Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Puppets Wielding the Word of God

Last night, after a long and somewhat stressful day, I watched a DVD that is part of the series where about a dozen hand puppets tell the entire story of the Bible, along with church history and deep theological questions.

Yes, I’m serious. It’s called “What’s in the Bible,” and it’s the newest project of Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales. He’s already kind of my hero because of his autobiography, Me, Myself, and Bob, which is in my Top Five Books of All Time list. But these shows are just spectacular. You should really go watch a few clips here. (DO IT. Right now. You don't even have to read the rest of this blog.)

At the beginning of this episode, Michael, the young mini-van riding viewer who forms the frame story for each show, was having a great existential dilemma, much like the various stresses and trials of my life right now: he knew the right thing to do would be to share a Rollo with his brother Pierre, but his selfish human nature fought against that right desire. In a panic, he declared, “I’m in turmoil! I need the calming salve of humorous puppets wielding the Word of God!‏”

When I finished the episode, I went back to find that quote, because that was exactly how I felt, even though I didn’t know it. You see, sometimes I get all worked up about the world not being the way it ought to be, or the fact that I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life, or the regrets I have and changes I failed to make. But then I see someone teaching the Bible in a creative way, and I get a very deep sense of joy. First, simply because it’s being done, and every kid everywhere should watch these DVDs. But also because I want to do stuff like this for the rest of my life—spread the message of the gospel in clear, fun, meaningful ways.

Still not convinced that this show can be as great as I say? Guys, I am a Bible minor at a Christian college and I am learning things from this kids’ program. Did you ever wonder why Haman hated the Jews so much? Did you know he was a descendant of King Agag, the Amalekite who Samuel killed back in the time of King Saul? Neither did I, but I would have if I had grown up watching “What’s In the Bible,” because they go over that…and how Purim got its name, and how the early church confirmed the canon of Scripture, and why God commanded His people to kill the other people groups in the land, and a dozen other things that we avoid explaining to kids but that they really should know.

All that to say, I will continue to watch and enjoy these DVDs to give me hope for humanity and Christian art in general, and also to find out how they portray the Song of Solomon in part 8. Should be interesting.

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