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Monday, March 15, 2010

"What's In the Bible?" Review and Giveaway

When Phil Vischer started out years ago with his hit "VeggieTales", his desire was to start a conversation with kids that would take them into the Bible and get them thinking about faith.  I know we certainly owned more than our share of VeggieTales videos and our daughter, now 12, loved them.  She quickly caught on to the point made in every video:  God made you special and He loves you very much.

According to Vischer's testimony, he spent two years after the bankruptcy of Big Idea Productions diving into the Bible and his own relationship with God.  It was revealed to him that during the VeggieTales days, he had spent more time working for the Lord than having a relationship with the Lord.  He deeply felt the need to go beyond the message of VeggieTales.  Thus his new series "What's in the Bible?" was born, getting back to the original call to take kids deeper into the Bible; teaching them the gospel and how to live it before the world.

Part of Vischer's passion behind the "What's in the Bible?" series is his alarm at these statistics:
  • Sixty-five percent of young people stop attending and being connected to a church after high school
  • Fifty percent of protestant American adults can't define the word "grace"
  • Half of Americans can only name one of the four gospels 
While many churches are doing a great job in their children's ministries, they only have kids for about one hour a week.  During that week, these kids consume about 23 hours of Disney, Nick, and Cartoon Network.  Mr. Vischer says there is no wonder these kids are more attached to Hannah Montana than the apostle Paul or more emotionally engaged with the outcome of American Idol than the gospel and seeing their friends come to know the Lord.
We are losing a generation of kids. Mr Visher is passionate about getting this generation back through teaching them what is in the Bible and re-starting this conversation with them regarding how to know not only the Bible, but how to know the God of the Bible and how all the "stories" in the Bible tell the one main story of  God's plan of redemption for the world.  His answer is a 13 part DVD set that will take kids through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.

I received a screener copy of the first two DVD's in this set, "In the Beginning" and "Let My People Go", from Tyndale House Publishers for the purpose of review.  The only thing I'm expected to do is provide you and honest review here on the blog.

These DVD's are GREAT!!!  I am so thankful for the work God did in Phil Vischer's heart that led him to the production of this series and that he gets what is really important for our kids!  Don't get me wrong, VeggieTales were great, but these videos do so much more to engage kids in the main way God speaks to us which is through His very words to us:  the Bible.  In the "What's in the Bible?" series you will find a very strong message about sin and how it separates us from God.  They also make it very clear that there is only one way to bridge that gap:  God's plan of redemption.  I appreciate that this series is so more than your typical "Bible story video".  Nothing is watered down here!  The truth of the gospel is made clear.

The videos are very engaging using catchy music, puppetry and animation, along with inserts of Phil himself talking to the kids and actual "real live" kids themselves.  Your kids will meet Buck Denver (news reporter), Chuck Wagon, The Sunday School lady and her magic flannel graph, Dr. Sniffenhousin (The scientist who gives the "world's explanation for things), Pastor Paul, The Bentley Brothers (provide music) and Captain Pete along with his parrott, Reginold.  The neat thing is that Captain Pete is the guide to church history.  Yes, church history.  How much of it do you know?  Now your kids will have a chance to know church history and how the Bible has been translated and developed through the years.

There are three features about the DVDs I really liked:
  • "Big Questions" where the "real live" kids ask and attempt to answer some of the questions you might sometimes get from your kids like, "Who wrote the Bible?" and "Who picked the books to be in the Bible?". 
  • Pastor Paul would explains words like "covenant" and "patriarch"  in a way that a child can grasp.  This way when your child is sitting in church with you and hears such words as "covenant" from the pulpit, he or she will actually know what the preacher is talking about!
  • The way the episodes "flow" together:  At the beginning of each episode, Mr. Vischer "recaps" what was discussed in the previous episode.  This helps the kids see how these "stories" are connected to form God's story of redemption.
I was particularly impressed with the fact that "In the Beginning" made the point that God created us for relationship with Him and that He created us with the ability to choose.  "In the Beginning" also makes the point that Genesis isn't so much a story of how we were created, but who created us, laying the strong foundation of the importance of a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ:  the answer to the problem of sin in our lives.  It explains salvation and redemption.
The only negative thing I have to say about these DVDs is that there is so much information packed in each fast moving episode.  It might be a little bit of an overload for very young children.  My four year old watched these DVDs with me and he liked them; however, he became bored with them after a while.  They would be excellent for children a little older than four year-olds.  
I see this series as being a very good resource for use in your children's ministry at your church.  They would be excellent "teaching" tools.
Here is a sneak peak from Mr. Vischer and the characters themselves:

You may find it helpful to visit the "What's in the Bible?" website to learn more: 
The publisher of this DVD set, TYNDALE HOUSE, has many reliable resources to help you and your family grow in your faith.

NOW, for the BEST part:  I have certificates for a copy of the first TWO  DVD's in this series ("In the Beginning" and "Let My People Go") to give to one of  you!!!  All you have to do is leave me a comment answering this question:  "What is your biggest parenting challenge"?  I will choose a winner by the old fashion "names in a hat" method on Thursday evening and post the winner here on the blog on Friday morning.



Jenilee said...

My biggest parenting challenge... being constant, consistant and on top of things all the time. Watching attitude, heart motive, behavior and being faithful to address these things and not let them slide. It is exhausting but so rewarding! looking forward to viewing these videos!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Sounds like a great book....would love to win

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

We have always loved Veggie the way your blog looks GREAT....

Kenneth in Mississippi said...

It is hard being a "Dad" and a granddad when the kids and grandkids are so far away. I miss all the grandkids and I do not get to see them often enough anymore. Stephanie and Steven in W.V. with four kids, one that I have not seen in person yet; Kristi and James and three kids in Madison, Ms.; Jennifer and Mike and three kids in Forida; and Jason and Julie living outside of Union, but we hardly ever get to see them. This makes it hard on us as grandparents, becasue when we do get to see the grandkids, we don't know just exactly how we should act around them except be ourselves.

Madonna said...

The hardest part is knowing what is important to fight about and what can slide. Knowing what battles to fight.

Janna said...

Thanks for the reminder. I'll put a link in my post to promote this tonight.