“What you have in the figure of Christ is an actual person who lived, plus a myth, and, in some sense, Christ is the union of those two things.”
— Jordan B. Peterson
In a podcast episode that was as tear jerking for the audience as it was for the host, Jordan Peterson thoughtfully points out that Christianity is rooted in two realities: the physical and the spiritual.
After all, the central claim of Christianity is that the Son of God descended from His heavenly throne to become a flesh and blood human being.
Admittedly, it’s a hard pill to swallow. Jordan Peterson says as much.
Peterson’s sentiment reverbs to the post-modern world, where metastasizing materialism pushes faith-based institutions and religious expression into the margins of society.
Consecutively, national polls show downward trends in religious belief. Religiosity is in decline, along with an overall decrease in church attendance.
Amongst this sea of disbelief, director and filmmaker Robert Orlando has taken it upon himself to launch a full-scale investigation into the origins of Christianity, namely the death of Jesus Christ, which Orlando calls “the crime of the millennia.”
The timing of this film is nothing short of, well, divine.
It’s called “The Shroud.” In it, Orlando consults with experts and scientists who’ve conducted analyses on the Shroud of Turin to determine whether the science supports the popular theory that the Shroud is the burial cloth of the historical Jesus Christ that many Christians claim it to be.
Orlando is a New Testament scholar and seasoned filmmaker. One of his latest documentaries, “The Divine Plan,” which centered around Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan’s historic partnership against communism, was a box office success.
Most modern Christian-themed films tend to take one of two tacts: 1) the preachy and holier-than-thou method of evangelism or 2) the outright dismissal of religious belief as silly sentimentality and wishful thinking.
“The Shroud” takes a more even-handed approach to present the facts bound to hold appeal across multiple generations with varying religious beliefs. Orlando makes it clear that in the making of this film, he seeks to extend an intellectual olive branch to the born skeptics of the modern era while also appealing to Christians.
“In our expanding digital age connecting the gospel story with the scientific evidence will spark a renaissance of interest in the origins of the Christian story and its profound impact on World History,” Orlando argues.
“The Shroud” investigates from a scientifically-informed 21st Century perspective what is arguably the most momentous event of the past two millennia. Perhaps what “The Shroud” unveils about the Crucifixion will bridge the faith gap for on-the-cusp believers like Jordan Peterson.
Whatever your beliefs are about the biblical Christ, one can not overstate the importance of this investigation.
The release of the documentary is set for summer 2023, and it will be preceded by an informational book on the Shroud, which is scheduled to be published this Easter.
Erin McLaughlin is a researcher, writer, and executive assistant. You can read her pieces at The American Spectator, College Fix, and Daily Caller. Erin graduated Grove City College in 2020. When she’s not at her desk you can likely find Erin on set or out hiking in the scenic Pennsylvania woods. Contact her at erinvmcl (at) gmail.com.