I look at that picture and I can only think one thing.
Excuse my letters – but seriously.
That is a picture of Psalty, the singing praise book. Not only does he sing but he also dances, encourages children and haunts my dreams. I remember watching Psalty videos when I was a little kid in Sunday school. In the videos the anthropomorphized hymnal sang songs about Jesus and taught Bible stories. It was a well intentioned endeavor that I’m sure made a tremendous impact for God’s kingdom. Lots of children loved Psalty.
I was not one of those children.
Psalty scared me. Whether it was the man dressed up in a costume or the cartoon version, I always thought Psalty looked like a deformed and deranged Smurf. I didn’t learn anything about Jesus from Psalty because I was too busy worrying about the nightmares the large talking book would give me. When I was a kid, 30-second commercials for horror movies scared me. Imagine how 30 minutes of a talking, singing, dancing book affected me?
Even though Psalty didn’t have an impact on me, at least a positive one, I know God used his ministry to reach out to children. I don’t think Psalty would be very effective today, though, because the world has changed tremendously. Instead of a talking hymnal, most children today would better connect with a talking projector.
And that’s all right.
As society, culture and people change, Christians need to change as well. Our core beliefs don’t change. The gospel we preach doesn’t change; how we communicate that message, though, can change. Jesus gave us the true, unchanging wine; we get the opportunity of finding new wine skins.
What methods were used to teach you about the Bible when you were younger that wouldn’t work today?
If you don’t want to sleep tonight, do a search for Psalty on YouTube.