In Volume 11 of his series Buck Denver Asks … What’s in the Bible? Phil Vischer tackles the book of Acts and introduces Paul, one of the most famous early Christians who wrote much of the New Testament and helped plant the early church. Paul is a famous character – his conversion from a mean-spirited Pharisee who persecuted Christians to the leader of the Christians is well documented. Blinded on the road to Damascus, Paul meets the resurrected Jesus, becomes a Christian, and dedicates the rest of his life to spreading the Gospel.
Portraying Paul to Kids
When asked about how he portrays Paul in Buck Denver Asks … What’s in the Bible? Volume 11: Spreading the Good News (The Book of Acts), Vischer noted that “Typically in children’s Bibles, every character that’s part of the Christian narrative that is a Christian looks warm and friendly and happy and lovable.” Vischer decided, however, that that is not the picture of Paul we’re given in the Bible and so he envisioned an atypical portrayal of Paul for his new DVD.
Vischer said, “Paul was a bad guy. Paul was a mean guy … Paul terrified people.”
In fact, Paul was on the road to Damascus to find Christians there whom he could persecute, imprison – or even put to death. Christians were very scared of him! By visualizing Paul as the mean guy that he was, Vischer notes, his conversion and the radical change from a persecutor of Christians to a leader of Christians means so much more to the audience.
“His conversion doesn’t seem nearly as compelling if he starts out warm and fuzzy,” Vischer said. “We decided early on we’re not going to make Paul look warm and fuzzy. He’s actually going to look kind of mean.”
The resulting story is one that leaves an impact. On screen, the mean and angry Paul is transformed by the power of Christ – and the viewers are drawn into that story as it applies to their own lives. Christ takes us – mean, angry, bitter, sad, sinful – and transforms us into new creations. Throughout the rest of the DVD, the viewers see how God uses Paul to spread the Gospel all over the place! Isn’t it remarkable how God used someone as anti-God as Paul to share Christianity with so many people?
If you want to learn more about the Book of Acts, check out our post on the Holy Spirit here: How to Talk to Kids about the Holy Spirit.