“Puppets give key Bible lessons” – A Review

Here’s a great review from Marketta Gregory at the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Thanks, Marketta, for capturing the heart of What’s in the Bible? so well!

PUPPETS GIVE KEY BIBLE LESSONS

I’ve heard many feisty sermons — the kind that step on toes and challenge even good, moral people to improve. Those are the sermons you remember years later.

Sometimes those sermons are delivered by clergy. Sometimes by a frail grandmother who refuses to complain. Or, in my case, by a kids’ show.

The guy who created VeggieTales, Phil Vischer, just came out with a new DVD series this month called What’s in the Bible (Tyndale, $14.99). Even though everyone loves his singing vegetables with their great lessons, Vischer wanted to provide more context — more of the big picture — for kids and the adults they hang out with.

“Through Sunday School and kids’ videos like VeggieTales, kids get snapshots from the Bible. Moses. Noah. Jesus. They’re like pictures in a photo album,” Vischer told me. “What we’re missing is the ‘connective tissue.’ What does Jesus have to do with Moses? What does any of this have to do with Adam and Eve? How do all these stories fit together to tell one story, and how does that one story explain our world today?”

I kept that in mind as I watched the first video. I thought my 11-year-old was going to roll off the couch laughing at some of the clever jokes and silly songs. But I was busy thinking of something else: the realization that I have never read the Bible cover to cover.

I’ve tried to read it straight through several times, and I know I’m not alone — even local places like Browncroft Community Church in Penfield have huge initiatives to get people reading more. But this is one time I don’t feel comfort in numbers.

I’ve done lots of devotionals and Bible studies that are based on one book or one theme. I’ve jotted notes as ministers read from the pulpit. I’ve even considered myself pretty knowledgeable about the Bible, when in reality, I’ve only read the CliffsNotes. And I haven’t even read those in order.

I’d never open up another bestseller and start reading in the middle and then jump back to the second chapter. That would make it almost impossible to follow the plot. Yet I do that all the time to a book that’s central to my faith. And it took some puppets to teach me that.

Thank God for challenging sermons, no matter how they are delivered.

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5 comments
Joanna
Joanna

Don't forget that Paul stated that he had not neglected to give the "full counsel of God" to the elders Acts 20:27 and that "all scripture is God-breathed" 2 Timothy 3:16. So those genealogies have a use too! There are some neat nuggets tucked away in those books. Thanks Phil for a great thread to follow the whole Bible. For Toddlers, there is a great Bible called "The Big Picture Story Bible"(David Helm) and it follows the thread of Jesus our Forever King from Genesis to Revelation. Great summaries and cleaver illustrations after from the vantage point of above

Marla Holbrook
Marla Holbrook

I teach Christian school and my kindergartners love the Sunday School Lady! These videos have already breathed so much life into my Bible lessons, I am dying for the next ones to come out! Phil, please do the Christmas and Easter story out of order so that we will have them. ( I sure wish I had them this week!) Great job! You came along right when I needed you!

sandy herron
sandy herron

my kids (8 & 5 yrs old) LOVE these videos!! looking forward to the rest of this series!! and i have to admit that i've learned alot too :) excellent concept and execution!

Doug Hanna
Doug Hanna

Wow! You guys are inspiring adults too! I hope some kids get the itch to read the Bible too! That'd be great, it'd make life a lot easier on your fellow Christian film-makers! As always, best wishes!

Ori
Ori

I think you're judging yourself too harshly. As Sunday School Lady said, "the Bible is a book, and it isn't". It is a collection of books, some of which may not work for you. Reading it cover to cover sounds great, but it could be a recipe for disappointment. For example, there is a whole host of genealogy in the first book of Chronicles. That probably meant a lot, back when people knew what the names meant and had heard stories about them before. However, that is not our position today. If you don't get spiritual nourishment from some chapters, you might be better off skipping them instead of turning God's Word into a chore. In other places, such as the Psalms, it seems that the order does not really matter.