Every call and every email received has been exceedingly positive in response to our hour-long documentary, "Different Books, Common Word," that began airing Sunday on ABC-TV stations across the country.
Orhan Osman, executive director of the Institute of Interfaith Dialog in Oklahoma City, laughs with Mitch Randall, pastor of North Haven Church in Norman, in "Different Books, Common Word." (Photo: EthicsDaily.com)
An older woman, a Mississippian, called Monday. She said that she had never understood all the hate toward African-Americans and Muslims. She said she loved our documentary and wanted to order a copy of the DVD.
When I asked her where she had seen it—hoping to determine what station she watched—she replied that she liked Charles Stanley. She said that she watched his program and another one. Then to her delight, our program came on.
Never in my wildest imagination would I have ever anticipated that Stanley's "In Touch Ministries" broadcast would be a gateway to our documentary.
Right before her call, a secretary for an international company located in Georgia called for her employer, a Muslim CEO. She said he wanted to order two dozen DVDs of the program.
After watching the documentary on Sunday, a self-described Methodist in Ohio emailed. "You seem unlike any Baptist group I've encountered before," she wrote, asking for more information about us.
"Bravo, bravo, bravo" e-mailed John Finley, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Savannah, Ga., who had seen the broadcast on his local station.
"I am extremely grateful for your fine work and the efforts of all those involved in producing 'Different Books, Common Word: Baptists and Muslims,'" e-mailed Dennis Foust, pastor of Shades Crest Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. "I viewed the program this afternoon…and found it to be a breath of fresh air in a stale world."
Retired history professor Richard Pierard bragged that his church, Providence Baptist in Hendersonville, N.C., had announced the program, which he called "very insightful." He was particularly pleased that the documentary included Roy Medley, general secretary of American Baptist Churches-USA, and David Goatley, executive secretary-treasurer of the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention.
"It was truly Oscar worthy," wrote Bill Slater, pastor of Wake Forest Baptist Church in Wake Forest, N.C.
Bo Prosser, coordinator for congregational formation for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, wrote on his organization's blog: "The video is filled with engaging stories of how Baptist/Muslim relationships are being nurtured around our country. This is an excellent missional resource for using in your churches!"
While I am surprised that we've heard only positive reviews about our documentary, I'm not naïve. I expect that we will hear all too soon from the "nattering nabobs of negativism."
Of course, the Jan. 3 broadcasts were only the first wave of broadcasts on ABC-TV stations. ABC stations have scheduled and are scheduling the program through the end of February.
"Different Books, Common Word" continues airing this week on ABC-TV stations across the country, beginning on Saturday, Jan. 9, in Jacksonville, Fla., (WJXX) at 5 p.m. and Las Vegas (KTNV) at 4:30 p.m.
On Sunday, Jan. 10, it airs in Abilene, Texas, (KTXS) at 12 p.m.; Chicago (WLS) at 11:30 a.m.; Flint, Mich., (WJRT) at 12:30 p.m.; Knoxville, Tenn., (WATE) at 12:30 p.m.; Lincoln, Neb., (KLKN) at 12 p.m.; Louisville, Ky., (WHAS) at 3 p.m.; Nashville (WKRN) at 2 p.m.; Orlando (WFTV) at 2 p.m.; South Bend , Ind., (WBND) at 1 p.m.; Tallahassee, Fla., (WTXL) at 4 p.m.; and Wilmington, N.C., (WWAY) at 3 p.m.
For a complete listing, click here. If you don't see your station listed, check with your station. And know that we are trying to keep this list updated.
Robert Parham is executive editor of EthicsDaily.com and executive director of its parent organization, the Baptist Center for Ethics.
To order the documentary as a DVD, click here.