Arthur and Gay Weddings PBSkids you have failed us

Based on this article in Life Site News https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pbs-kids-cartoon-arthur-features-homosexual-wedding

I wrote PBS at this address:

Jonathan Abbott
President and CEO, WGBH
One Guest Street
Boston, MA 02135

Below is the content of my letter:

I am a big fan of PBS Kids. I have three small children and I am constantly disappointed with Disney and even more disappointed with Nickelodeon. I crave content that teaches my kids: spiritually, morally and educationally. PBS has had a couple of hits for us in those areas. The Berenstain Bears and Adventures in the Book of Virtues are two of the best morally.

 I want virtue for my kids, recently I was very disappointed in PBS. Specifically, in featuring a gay marriage in Arthur. I understand one of the main goals of Arthur is to see reflective representation. The thing is, I don’t want a reflection of broken society and sexuality. I want something better. For 4-8 year olds, which is what the show is aimed at, I want ideals to shoot for, not things that are going to introduce confusion into kids.

 It should be my job to teach my kids about sexuality and I am. Very early thanks to outside sources that are forcing me to. I have had to explain homosexuality and transgenderism to my seven year old multiple times already. She is too young to have to deal with these complexities.

 I spend a great deal of my time studying alternative sexualities. This show disrespects all the parents in this hot bed issue that believe that homosexuality is unhealthy and broken. You may disagree, but by pushing the issue to their children, you completely disrespect your audience.

 What is next, should we show our children Polyamorous relationships, Pre-marital sex as normal (as if commitment for life means nothing), polygamy, transgender adults, transgender youth, or eventually pederasty and pedophilia? Whatever makes people happy right?

Children who grow up without a father or mother know that they are missing something, when we normalize gay families we disrespect the role of the mother or the father in a child’s development. The strongest society is made up of those of whole families.

 This was a disastrous decision on PBS part and makes me distrust the whole network. Your network was the only one that my kids had free reign on. Unfortunately you have shown me I cannot even trust you.

Christian Episodes of Secular Cartoon Series

This is by no means a massive list, in fact right now I know of only two, though these two are fairly well known. If you know of anymore I would love to know about them, so leave a comment.

  1. A Charlie Brown Christmas – I love this shot at the commericalism of most Christmas specials as Linus lays down the true meaning of Christmas. The majority of episodes though quirky and fun and safe for kids, have no deep spirituality or really life wisdom and are just fun to watch, at least there are loveable characters and the great jazz soundtrack.2 X-Men (Season 2 Episode 18) “Night Crawler” – With a surprisingly deep message, a jaded disillusioned hate filled Wolverine, meets Night Crawler a mutant that has been hated more than most, but is at peace and full of forgiveness. Night Crawler presents his faith to Wolverine and even gives him a Bible. At the end Wolverine begins to repair his relationship with God. Though not mentioning Jesus directly the strong Christian references and message is unmistakable. The biggest surprise is just that this one got on public television. 

For more on Christian Animation check out my post “Ranking of the Best Christian Animation Series/

 

The Biblical Art of George Tinworth

Some of the amazing George Tinworth art that I have found from various sources:

The “Cities of Refuge” found on George Tinworth’s Wikipedia page

Notice the refugee is wearing a crown of thorns, possibly that he is righteously being persecuted. He escapes from an axe throw through “The Door of Mercy” which the engraved verses around the relief call out John 14:6 that Jesus is the door.

“The Adoration of the Wisemen”

The above image was found with other great images at http://thebiblerevival.com/clipart18.htm

The below is “Awaiting the Head of John the Baptist”

This image was found with other great Biblical images at http://www.thebiblerevival.com/clipart18.htm

This image was found also at http://thebiblerevival.com/clipart17.htm

Dragon Prince and Lesbian Queens… you guys have failed us

I wrote this to Netflix and I thought I would share it with the rest of the world:

This is feedback on the Dragon Prince. I crave virtuous content, content with good messages, it doesn’t matter if it has violence or sex (I will explain this below the letter), but I want something that is healthy for society, so much so that the endless garbage Netflix has been putting out made me drop myself down to a teenage filter, not to have to wade through the endless horrible MA content you make. So the Dragon Prince comes out, and I love it. I was a huge fan of Avatar the Last Airbender and it is made by and uses some of the same talent. The first season was spectacular and then I got to I think the fourth episode of the 2nd season. Where we have two gay queens kissing. Here is the problem with this, first I want to teach my kids about homosexuality, not a cartoon and I want to have safe programs to watch with them… and this destroyed this one. Second you are thinking shame labels to me already, bigot, homophobic… actually I believe sexuality is incredibly important for the health of a society and the family. I think unlike what this cartoon teaches that a father is intimately important for every kid and two mothers do not take that place. I think normalizing this to kid does them a disservice. Beyond that, you confuse genders, by making women the fiercest warriors. No woman will ever be as fierce as the fiercest male… duh look at prisons. Men and Women are different and true feminism does not make women into men, it affirms and realizes the importance of the female experience. Come on Netflix and Dragon Prince, don’t pander to a broken culture, give kids healthy models, where both parents male and female matter and really do create a healthy child. I could not have done without my mom and if it was not for my brother I would have no idea what a healthy man looked like.

 

This was not in the Netflix letter: What I mean by I do not mind sex and violence in my television shows. There are a couple of different philosophies from dedicated to Jesus Christians. One of those is that displaying evil in tv shows is okay to the extent that it gives you an understanding of the brokenness of sin, this does not mean it should be in excess. Think Alfred Hitchcock and the murders in his movie. They are rarely shown, just hinted at, but their full weight is felt. As well take adultery in a movie like Fatal Attraction vs the Bridges of Madison County. One shows adultery for what it is, pure destruction… the other shows a fairy tale where it makes the person committing the adultery out to be a hero for escaping a loveless marriage. This is not meant to be a treatise on marriage and divorce, what I am saying is the commitment needs to be sacred and fought for, harder than anything else we fight for.  So I don’t mind sin in my movies, but the context of them is vitally important don’t glorify sex and violence to titillate me… I was over that in my mid-20s give me something more!!! Give me difficult virtue and models and interpretations and story telling that bring out the best in society, not glorifying our basest urges!!!

By the way I am in my first marriage to a glorious dark skinned African and I am pretty much a white American with Cuban descent. I like diversity, not broken sexuality.

The New Morality – Dishonest about slavery

I just got done reading about something called “The New Morality”. The basic idea behind it is that everyone should adopt this new moral code that these people wrote up and decouple morality from religion. Even though this post has nothing to do with Visual Teaching, I just had to write it up.

First and foremost separating morality and religion only works in an atheist worldview because religion is irrelevant and amounts to as much as choosing what your favorite color is. Here is the thing though… what if… God is real, if you ignore what he says, since he holds all the cards, then you are doing something very dangerous and the core of Christian morality is a relationship with God on his terms… not ours.

So, in reading about the new morality they say that Christians and Jews have supported slavery and they use quotes from Jefferson Davis and Richard Furman to support this. In doing this, they leave out the other side of the coin. If you have a chance I encourage you to watch the movie “Amistad” one of the key figures in the movie was John Quincy Adams. John Quincy Adams was the sixth president of the United States and was vehemently opposed to slavery and considered it his God given duty to bring down the institution and in his later years in congress he did everything he could until he died to accomplish that. The surprising thing is if you read most abolitionist literature and look at most abolitionist lives, you will find people deeply committed to Jesus. Another classic example is Harriet Tubman. So, who is right… Jefferson Davis or Harriet Tubman… the answer is easy, if you look at the arguments used by the South to justify slavery and the abolitionist to abolish it. One of them is based on theological interpretation that has existed forever… the other (the Southern) is cut from whole cloth. The southern justification was created almost completely from an episode in Genesis when Noah said that “Canaan would be a slave of his brothers”, scientists at this time had come to assume that black people were from the line of Canaan and hence black people should be slaves to white people. Noah’s prophecy was fulfilled during the conquest time of Joshua and has nothing to do with modern America.

You might be thinking wait… there you just said it, the prophecy of slavery was fulfilled in the Bible. It’s really easy to judge the ancient world by our safe anonymous protected by our military selves, but it is not fair to the ancient world. Life was brutal, food could be scarce and the economic system was hard. The thing the Hebrews had built in for them is two-fold. 1) They didn’t really have racial slavery, they had conquest slavery and indentured servitude. 2) All slaves were released every 7 years, which means there was no such thing as life-long forced slavery. This was amazingly progressive compared to the rest of the ancient world.

Later on Christianity began to break apart the institution in the Roman Empire, in Galatians it says “there is no Free or Slave in Christ Jesus”, well what this began to do and this is well attested historically is that a master and his slave would go to church together and the slave would be acting as a church leader where his master would be subservient to him. The effect of this is it brought about a dignity and an equality that brought slavery to an end in Christian areas, while it continued and intensified in other areas, such as the Muslim world. When racial slavery began to practiced during the colonial period it’s very foundation was against the Hebrew practices for three big reasons: 1) Again it was lifelong which is against Hebrew slavery (which was more of indentured servitude) 2) Hebrew slavery was never based on skin color, it was war and financial related 3) It is against the Hebrew scriptures to kidnap anyone, yet many of the African slaves were kidnapped.

In fact the reason black slaves latched onto Christianity so readily was due to the Exodus history. The Jews knew what it was like to be slaves and they attained freedom.

So, today slavery once again is a huge problem and not only have I never met a single Christian promoting it, but the vast majority of the people working against it I have met are Christians.

To sum up the New Morality is not only wrong about slavery, but a better moral principle would be to treat people’s world views fairly, which they clearly do not, which means their morality cannot be superior.

Wayne

 

Interview with Art Ayris of Kingstone Comics on how Sin is depicted in Christian Art

One of the difficult aspects of doing Christian art is how do you deal with the depiction of sin. From having a married actor kiss another his co-star (not his wife on screen) to how sex and violence are depicted in visual media.

I thought it would be good to get the opinion of someone who is deep in the subject, so I asked Art Ayris of Kingstone Comics his thoughts.

Wayne: How did Kingstone Comics start?

Art: We really researched the comics industry as well as the CBA market – began identifying niches that weren’t being filled by Marvel-level graphic media. But it was really graphic novels that looked like the ticket.  As a former public school teacher as well as a children’s pastor for years, was always scrambling to find good material for kids. Some of the comic material veered into Catholic bashing, some was not up to the Marvel-quality that kids would read. A vision began forming and we felt a God-magnet type pull into media.


2) When doing art visually, what limits are there in representing sin? So for instance how graphic can violence be and why? How sexualized can images be or why?

Art: That is always the balancing act. Comics and graphic novels in the general market already have a reputation for over-sexualization and graphic violence. Especially since our market is young adult we don’t want to entice or give people reasons to look wrongly or with evil thoughts. But at the same time God made the human body and we can’t show everyone walking around in fur coats. There are always limits in portraying or representing sin but we still have to be faithful to what the Bible says happened – or will happen as in the book of Revelation. In the account of Judges 19 and the concubine that was raped and killed we show her lying on the ground with her hand on the threshold but she is bruised but still cloth, with text describing what the Bible says happened. In David’s affair with Bathsheba as recorded in II Samuel 11 we see David lying in bed but Bathsheba is leaving the bedroom. It is evident what happened and we also state what the Bible states.


Wayne: What’s your opinion of Christian art that has a see no evil attitude towards sin? As an example can visual violence in moves like Braveheart or Saving Private Ryan, can the violence there be compared to the bloodiness in movies like the SAW franchise. Many would condemn both as unhealthy for society.

Art: Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan and Hacksaw Ridge were all fairly accurate depictions of what happened. I never saw any of the SAW franchise but from what I could tell was pretty gratuitous violence. Silence of the Lambs, Texas Chainsaw, Saw and others don’t put good thoughts and good ideas in young minds that are forming nor in mentally unstable individuals. Attached is an article from Wired magazine that quotes from psychological studies how thinking about God helps with self-control. That is where Kingstone is, trying to move people thoughts, hearts and minds in a Godward direction.

 

Ranking of the best Christian Animation Series

My criteria for ranking these animation series are: 1) They have to either display Christian beliefs or be strong in wisdom that is compatible with Christian morality. 2) I am not judging them on production values, but on meaning (spiritual and moral) and creativity (fun, adventure, art, and story telling). 3) In general some of this ranking is arbitrary, because I like all of them.

Here we go my list of the best to the worst Christian animation series, I will only list series that I have seen the majority of episodes:

  1. Friends and Heroes (39 episodes 3 seasons) – Great for little boys, but little girls should enjoy this as well. It is a serialized (very rare in Christian programs) action cartoon, that seamlessly weaves in Bible stories through the greater story of a Jewish family living in 69AD to 71AD in the Roman Empire. I love this show specifically because of the smart serialized entertaining stories. The show has much of the same creative talent as behind the Story Keepers. Currently this is streaming on pureflix.com or https://www.jellytelly.com/ and is also available at http://www.friendsandheroes.tv/ but unfortunately like a lot of Christian entertainment it is prohibitively expensive here.
    Friends and Heroes
  2. Junior’s Giants (3 episodes) – Only three episodes ever made, but the content is beautifully mixed, between comedy, spirituality and wisdom. Currently this show is available for streaming on pureflix.com Listen closely pureflix, if there was ever a show to revive and give a full season of it is this one right here! This show is soooo much fun to watch. Right now you can find the only three episodes streaming on pureflix.com
  3. Lenny and Sid (2 episodes) – Only two real episodes were ever made, but the art style and story telling make me feel like this is a slightly better Charlie Brown. It could be the mood piano as well. I love when spirituality is integrated into a story and it does not feel forced, but natural, because Christianity should be natural and Lenny and Sid does this well. Both episodes can be watched on youtube in pieces or used DVDs can be found on ebay.
  4. Adventures in Odyssey (17 episodes) – Well constructed deep stories, enjoyable characters, excellent animation. They have one episode that stands out in particular, it is called “Baby Daze” it is about a baby who a scientist sees as an experiment, it is a subtle commentary on our treatment of life in our society and the evil of not valuing our children. The individual episodes can be bought as dvds or downloaded from Christianbook.com
  5. Animated Hero Classics (20 episodes from 1991 to 2004) – Made by ex-Disney animators every mini-biography teaches an important moral lesson for kids to grab onto. From Washington kneeling down and praying in the snow. To the loss of Abraham Lincoln as his son dies. The whole series displays history on a kid level, without skirting the difficult issues. Each cartoon has an activity book to help kids learn important qualities from each DVD. Old dvds can be found at your library or ebay. New dvds can be found at Nest Learning. They also don’t shy away from mentioning God when he is in the context of the story. The easiest way to find these is at a public library.
  6. Animated Stories from the New Testament – Well made new testament Bible cartoons made by ex-Disney Animators. Unfortunately these are again prohibitively expensive, and the only way to really view them is by buying the dvds.
  7. Animated Stories from the Bible (12 episodes) – From the makers of the Swan Princess, ex-Disney animators made 12 old testament cartoons. They are still horribly expensive, but the characterization and the music is wonderful. Unfortunately these are prohibitively expensive as well and the only way to view them is by buying the dvds.
  8. Testament: The Bible in Animation (9 episodes) – 9 episodes with 3 different art styles used and created for teens to adults, this series is visual artistically the best series out of all of these, but the stores are not quite as smooth as some of the others. The picture below is from the creepy scene in the David episode which had the Witch of Endor scene from scripture. All episodes of this show are available to watch on youtube. One other quick note the same people were responsible for the life of Jesus Claymation movie known as the “Miracle Maker”.
  9. Torchlighters – The stories of these cartoons are so important, great Christians that made extraordinary contributions to society. The DVDs often include documentaries about the people in the cartoons as well. The animation is a little weak, but really aside from that, well worth a view. These are super reasonably priced and are available from christianbook.com.
  10. Little Dogs on the Prairie (3 x 30 minute episodes) – Yet another Christian cartoon that is excellently made, but could not achieve the funding for that many episodes. Little Dogs has beautiful fun animation, great concept, good morality and fast pithy humor that is rare in any context. Super fun and worth watching. The episodes can be bought and downloaded from the original maker Fancy Monkey studios.
  11. Adventures in the Book of Virtues – This is a PBS shown cartoon, in general I trust PBS cartoons more than Disney and far more than Nickelodeon, at least they are educational. This one in particular is odd for PBS it is based on a book by William Bennet, he collected what he viewed as the greatest moral stories in history from all the sources he could find, including the Bible. Though the Bible is by no means center stage and in fact is rarely used in the series, the morality in the show that is taught is absolutely in line with Christian morality. The sad thing is this show is incredibly expensive or difficult to find. Three dvds were released years ago and the whole series can be bought for a devastating price tag from the original creation house. The picture below is from an episode entitled “honesty” where the story of the Princess and the Frog is used to teach about keeping your word.
  12. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic – I have seen every episode of this series and the depth and challenges that the stories bring to the wisdom of friendship is fantastic. I realize that it is not a “Christian series”, but the morality it represents is absolutely in line with my understanding of Christianity and I am happy for this series to influence my kids. One big note in this is that there are a couple of types of feminism. The most toxic type makes women want to emulate the worst traits of men, greed and power. This show on the other hand has the healthiest form of feminism, one that Christianity has no qualms with. It is where women look for the most virtuous and female experience of being a woman and embrace it. There is no gender confusion of women wanting to be men here. These are women, happy to be women. I LOVE that for my girls!!! Currently all episodes of this are streaming on netflix
  13. The Horned Avenger (Sadly only two episodes) – This rare and little seen gem should have had a longer life, by the second episode when the producers ran out of money the full potential of the series was just being explored and it would do great with a revival or a reboot. The series takes place on the mythical world of Speranza, where the Horned Avenger and his side-kick BLT have been prepared to fight evil. The theme is that in reflecting the creativity of the true Creator we come to know him. So, the Horned Avenger’s powers are his faith in the true creator makes his art become real. You would have to see them to understand how the idea is executed. Well worth watching.
  14. Jot the Dot – One of the very first Christian animated series, Jot the Dot had a fantastic creative design to it. I still find it’s design almost magical and how it was both tied to the experience of a kid and other worldly at the same time as Jot (a circular creature that was a human metaphor) would go to school and Sunday school and learn lessons. This series has never been released on DVD, but many are available for viewing on youtube
  15. Veggie Tales – Though iconic and best selling with some of the most fun music in any of the shows, there is something here that just doesn’t seem to work as well as it could, it might be the anthology nature of the programs, and how depending on the episode there is a hit or miss feel to the series. 
  16. Kids 10 Commandments – Five episodes with two commandments taught per an episode this series saw the voice talents of the Little Mermaid’s Jodi Benson and many other famous actors. As well the animation was done by Richcrest animation which means that it is some of the higher quality still cell animation in Christian animation.
  17. Gigi – What I love about Gigi is that it targets an underserved market, little girls, it is the truly only cartoon in this list explicitly aimed at girls. (With definite Christian content) This cartoon is currently streaming on pureflix and saw some dvd releases as well.
  18. Angel Wars – Also serving an under served market segment, Angel Wars was targeted at slightly older boys. The plot saw conflict between angels in a sci-fi motif, but was really meant to teach faith and wisdom principles.
  19. What’s in the Bible – I love how the content in this Bible is simple enough for kids and deep enough for adults, I love the songs. I love the little short’s like Quaky’s Questions that are on some of the DVDs. There are two reasons this is not rated higher. One is the voices, one person did the majority of the voices and I think a combination of that and some of the puppets is the reason this is not as engaging to my young kids as some of the others. These are currently streaming on the Christian kids streaming site jellytelly as well are easy to find at the public library.
  20. Owlegories (18 x 15 minute episodes) – Made for slightly younger kids Owlegories has animated owls teaching wisdom lessons from nature and scripture to kids. The music is catchy and it is well made. Really though the greatest thing about the cartoon is that they teach belief from symbol down, so teaching from the lion or the sun, what do we learn about God and Jesus from those things. Very innovative and creative. These are often available at the public library.
  21. In the Beginning: Bible Stories – Made by the “Walt Disney” of Jap animation, though he was an unbeliever, the cartoons are super faithful in spirit to the Bible and some feel are an artistic master piece. The below is a scene where Gideon and his fellow warriors are blowing trumpets. The bummer about these is as far as I know are not available streaming or on dvd anywhere and your only chance to find some episodes are by sharing sites.
  22. Children’s Heroes of the Bible – This is the earliest Bible cartoon out of all of them, and though the action is slow, the voices are powerful (the most heroic out of any Bible cartoon) and the theme song is memorable. This cartoon is dirt cheap at christianbook.com
  23. The All New Super Friends Hour – I know you think I am crazy including just this one single season of the Super Friends. Sure it is not as weak on violence as the as the first season, which was also very societally conscience, but this season did a couple of things that make me feel pretty strongly that there were a lot of Christians working on the cartoon. 1) All the adult Superheroes in the cartoon are fantastic examples of adulthood. Totally emotionally healthy, no ego, a humility in service, great examples of working together. This is responsible TV for young boys right here. Next they had craft and public service segments that show a responsibility within society. Lastly the Wonder Twin segments always dealt with a core sin.  Boys crave action, they crave wanting to be the hero and being powerful enough to defeat evil. Though this is not a Christian cartoon in the sense of clearly calling out the Jesus name or the Bible, Christian ethics are embedded in it.
  24. 3-2-1 Penguins – I think the over all ideas are excellent, the colors chosen for the animation, the voice acting and the story depth and pacing and mythos all struggled, which is why this series is not rated higher. I do like the proverbs and wisdom that are brought out in every episode. 
  25. The Flying House – With super simple jap animation and slow stories. The flying house has a way more interesting premise than it feels like watching the show. A time traveling flying house gets stuck in Jesus time and some kids and a robot get to interact with new testament Bible stories. There was only one DVD release of just a couple of episodes and that DVD is hard to find.
  26. Superbook (1981) – This is a companion series to the The Flying House and was actually made first. Recently (2010’s) it was remade. The original is lackluster due to goofy characters and slow weak animation. While “The Flying House” primarily dealt with New Testament stories, this series primarily deals with Old Testament. This cartoon had never been released on DVD.
  27. Hoop Dogz (4 episodes) – Using a strange pastel laced infused computer animation Hoop Dogz is the story of some young kids (err animals) that like Basketball as well as some spoofs of religious television (think Jimmy and Tammy Baker). The messages are good, and you get a more solid urban culture representation than any of the other cartoons, but the stories are kind of spastic and feel poorly paced and juvenile. Kids may like these, but they were not very accessible to me. The dvds usually can be found on ebay.
  28. Bible Agent 7 (1 episode) – Made for Faithlife the makers of Logos Bible software for their new streaming service. The cartoon is flash animation and is made for smaller kids. There was nothing that struck me as exceptional within the story or the animation. 
  29. Avatar the Last Airbender – This one is at the bottom of the list for a reason, there is a lot of eastern mysticism that flies directly in the face of the truth of Jesus. I am well aware of this. There are two redeeming factors to the cartoon. Movies like Star Wars: A New Hope and Avatar the Last Airbender which seem to embed a lot of eastern ideas, pantheism for instance… have one deep idea in them that deconstructs their eastern ideas. That is that they embrace the concept that good and evil do exist and are very real. This idea is central to Christianity, but with Eastern religion, good and evil are ultimately illusions. Even in post-modernism, good and evil are being broken down, so there is no true evil… everyone has a pathos or reason for being evil… this may be surprising to some of my readers… but actually no… some people are doing evil things just because they are selfish and they want power, it has nothing to do with a wrong done to them. Avatar clearly denotes that there is evil. This idea is weakend in the sequel “The Legend of Korra”, which is almost worthless. The second redeeming aspect is the character of Aang. Aang (The Avatar) wants to do good to the people who wrong him, doesn’t hold grudges and sees the best in everyone. This harkens back to Matthew where Jesus tells us to pray for our enemies. At the same time though he is not weak. He fights when necessary for the right reasons and with the right restraint. If you do watch this with your kids, be ready to undermine the eastern religious ideas in it, but use that a spring board to represent that there is a spiritual reality all around us, that really can be tapped into and the main conduit is Jesus through the Holy Spirit. This is the opposite of Scooby-Doo where the supernatural is all fake and it undermines the Christian world view. Lastly there is a character in the show named Zuko that is filled with hate and malice and through a good loving mentor begins to let go of this and by the end is redeemed. This is Jesus everyday for us.

 

Children’s Heroes of the Bible

Children’s Heroes of the Bible aka “Great Stories – Bible Stories” was a 13 episode Bible cartoon made in 1978 by the American Lutheran Church. From my knowledge this is the first Bible cartoon made. The animation is stiff and angular and if it was just the animation I would never use this series in teaching, but this cartoon series has three things that I find very special.

 

  1. The voice acting, thinking back to my favorite cartoons “Super Friends” and “Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends” those cartoons had a strong sense of heroism embedded in them and that was a result of the strong voices and heroic music. These Bible cartoons were a result of the same philosophy, they are not going for realism with their voice acting, but strength of voice and theme. The voice acting is actually very intense.
  2. Each 30 minute episode is a bunch of short five minute episodes tagged together, meaning it is easy to extract just a single Bible story form the whole to use in teaching.
  3. The third thing this cartoon series has going for it is an episode on Jeremiah, which if you were to look through the other ten or more Bible cartoons that have been made an episode on Jeremiah is very hard to find. The reason is that the book of Jeremiah unlike other books in the Bible that are easier to read, switches from prophetic doom to narrative story and back and most of it is not chronological so it is very difficult to tell what is going on. Finding someone that will adapt a cartoon for that is difficult. They definitely deserves props.
Jeremiah talking to the Potter from episode 5 of “Great Stories – Bible Stories”

The amazing thing is that even if you are unsure about the series or using it in any form of teaching, the whole season is available on DVD for $1.99 at Christian Book right now. Currently I use Jeremiah arguing with the priests to open a 4 parter on the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem.

The Films of Danny Carrales ranked

I have not really posted yet in how to use movies as teaching tools, but there is so much Christian media that needs promoted and used to build people’s faith. Case in point are the movies of Danny Carrales. Many Christian movies have insipid morality that does not go anywhere and it drives me crazy, because I crave deep Christian truth and virtue in my movies. Everyone of Danny’s movies accomplish that. The production values are not the strongest, but they have constantly improved. I highly recommend watching his movies from in my opinion the best to the worst:

  1. Heaven’s War – Easily the highest quality in technical aspects as well as having a deep spiritual story. This film is a gem that it is tragic that more people are not aware of. The special effects in the movie are worth the price of admission in and of themselves. Here is the trailer:  https://www.heavenswarmovie.com
  2. Final Exit – Though some of the conflicts were tough to portray without feeling a little cheese, the overall movie was powerful and the dialogue excellent. The movie focuses on who is saved and why, when multiple people enter judgement together and a demon and angel conflict over them. Not only inline with the Bible, but goes much deeper into the ramifications of Biblical philosophy.
  3. The Harvest – End times movie, I just enjoyed the lead actor and his hope and love for what he discovered in Jesus.
  4. Escape from Hell – Doctor kills himself to have a near death experience and discovers what really happens on the other side while his friends try to revive him. Super fun.
  5. Pilgrim’s Progress – Based on the classic John Bunyan tale.

 

 

Beitzel Photo Library from Logos

The “Beitzel Photo Library” available when using Logos software is a photo library of Bible locations that includes 14,000 photos of Biblical places for only $29.99. This seems like an amazing deal and it would be if any of the photos were labeled. In using the photo library most of the time I have no idea what I am looking at. So, there is random Egyptian temples and random locations in Greece… what bearing does it have for the Visual Bible Teacher? None!

If you want a good set of Bible locations pictures here are the sources listed with price:

  1. Padfield – This is a personal collection of photographs by the pastor of the Church of Christ in Zion. Though the labeling is not perfect, he puts a bunch of great pictures out there for you to use.
  2. Glo – (Update Glo desktop has become unusable, do not buy the desktop version, it needs interaction with a server, that is no longer available) From the old Bible software if you buy an old desktop copy and install it. There are around 3,000 great pictures about 25% of them are unique to logos and 75% of them are from Todd Bolen’s Bibleplaces that I will discuss next. This software should only cost you $30, but extracting the pictures is somewhat difficult. You have to copy and past the screen using windows snipping tool.
  3. Accordance Photo Guide – The photo guide sets from accordance are wonderful. Ton of explanatory data fantastic photos. If you get them on sale all six sets can run you under $100.
  4. Bible Places – Somewhat pricey and so many pictures that often time have little bearing to scripture, sometimes it is easy to get lost in a sea of irrelevant pictures. I would definitely recommend the Photo Guide above, it is less expensive, has great pictures and has more pictures from important places in Iraq and Iran, than Bible Places has.
  5. The Barry Beitzel Photo Library from Logos – This one as I mentioned above is not worth the $29.99 price tag because the notes and organization are so bad that it almost renders the whole thing unusable.

There you have it the best places to get great Bible location pics.