A while back my son just sort of yells across the living room without warning or prompting:
"Dad, what does 'messiah' mean? - Kolbe
"Me in my mind: Where do I begin? ... Do I jump to Judaism? That would make sense... do I hand him my Scott Hahn collection? Too early... ]
No... like any good dad with a wifi connection, I turn to YouTube. We then proceed to spend about 45 minutes sitting on the couch together, me and my little 4 year old son watching these videos and talking about what was uncovered. Mostly we talked about what he saw, not so much what he heard in the narraration.
"Is that solider a bad guy or a good guy?"
"Is that guy an angel?"
"Can we go to that castle (the temple) sometime, maybe this summer?"
Kolbe just needed to see it first, and I think part of me did too.
Enter the The Bible Project, Creation of the Week and a Portland based non-profit crowd funded creative studio. It's been great to see the group progress from the early videos to the most recently published ones, and to see the quality constantly increase, and the willingness to try new things pay off with each new graphic venture. Everything they make they give away for free, though if you offer your dollar bills I'm certain they won't turn them down. This creation of the week is really dozens of "creations" that are summarized in this one post. Mostly the following:
- Theme videos (holiness, image of God, Kingdom of God, Dozens of others on YouTube)
- Animated short films (Wisdom, Torah)
- Print Materials (A few dozen large format posters)
The work really stands on it's own (see screen captures of the animated films below) and needs little in the way of explaining. It is just top to bottom thoroughly engaging and rooted in the narrative arcs of scripture. It's well worth your time to sit, watch, and then share these videos.
The videos have been personally helpful to me because there is a significant gap between what my 4 year old can glean from his "kid bibles" and my Ignatius Press "full bible". And if we are being honest, they help kick start us into reading and loosen whatever grip lethargy may have on our hearts and minds. That's what engaging works of art do, they clue us in to something of the clarity of the truth, something that may not be as readily expressible with words, or certainly not in the say way that an image can. With hundreds of instantly made and intuitively felt design decisions layered on top of one another to produce an affect that washes over the viewer, works of art like these operate on a different level that that of those who deal in words.
All of these resources mix an exceptionally high level of production quality, with what seem to be a fairly open and approachable theological bent. The printed material is also all free and super high quality. Dig it. Download any and all of the artwork, and if you can support the effort.
The best part of this CoTW is that it has given me cause to return to these books to be able to enter into these stories anew. I hope it will result in the same for you.
This Creation of the Week is by Christopher Duffel, architect, father, and sharer of wisdom.