Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Torchlighters: John Bunyan and William Tyndale

When I went to Sunday School we got great stuff - I still have my illustrated Pilgrim's Progress, my Pictorial Old Testament (which is like a cartoon strip of the key events, book by book, from Genesis to Malachi). In my final year of Sunday School I asked for a copy of Hislop's "The Two Babylons" - not the typical read for a 13 year old! (I can hear the men in white coats coming for me now....)

For today's generation,Torchlighters is a series of children's animation DVDs about 'Heroes of the Faith". I bought two of them for our weans a few weeks ago, on the lives of William Tyndale and John Bunyan. Produced by the Christian History Institute in the USA, they are excellent and worth recommending as a Christmas gift for children in your family. They would also be good as an outreach tool for churches, perhaps run as a "Saturday morning cinema" in a church hall for kids to come along to.

I'm usually very dubious about this kind of thing, as they usually:

a) dilute the power of the original story to make them "relevant to today", which is usually coded language for "so as not to cause offence to anyone", and

b) the technical quality is usually poor, and a pale imitation of the standards of animation that children today are used to, and expect - thereby defeating the purpose of the whole thing.

The DVDs are available in the UK as a triple set (including Eric Liddell of "Chariots of Fire" fame) for £30 through Trinity Vision. Here are two preview clips from YouTube:

Our kids (10, 5 and 3) were enthralled. It's just a shame there are so few in the series - I can imagine a whole raft of these on Ulster-Scots-Gospel themes (the 1625 revival, the four ministers and Eagle Wing, The Covenants etc etc!). Maybe one day...