I finally had the chance to preview the first DVD from Phil Vischer’s new series, What’s in the Bible? Mind you, I was an obsessive Veggie Tales fan nearly from the beginning. I had all of the plush toys, the VT nativity, owned a couple of Larry the Cucumber necklaces, and my first two email addresses were larrythecucumber_3000@ and barbaramanateelover@ (neither email is still active). Now, as a children’s pastor myself, I still find myself enjoying VT, but I have been hoping for something else, something fresh and exciting. It has arrived.
Here is what I love about WITB. First, it is nothing like VT. The only similarities I saw were that some of the voices were obviously recognizable and some of the humor is along the same lines. While I have already admitted my love for VT, the time has come for something new. The message of VT, while cute, was Sunday morning values, but values only go so far without knowledge of why they are valuable. Why should I be kind? Because the Bible tells me so. Why should I believe what the Bible says? Because it’s God’s word. How do you know it’s God’s word? …uh…I…uhm…well…the Bible tells me so.
Second, WITB teaches more than just Bible stories and or principles, it teaches Bible concepts. There were things in WITB that I learned in 200 level classes at Bible college. Even still, I did not know that the Orthodox Bible has more books than the Catholic Bible. See, even I learned something.
Third, it was hilarious! I love funny stuff. I love laughing. I love WITB. The jokes in this video were funny to me but would also be funny to a child. There is visual humor (never tacky unlike most “children” or “family” programming), there are verbal jokes, and there are culturally relevant jokes.
Fourth, Phil does not shy away from difficult issues. He addresses them head on. If he confronts issues like the Big Bang and the interpretation of the word “day” in Genesis, I have no fear that he will be able to handle some of the tougher concepts that arise throughout the Bible.
Last, and this is based mostly on the first four, this video series is something a family could sit down and watch and a) enjoy, b) discuss, c) learn together. I would venture to guess that even most adults in our churches have never heard of the Septuagint (GESUNDHEIT!) and certainly do not know why the Catholic Bible has more books than the Protestant Bible. But they will learn that, together.
Honestly, if you have not gotten a copy of WITB, do it today. Watch it with your kids. Plan a special time to watch it at church with the kids. Watch it at church with the adults. You will not be sorry. This is all my personal opinion and I invite you to comment on your experiences with WITB. Also, check out Phil’s blog at www.philvischer.com and WITB on the web at www.whatsinthebible.com.
*Disclaimer: I was not paid or asked to write this review. I purchased this movie with my own money and I gain NOTHING by having done this review or by recommending it to you.