When I received this DVD curriculum to review, I was initially excited. That eagerness grew as I began to read over on the materials. Painting the Stars is, “celebrating the communion of science and faith… exploring the promise of evolutionary Christian spirituality.” These were big claims on the outside; akin to Babe Ruth pointing his bat towards the outfield and calling out his impending home run. Only this time he calls his shot, but then hits a single. The claims don’t live up to the outcome and it’s a bit of a letdown.
There are lots of great ideas happening here and that’s the problem… it just lots of random disconnected opinions and ideas. I don’t doubt the passion and wisdom of the presenters, but there’s no real narrative voice to the material aside from the thought that we can reconcile both Christian spirituality and the ideas of evolution. There are lots of big questions, passionate scientists and witty quotes from famous people – it’s all appetizers and no main course. I was left wanting more. Hungry for more.
Now you may scoff at me for picking at their grand question asking. If you read this blog you know I love big questions. But in this case, the questions lead us no where. They are just a wild chase of more questions and random thoughts. In the pursuit of tackling a broad topic, they just continued to go even broader. I was expecting it to narrow like a funnel and it did quite the opposite, it got wider and wider.
Like I said before, I love good questions… but this DVD was made to be the core material for facilitating small group discussions. Frankly, I don’t see this doing more than leading to broad topics that never really go anywhere. This doesn’t dig deep into the life-changing soil of the topics of spirituality and evolution… it’s more just fodder to fuel intelligent sounding prattle at cocktail parties.
About the DVD:
Living the Questions is not the product of a denominational workgroup or other institutional effort aimed at simply dressing up the theological status quo. Instead, it is the response to the search for a practical tool to bring together, equip, and re-educate thinking Christians. What started out as just a single DVD series is now a growing catalog of curriculum with over a dozen titles in use by nearly 6000 churches and other groups across the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Living the Questions Churches utilize LtQ resources for spiritual formation in a variety of ways: adult studies, retreats, new member orientations, etc.