What You Need To Know:
(CCC, H, Pa, V) Christian worldview, often featuring non-Christian characters, which sometimes ignores their non-Christian pasts; some scenes of Holocaust victims and other victims of persecution; and, nude bodies of Holocaust victims.
GREAT SOULS is a retrospective of six of the great souls of the 20th Century. It is a marvelous series that should be seen and re-seen in the homes of believers and non-believers. Written and hosted by David Aikman, former Senior Correspondent of Time Magazine, this series looks at six of the most influential people of the 20th Century. In doing so, it exalts cardinal virtues and Christian principles and gives children and adults the desire to embrace and emulate them.
Two of the great souls seem self-evident: Billy Graham and Mother Theresa. These two wonderfully-woven and written video documentaries highlight the spiritual gifts and moral fabric which these two individuals exemplify.
Billy Graham is arguably the preeminent Christian leader of the 20th Century. He led millions to know new life in Jesus Christ, was a friend to ten American Presidents and pastor to millions.
Mother Theresa felt called of God to serve the poorest people of India. She inspired the world with her example of compassion for the poor and set a standard for servanthood unequaled in the twentieth century.
The next video focuses on Pope John Paul II, showing his valiant battle against secularism and communism. It attributes, to a degree, the overthrow of the Marxist-Leninist system to Pope John Paul’s crusade for human dignity.
The next program treats Aleksandr Solzhenitzyn, whose voice of honesty and truth describing the Soviet Gulag exposed the horrors of Communism and eventually helped to overthrow that evil system without a shot being fired. It is very critical to understand the power of faith in the midst of extreme adversity in the darkest corner of the prisons.
Hailed as the greatest Russian writer of the 20th century, Aleksandr’s light of faith never went out, and his clear recall of the horrors that have been hidden expose the fruitless works of Leninism and set the people behind the Iron Curtain free. In other words, he did not need an army: One man plus God freed hundreds of millions of people.
Another incredible story is Nelson Mandela. Again, the series focuses on the good, although it mentions his attempt to overthrow Apartheid with armed force and hints at his early Marxist views. It also highlights the influence of the Christian forces in his life that taught him to forgive. Like Solzhenitzyn, Mandela’s Christian virtues, whether conscious or unconscious, overthrew a tyrannical system without a shot being fired.
Finally, the series considers Ellie Wiesel who has kept the memory of the Holocaust alive for years. At first blush, he would seem to be an odd character in this series that features people of Christian faith and values. Wiesel, though, is an important component of this series because he shows that if we forget history, we are doomed to repeat it.
It would be a blessing if the children, and any others, who see this series would look deeper into the lives of any combination of these people. If they do so, they’ll see that they did have some flaws, but could still be guided toward a deeper truth by their extraordinary God-given gifts.
The bottom line is that in a world of six billion people it’s hard to imagine that one person could make a difference unless that person has the power of the world’s greatest arsenal; something that few have available to them. This series shows that one person, even from the darkest Gulag in Siberia, can transform the world with right on their side; even more so with a passion for God. These individuals overthrew some of the world’s most powerful kingdoms, and if, as Mother Theresa says, “God can choose the weakest 4′ 11″ woman from Albania to change the world, he can choose you, too, if you are true to His call.”
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SUMMARY: Written and hosted by David Aikman, former Senior Correspondent of Time Magazine, GREAT SOULS is a video series which looks at six of the most influential people of the 20th Century: Billy Graham, Mother Theresa, Pope John Paul II, Aleksandr Solzhenitzyn, Nelson Mandela, and Ellie Wiesel. In doing so, it exalts cardinal virtues and Christian principles and gives children and adults the desire to embrace and emulate them.