, the impact of his ministry, early church history and why our faith is more
meaningful than ever in our modern-day world—as an excellent tool to share the faith.

Its airing on a major network is a bonus.

“CNN is a respected journalistic platform that prides itself in trying to be as center as possible
politically and dealing with social issues as well. And here they take on a project of faith, not just
Interfaith to try to please everyone, but a specific faith, and that is the faith of Christianity,” said
the President of the Council of Churches of the City of New York, representing 1.5 million
Protestants, Anglicans and Orthodox Christians.

“So, to have something like this that is conventionally aired on Discovery or a Christian network,
to have it aired and produced by CNN on their platform, I think that is exceptional, because with
that comes a degree of credibility in the minds of those who are skeptical about the Christian
faith,” he said.

A person that hasn’t quite figured out what they really think, feel or believe about religion and
God, might be particularly drawn to Bernard’s teaching on one of the twelve disciples named
Thomas. He is the biblical figure who earned the nickname “Doubting Thomas” because he is
“remembered mostly by doubting,” pointed out the influential leader who sits on the NYC
Economic Development Corporation Board.

“I think of him more as a seeker, someone who is going through a process of reasoning the
things that he’s seen and heard over the past three-and-a-half years that he’s spent with this
figure, and this enigmatic figure called Jesus,” said Bernard, who likens Thomas, in a way, to the
modern-day seeker.

“I think that he was trying to process it all and trying to come to some conclusion and he
symbolizes people today who have read the story and get it, and want to believe, but they’re
trying to make sense of it.

“Christianity is a religion of faith and faith is a reasoned trust. The biblical text gives us a reason
to believe and I think that’s what Thomas was wrestling with, and many, many can identify with
that wrestling.

“I think non-believers can identify with that seeking, with that searching. One of the things that
separates us as human beings from all other created beings is that we reflect, we ponder the
meaning of life, the purpose of life, and the value of life, and that is present in every human

If, by chance, a Doubting Thomas type sits through CNN's
Finding Jesus, which explores the
evidence, writing, archaeological findings and the people involved in Jesus’ story, he or she may
be surprised by how rooted in history the story of Jesus actually is.

“Now, you and I as believers don’t need archaeological findings to legitimize what we believe,”
said Bernard to Hobbs. “We believe regardless. But it’s nice to have the supportive evidence to
give greater legitimacy to the minds of those who don’t believe and who are skeptical.”

Hobbs agreed, adding, “That’s really an excellent point, because if you can strip the story away
from the religious talk and spiritual nature of it, and put it into a practical context, it can, perhaps,
give greater credence to the argument.”

Furthermore, Bernard chimed in, “Instead of putting Jesus on trial,
Finding Jesus really puts the
evidence of people who surrounded His life and the impact that it had on them [on trial], that they
would continue to spread Christianity, because Christianity wasn’t spread by Jesus Himself. It was
spread by those who were impacted by His life.”

Fascinated by that discussion point, Hobbs said, “Having that kind of factual, tangible, evidence
in place that this guy [Jesus] really existed is another piece to utilize in further confirming the faith
that we have and that we’re attempting to share with the greater world.”

Bernard replied, “It’s evidence that demands a verdict.”

Explore that evidence for yourself and invite a seeker or non-believer in your life to watch
on CNN Sunday, March 5 at 9PM ET/PT.

View the trailer below.
Copyright © 2017-2020 Empowering Everyday Women Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
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