For Immediate Release
February 27, 2017
Jen Retallick, Hamilton Strategies, 610.584.1096, ext. 100, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, or Deborah Hamilton, 215.815.7716 or 610.584.1096, ext. 102
Meeting Jesus Face to Face?
Southern Evangelical Seminary Looks at Positive and Negative Aspects of Virtual Reality, as Viewers Experience New ‘Jesus VR’ Movie
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—This week at the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) Convention in Orlando, attendees will have a chance to see Jesus up close and personal, with multiple screenings of the new virtual reality, feature-length film, “Jesus VR—The Life of Christ in Virtual Reality.”
In attendance at the NRB Convention will be Dr. Richard Land, Evangelical leader and president of Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu), who also serves on the NRB board of directors.
SES, now in its 25th year of teaching students how to defend their faith, specializes in scientific apologetics and explores the related ethical issues through its “Ethics in Emerging Technology” program, where topics such as virtual reality, robotics, bionics, human enhancement, artificial intelligence, trans-humanism and nanotechnology are studied, researched and debated.
From a faith perspective, these subjects also move conversations into the vital area of morals and ethics, Land said.
“Our world is increasingly driven by technology,” Land said, “and the term ‘digital age’ is certainly accurate. Once a very specialized experience, virtual reality is now available to the masses, and while living in a ‘reality’ that is separate from the real world can, in ways, be damaging, here at Southern Evangelical Seminary, we are encouraged when technology allows people to explore their faith and perhaps create conversations about who Jesus is, why He died, and His triumphant resurrection to eternal life.
“Where the concern lies is whether the virtual world will replace reality and the interaction with each other on a human level,” Land continued. “And we must ask, ‘At what point does the virtual become too realistic?’ ‘When does technology go too far and virtual reality replaces reality?’”
“Jesus VR—The Life of Christ in Virtual Reality” is the first feature-length, virtual-reality film and allows viewers to experience Jesus’ life from a 360-degree perspective.
According to a “Jesus VR” press release, the virtual reality story of Jesus will be officially released this Easter and the breakthrough in VR filmmaking will reach global faith and mainstream audiences on all premium VR platforms, such as Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR and the HTC VIVE.
“Jesus VR—The Life of Christ in Virtual Reality” is composed of individual three- to five-minute scenes from the life of Christ, totaling 90 minutes, and enables viewers to experience the story of Jesus, from His birth to His resurrection, intimately transporting audiences back in time 2,000 years ago to Jerusalem. Glimpses of Christ’s life include His birth and baptism, the Sermon on the Mount, multiple miracles, the Last Supper and the crucifixion.
“The reactions by those who’ve seen ‘Jesus VR’ have been incredibly moving, bringing joyful tears to those who experience it,” said director David Hansen. “The viewers truly feel they are there with Jesus and his disciples. This is the most powerful story of all time, and virtual reality is the perfect way to tell it.”
SES recently announced the 2017 National Conference on Christian Apologetics, one of the largest events of its kind, with the fitting and timely theme of “Pursuing a Faith That Thinks.” The conference, offered for 24 out of SES’s 25 years, is set for Oct. 12-14, 2017, at Calvary Church in Charlotte, N.C.
The conference will welcome the nation’s top apologists, who will give the thousands in attendance new presentations on studies, research, history and insight into apologetics and other intellectual, scientific and religious fields. In addition to Land and SES co-founder Norman Geisler, confirmed conference speakers include Richard Howe, Greg Koukl, Jay Richards, Hugh Ross, Frank Turek and J. Warner Wallace, along with many others. The event will also feature a debate between SES professor emeritus Richard Howe and co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, minister turned atheist Dan Barker, on the topic “Is There A God Who Speaks?”
SES was incorporated on Jan. 6, 1992, and began offering classes on Sept. 10, 1992. The year-long 25th anniversary celebration will culminate at the conference.
At SES’s apologetics blog, www.WhyDoYouBelieve.org, Land and other SES voices address the most pressing issues of the day. Read more about Southern Evangelical Seminary and SES President Dr. Richard Land here.
For information on SES or to set up an interview, contact Jen Retallick, 610-584-1096, ext. 100, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, or Deborah Hamilton, 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102.