Monday, December 10, 2007

Parable Films

I recently received the DVDs and curriculum for a new study, entitled Modern Parables.

Here's the gist:
Modern Parables is an original Bible study curriculum designed for people who like movies. The box set consists of:
  • Six Parable Films
  • Six Application Videos each taught by a different pastor
  • Six Director's Commentaries for teaching Cinema and Theology
  • 1 Teacher's Guide with 2 intro chapters, 12 complete lesson plans + 6 bonus lesson plans (108p.)
  • 1 Student Book with 12 in-depth chapters on the parables (200p.)
  • 1 Teacher's Prep CD with 12 audio lesson overviews for teachers
The Parable Films are uniquely designed to parallel the original parables, thereby driving viewers back to the Biblical text. Just watching the films helps teach the historical, grammatical, contextual and interpretive elements in the parables. The films are not meant to replace the text, but are intended to re-create in the viewer similar emotional, intellectual, and spiritual responses as that of Jesus' 1st-century listeners.

The Application Videos explain how the parables can be applied to our day-to-day lives. They are taught by insightful pastors representing different denominations.

The Director's Commentaries explore how cinema and theology were uniquely wedded in each of the films. When paired with the 6 bonus lessons found in the Teacher's Guide, they provide a unique insight into the way cinema provides new perpectives on our lives in God's Creation.

The Teacher's Guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to teach each lesson of Modern Parables. It also includes extensive background material on the parables and the theology of Biblical application.

The Student Book contains the actual Biblical study materials in 12 in-depth chapters on the parables. Each chapter is based on some of the best modern parabolic scholarship and is written in an engaging, easy-to-follow style. There are also six parallel tables that show the many comparisons between the parable film and the original text.

The Teacher's Prep CD is a series of 5-minute audio overviews on each lesson. They are intended to be listened to in the car or on a digital player just prior to teaching the class to help remind the teacher of the most important points.

Modern Parables was designed by a 15-year veteran teacher of both Adult and Youth Group Sunday School classes. The study is intended to be an all-inclusive package that provides everything you would need to thoroughly teach the parables. It is a modular study and can be taught in 6, 12, or 18 lessons (or anything in between).
I watched the first six short films--volume 1--in one sitting with my wife. They are really well done, and I'm very happy to commend them to individuals, families, small groups, Sunday-school groups, etc.

Here's a blurb from Craig Blomberg:
“Have you ever wondered how Jesus might have told his parables in twenty-first century America? How would the characters have been portrayed? What modern cultural elements would have proved central? Compass Cinema’s portrayals are by far the most clear, riveting, superbly acted and biblically faithful contemporizations of Jesus’ parables that I have ever seen. The DVD comes complete with excellent written materials for individual or group study. I highly recommend this work.” - Craig S. Blomberg, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
Throughout the week I'll post some trailers to give you a taste for what they are like.

P.S. Tim Challies is having a give-away contest at his site, and the Modern Parables set is the prize. Today's the last day.