The first installment of the 13-part series from VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer sets out to teach kids (and parents) the story of the Bible - God's great rescue plan! We learn how the stories of Moses, Noah, David, and Jesus all fit together to tell one big, redemptive story. Vischer's signature wit shines through with his all-new cast of characters, fast-paced flash animation, and catchy tunes.
In response to some of the concerns I've seen raised, I wanted to present portions of the video's dialogue so that parents can make their own decisions about the content of this particular show. I would hate to see anyone miss out on this valuable resource because they were scared off by a couple of opinions.
I personally find this DVD to be extremely sound Scripturally, and I think it handles potentially sensitive subject manner in a very balanced and non-divisive way. However, please don't take my (or anyone else's) word for it. I have taken the time to transcribe the exact portions of the show that have ruffled some feathers. Read through the content for yourself and see if it is offensive to you. If so, you will likely still love the remaining volumes. But chances are very good that you will find these issues to be of little concern.
Chester: In the beginning there was nothing but God, no planets, no stars, no trees, no iguanas, no toaster ovens, no kids, no eyeglasses...
Buck Denver: Chester!
Chester: Nothing! Just God. And then... He created. He spoke, and the universe came into being. (He must have had a loud voice because it made a big BANG!) Heh, heh, heh... get it? Big bang?
Buck Denver: [Stares at screen - not amused]
Chester: (still chuckling) That's an astrophysical joke. Anyway, the earth was formed and cold and water appeared. Then God caused the plants and the fish and animals to pop up. And then He said, "Watch what I'm going to do next. This is going to be great!" And boom! He made man and woman. (They didn't have any clothes so they had to stand behind bushes whenever anyone took their picture.)
Buck Denver: What?
Chester: You know, for kid's Bibles and stuff. And creation was done!
[My take: In it's context, it seems clear that this was intended merely as a harmless (and quite witty) quip, not an endorsement of the scientific theory. It also is clear that God is given total attribution for the complete creation event. It actually seems to diffuse the explosive nature (pardon the pun) of the topic by addressing it. This way, children will actually have a light-hearted and God-centered frame of reference when they hear it discussed in science class. All the while, those who actually believe in this particular scientific theory are not belittled. I found the handling of this actually quite brilliant.]
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Concern raised by some: Introduction of both young earth and old earth concepts - the two prevailing viewpoints held by millions of Christians worldwide.] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Chuck Waggin: Hey Y'all! When did all this happen? When did God make the world?
Sunday School Lady: Oh, a long time ago.
Chester: In a galaxy far, far away!
Buck Denver: Chester!
Clive: I heard somebody say the world was 6,000 years old.
Ian: I heard someone say it was 4-and-a-half billion years old.
Clive: Woah! That's a big difference! Well, who's right? Which is it?
Announcer: And now, it's time for "Tricky Bits with Buck Denver"!
Buck Denver: Woah! Hey, wait... I'm not getting involved with that one! [Walks off set]
Announcer: And now, it's time for "Tricky Bits with Phil"!
Phil Vischer: OK, here's the deal. Not all Christians agree about everything. And, this is one of those things that we don't all agree about. And it all comes down to one word: "DAY". [Cute background music begins] We believe Moses wrote the book of Genesis and therefore wrote the story of creation. Now we know for sure that Moses was not around when God created the universe. So, somehow God communicated this story to Moses and then like the other authors of the Bible, let Moses choose the words to tell the story to the people around him. So, why did Moses choose the word "DAY" when he described God's creative activity?
Well, some Christians believe he was actually referring to "earth days", 24 hour periods, the amount of time it takes the world to rotate once. Now if that's the case, it means God created everything from the big bang to Adam and Eve in 144 hours. So, the earth couldn't be more than 6 or 7,000 years old. But other Christians believe Moses wasn't talking about earth days but "God" days. You see, God is beyond time. He created time. And the Bible says that to God a day is like 1,000 years and 1,000 years is like a day. So some people believe that a "God day" could be thousands or even millions of years.
So which is it? Which is right? We don't know. And sometimes that's OK. You see, the book of Genesis wasn't written to tell us the "how" of creation. It was written to tell us the "Who" of creation. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Buck Denver: [Spoken to side] Is he done yet? I'm glad I didn't have to take that one. Hmm? [Turning toward camera] Oh, I'm on? Ahem! So, what happened to Adam and Eve? We left them standing in the bushes with no clothes.
[MY TAKE: As you can see, the video doesn't take sides, nor does it indoctrinate. It simply presents both schools of thought in a fair and concise way. At this point, parents can step in and share their own personal view. Trust me, kids will be exposed to much more grievous issues than this in the course of their childhood. At least Phil Vischer is preparing children for the potential of hearing viewpoints that may differ from their own, and helps them to see that it is OK to keep their own opinion, while not demanding that everyone else conform to their particular view. In this day and age, I welcome a good-hearted discussion of our differences with an example of extending grace to those you may disagree with while being given a road-map for finding unifying points with others.]
Well, that's it! Beside these two (apparently) hot topics, the rest of this video, as well as the entire series simply gives kids a general overview of the stories and key points of the Bible in a humorous and entertaining way. Hopefully that will alleviate any potential concern about this wonderful product. Or, at the very least, it will help you make an informed decision. We now bring you back to our previously posted review. :-)
Oh, and for those still debating, I'd recommend checking out the sample videos posted on their website: whatsinthebible.com/video
ORIGINAL REVIEW: I can't tell everyone enough how thrilled we have been with this video series. Every episode is brilliantly produced and extremely entertaining. Most importantly, this series has caused our children to have a deep love for the Scriptures and their conversation is now FILLED with discussions of Godly concepts and biblical stories. (I will also note that we are not currently in a church setting, so this has been their sole source of inspiration in this area - besides dad and mom, of course.) It really warms our hearts to see our children so enthralled with the Bible and so eager to learn more.
These videos have made providing our children spiritual nourishment EASY! (Now, if only getting them to eat their vegetables were as simple!) :-)
I bought these for my kids, ages 7, 5, and 4. At first, I thought they were a little goofy and too far over their heads. But the kids all love them! Surprisingly, my 4yo loves them most. He will randomly burst out with something like, "Joseph was Pharoah's right-hand man. He was second in command over all of Egypt!" We bought the one about Acts, too, and right now my youngest is rambling on about how Paul told King Agrippa about "this Jesus guy," and King Agrippa loved Paul. (Every once in a while my son will shout, "I appeal to Caesar!!") I like their explanations of the role of science (not anti-science at all), and I LOVE their big-picture view of "God's Rescue Plan," starting in Genesis and continuing through all the videos. They really pull everything together, as far as the ongoing purpose of each section of the Bible. I usually play them while we're driving, and I've learned quite a bit, too! I only wish I'd had these when my older kids were a little younger, especially when I hear how much my youngest has absorbed. Highly recommended!
These movies are awesome! My 2 1/2 year old daughter LOVES watching them almost as much as she loves watching Mickey Mouse (that's HUGE!) and asks me to put on her "Bible Show" all the time. I catch her singing the songs when it's not on and telling me (and anyone who will listen) how "God made all the creations"! This is an awesome supplement to our everyday Bible story time and prayer.
Coming from someone who spent years studying at a well known Bible college, I can attest that it is loaded with clear, accurate and understandable doctrine. It also very clearly explains the plan of salvation and our need for salvation as humans in a way a child can easily understand.
So far I have only purchased the first 2 volumes which brings us through creation, the exodus from Egypt, Bible layout and church history and weaves salvation throughout the story. I will definitely be getting the following volumes as she grows. Right now she loves watching the same episodes over and over which is perfectly fine when she is memorizing such critical content as this!
Part two of this video is better than part one for my grandchildren ages 6 and 7. They get bored watching part one and they don't watch. Part 2 is great, though. We watch and sing the songs. I have been watching with my grandchildren since they were three and four. It was our first bible program. I think it's a good fun way to teach them about the bible.
This video series is a fun and entertaining way to teach my children theology, apologetics, and major themes in the Bible. My oldest five kids range in age from 4 to 9 and they love them! My husband and I often find ourselves stopping to watch this series with the kids it is so good!
Very good, but not quite up to Veggie-Tales standards. Minor quibbles: Some of the characters are hard to understand, and there's too much rapid-fire switching between the characters. Overall, well worth the price. I've probably learned just as much about the history of Christianity as my kids!