From the first episode, I have been a fan of The Chosen - but that's partly because my understanding has been changing. For example, when I first saw The Shack I was unimpressed but as I changed and my understanding changed (I read The Shack Revisited which looked at it from a theological perspective) I then was motivated enough to read the book - and I've since seen the film again. I'm grateful I'm not stuck with my initial views on things. Sometimes I even do a U-turn, although most often it's just a variation.

One of the things that most shocked me about The Chosen is learning that Dallas Jenkins (creator of The Chosen) is the son of Jerry Jenkins (co-author of the Left Behind books). I am far from a fan of them (I've not read or watched any of the books or movies). It's not simply a question - they are based on theologically unsound interpretations of the Bible. I'll be interested to see how the books are, given the father is writing them based on the TV series.

As a young Christian back in the 70s I grew up (spiritually) in a church where this idea was dominant, as indeed it seemed to be with many churches. One speaker talked predominantly about it - but once we had him as a guest at a youth camp, and to my surprise he didn't even mention it. Instead, he spoke of other stuff and was quite interesting. I still have fond memories of him (especially at the camp), despite having come to see he was flawed on this one subject.

While I clearly believe quite differently from Dallas in many areas, I have found the first three series extremely stimulating. Dallas's notes / interviews show how the show uses the words of Scripture, but for the majority that is not in Scripture, the key question is reality. Do the words fit what we know of the people and situation? He perhaps summarised this best in a talk about his faith and The Chosen.

For me, the best example of how he has brought to life the New Testament story is the character of Matthew. A key issue is that while the term autism is relatively new, the condition is not. Having been looking for details of the people, they found that some of Matthew's behaviours fit well with autism. Of course, autism is so varied. Some people with autism can be high-functioning in most areas despite having autism.

They have taken this possible attribute of Matthew and used it to develop his character - and to show how spending time with Jesus affects him. They do not claim that Matthew was autistic. They merely point out that the evidence we have suggests this could have been part of who he was. The Bible doesn't say he was not autistic, and some of what it does say is consistent with it.