Some days are predictable; most are not. Today is one of those days, and as a creative, that’s the way I like it.
It’s early morning: South Africa rises while America still sleeps—a good time to catch up on emails and get ahead with work before the day’s staff meetings: Adventist Review Media is based in Maryland, but its contractors are spread out from America’s East Coast to Canada, England, and here in South Africa, where two of us happen to share a house.
I open an email from Australia and answer it immediately, to get a second response before the writer heads off to bed. It is from a well-known evangelist: “We have some more new episodes for Adventist Review TV [ARtv].” I copy his assistant so that she can send me links to the files, thumbnails, and descriptions of each episode.
I sign in to the back end of ARtv. This is where videos are uploaded and are arranged into categories and collections, where metadata is added and videos are scheduled for future release. We’re now closing in on 1,500 videos from all over the world. Our on-demand streaming channel was the very first in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and one of the first among religious channels. This was late 2017, years ahead of other streaming giants like Disney, HBO, and Amazon Prime. The Adventist Church is known for being a pioneer in media, having been one of the first religious organizations to broadcast on radio and television. Mission instincts told Adventist Review Ministries that reaching a changing consumer market required the move beyond print and demanded a variety of digital platforms.
I check the time difference with São Paulo, Brazil. I need to talk with a 3-D animator there who is working with us, creating animations for kids. ARtv also produces its own original content, and we are gearing up to launch a KidsView streaming platform this year. I enjoy being part of a team that helps create original content, as well as curating third-party content from producers around the world. Novo Tempo, the South American Hope Channel, will be sharing all their Portuguese and Spanish content with us so that ARtv can soon provide programming in multiple languages.
Later in the day I log on to the daily Adventist Review Ministries staff meeting. The COVID pandemic has not paused our gospel commitment: everyone connects remotely from home if they aren’t living near their offices at headquarters. Connecting to Zoom and interacting with 20 faces on one screen is not quite the same as being in the same room together, but it works for now.
André Brink creates and curates content for Adventist Review TV. In his free time he loves trail running and mountain biking in the mountains and vineyards that surround Somerset West in sunny South Africa. He and his wife, Penny, have a passion for spreading the gospel through innovative methods.
The Beyond—the Search documentary series explores some of life’s biggest questions, including: Why do we have pain and suffering? What happens when we die? The series tells an epic story that gives new perspective to a world in crisis.
Filmed across Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas, and the Pacific, Beyond—the Search has won 15 international film awards, and was selected by the United Nations for the Global Wake-up film festival.
The series features three presenters: Geoff Youlden, Dannielle Synot, and Johnny Murison, who travel the globe to find stories that give evidence to the biblical worldview. The 14-part series includes interesting interviews, original news footage, reenacted dramatic sequences, and excellent storytelling, making use of the documentary genre. The cinematography is of a very high standard, and the episodes are fast-moving and compelling.
The original music score was composed by BAFTA winner and EmmyAward-nominated Michael Price, and includes nine original songs by various songwriters from around the world.
One of the episodes, Beyond Lost: The Search for Rescue, features a thrilling story about miners trapped underground, as well as adventurer Dom Mee, lost in a storm in the Atlantic.
Yet another episode, Beyond Warning: The Search for Safety, tells the fascinating story of the eruption of Mount St. Helens, and how we so often do not heed warning signs.
Funded by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and produced at the Adventist Media Network Studios in Sydney, Australia, the series is now available as an evangelistic tool worldwide. The DVD box set contains 14 half-hour documentary episodes and more than 12 hours of additional content for use in small-group discussions. Additional study resources include a 24-part study guide, two companion books, SeeBeyond and StepBeyond, and the musical sound track. The series is available in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.
For more information, and to watch the series trailer, visit www.beyond.info.
André Brink is digital media director for Adventist Review.
The better part of valor leads Shawn Brace to hold back, until his epilogue, what he might quite zealously have unleashed on his deserving readership from the beginning. Instead, Brace’s introductory remarks arrive through a guest-written foreword whose author is identified only by the signature at the end of his piece. Squandered purchase! Brace fails to exploit the market value of this alternative cover: “There’s More to Jesus, with a foreword by Dwight Nelson, Pioneer Memorial Church, Andrews University.” More, Brace might have included his own humble prelude detailing his indebtedness and expounding on his gratitude to his former professor. It would all have been quite credible.
But the credibility Nelson and Brace pursue is thoroughly unrelated to market advantage. What they crave for us is holy fire, kindled in our bosom as it once was more than 130 years ago in the bosom of a young doctor under a rain-drenched tent at a California camp meeting in 1882. It changed his world. It is still changing lives.
Nelson and Brace share this book because they crave for us what God gave that youth, and what He has given them. They want us to catch the vision of the fullness of Christ that shines out of the 181 pages this book. What Nelson saw, reading Brace’s 22 chapters, on Jesus the Lover, Creator, Covenant-Keeper, Liberator, Judge, and all the rest, so revolutionized Nelson himself that now his one prayer for readers is that we too “choose to embrace this vision of the fullness of Christ” (p. viii).
And there’s the catch: we’ve heard all this before, and often, about needing the fire-tried gold, white raiment, and eyesalve so we can see and experience and reveal the full beauty of truth as it is in Jesus. Every Laodicean has heard all this many times before. So what’s new about Brace extolling “all of Scripture,” “Christ alone,” and “all of Christ”?
It’s at least 500 Reformation years old. Precisely Brace’s point, made at the end. It’s his altar call: hearing gospel truth and finding gospel in our history is not unusual for Seventh-day Adventist theology, he says.
But we know that something is still missing: earth is not yet ablaze with the glory predicted in Revelation 18. Brace doesn’t claim to have all the answers. What he does share is worth every minute of your reading. You’ll thank him and thank God for the sanctifying blessing of this book that draws you tightly close to Jesus.
There’s More to Jesus: Encountering the Fullness of Christ in Adventism, published by Signs Publishing, Victoria, Australia, is available through inverity.org.
Lael Caesar is an associate editor of Adventist Review.