Dangerous Book

Category: By Christian
Middle school students are funny. They are funny and I love them. One of the highlights of my former job was the Tuesday afternoon Bible study at Panera Bread. It was always good for a classic quote, as well as opportunities to see students have light bulb moments on a weekly basis. There's nothing quite like having a 7th grade girl inform you that "Did you know that Paul Newman owns a salad dressing factory? He was so hot when he was in The Outsiders." When you then reply that Paul Newman is, like, 80, you then get put back in your place. "Well, 20 years ago he was hotttttttt!"

One of the most intruiging conversations we had came a couple of weeks ago. The kids started feverishly debating the plot of Esther, which is a short book in the Old Testament. They busted out their Bibles and made valiant attempts at proof-texting each other in an effort to prove their mental brawn. You have to realize that Middle School is the time when one's theological constructs are rapidly changing, because you begin getting the "real" versions of Biblical accounts. One of the boys realized this when he exclaimed, "Wait a minute!!! In Veggie Tales, everyone gets sent to Tickleland, but in the Bible they get HANGED!!!"

Ding, ding, ding.

For those who don't know, Veggietales is a CGI kids show that teaches Bible Stories and life lessons. One of the things they do though, is take some of the more scandalous Biblical accounts and sanitize them so that they are appropriate for kids. For instance, there is a story in the Bible where King David has an affair with a married woman named Bathsheba. She then gets pregnant, and Kind David ends up killing her husband so that he doesn't get caught. Well, the VT version has a king taking someones rubber ducky (get it??? BATHsheba) in an effort to teach kids about not being selfish. Cute, but perhaps not doing kids many favors when it comes to Biblical literacy.

So the Bible is not an entirely benign book. It's a messy book. It's R-rated in many places. It shows our faults, it shows our shortcomings, it shows the parts of life that exist in the grey and outside of the black and white. It's complicated, but I think that's a good thing. It's good because it engages us. It shows us that being in relationship with God isn't something that requires us to go through the motions. It's a relationship that calls us to get into the middle of the mess and deal with it.

Fair Dinkum

0 comments so far.

Something to say?