Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Buck Denver. or, alternately: Whatever happened to Veggie Tales?

These guys!
If you live in the deep south, it's almost guaranteed that you know who they are.
My student pastor sang The Hairbrush Song to me and my BFFs all through high school, poking fun at our constant need to fix our hair.  
Silly Songs with Larry still makes me smile and think of Doug.

However, as a parent, I wasn't quite a fan of Veggie Tales, and avoided showing them to my kids if possible.  I wasn't anti-Veggie Tales by any means, but something bothered me about my kids learning the story of Jonah all jumbled up with lazy pirates.  It didn't sit quite right, so I just trusted my mommy instinct.  Not a big deal.  To be honest, I really liked the "Silly Songs" dvd - super entertaining and fun for kids.  It's just when Veggie Tales tried to teach anything biblical or spiritual that I cringed.

A few years ago, Phil Vischer, the creator of Veggie Tales, was interviewed by World Magazine and had this to say, in part:
I looked back at the previous 10 years and realized I had spent 10 years trying to convince kids to behave Christianly without actually teaching them Christianity. And that was a pretty serious conviction. You can say, ‘Hey kids, be more forgiving because the Bible says so,’ or, ‘Hey kids, be more kind because the Bible says so!’ But that isn’t Christianity, it’s morality.
American Christian[s]… are drinking a cocktail that’s a mix of the Protestant work ethic, the American dream, and the gospel. And we’ve intertwined them so completely that we can’t tell them apart anymore. Our gospel has become a gospel of following your dreams and being good so God will make all your dreams come true. It’s the Oprah god… We’ve completely taken this Disney notion of ‘when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true’ and melded that with faith and come up with something completely different. There’s something wrong in a culture that preaches nothing is more sacred than your dream. I mean, we walk away from marriages to follow our dreams. We abandon children to follow our dreams. We hurt people in the name of our dreams, which as a Christian is just preposterous.

There's lots more surrounding that story,
but that's not my point.
I want to share with you something really cool that came out of Phil Vischer's regret over Veggie Tales moralism, combined with his incredible gifting to create entertainment for children:

Oh my word!  Every single time the kids watch one of these, I stop what I'm doing and watch, too, because every single time I learn something.  Wonderfully entertaining, solidly Biblical, and theologically sound, they do a superb job of teaching the Bible as the story of God's great rescue plan.  

We bought volumes 1-9 for Christmas, which contains the Old Testament, 
and also we have the Christmas dvd.  
I cannot wait to continue adding to this collection!
Volume 10 is called "Jesus Is the Good News," Volume 11 is "Spreading the Good News," Volume 12 is "Letters from Paul!'  

I can't recommend this series highly enough for anyone with children.

1 comment:

  1. You need to borrow our copy of "Me, Myself and Bob" by Phil Vischer. Such a good read!