Friday, October 31, 2014

Wizzy Gizmo

Wizzy Gizmo

Wizzy Gizmo produces a line of Christian Education Resources for children. The offerings include books, audio dramas, and reference cards to help children learn about the Bible.  All of these products can be used for family Bible study or by children individually. 

I recently received a set of Fast Track Bible Pack New Testament books of the Bible overview cards.
The cards are designed to be a Bible study tool to acquaint children (and adults) with basic facts about each book of the New Testament in a compact easy to handle format.

Card Front
Wizzy Gizmo Fast Track Bible Reference Cards   $14.99

The front of the card is a catchy, story like introduction to the book. They often pose a question to the child/ reader to connect the book with something in their life. At the end of this story is a short verse from the book which could be used as a memory verse while learning about the book. There is also a sidebar giving the author, date it was written and number of chapters in the book. The bottom of the card features a theme for the book.

Card Back
On the back of the card you will find an outline, key chapters, key passages, key doctrines, and key people. Each of these is color coded ~ this really helps in keeping your place on the card.

The Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible. Since the NASB tries to be close to the Greek and Hebrew texts, this shows a desire to refrain from paraphrase editions driven more by culture than by actual biblical language.

My Thoughts

My 10 year old didn't really care for these cards. He preferred to use the similar material in the book introductions contained in The Lutheran Study Bible by Concordia Publishing House. The fact that these cards do not draw significantly on the sacramental theology observed by the Church since apostolic times probably contributed to his seeing a difference between the cards and the religious instruction that he has received to date.

That is to be expected, given differences with novel doctrines like dispensational millennialism and the lack of balance between Law and Gospel. Indeed, the cards tend to turn the Good News into a book of rules. Only the card for Luke mentions the resurrection, and there is no mention of the ascension! Jesus is key only on two Gospel cards, even though Luke 24 makes Him central.

Key verses seem to have little internal consistency with the biblical text. They seem to be picked in order for this or that denominational tradition to find its talking points. The cards simply take some generic Protestant ideas for granted. Scripture might not always support that interpretation.

Other points are emphasized without real explanation. The card for Acts mentions 19:1-7 regarding the Spirit. The verses actually engage Trinitarian Baptism and the role of the Spirit in confessing the Trinity, a central element of the Great Commission (to the Eleven and their successors in Matthew).

The cards seem to take more time in being "not Catholic" than trying to present what Scripture actually says, as if marketing to a generic Protestant target would cover up otherwise deep differences among traditions in the interpretation of Scripture.

The focus is on general Protestant fundamental doctrines common in Baptist or Evangelical non-denominational traditions.

While the cards do a good job at pointing out many fundamentals like the virgin birth of Christ, His divinity, and so on, they illustrate just how difficult it is to create a Bible-related product amid different streams of biblical interpretation. One size never really fits all.

Other writers from Home & School Mosaics reviewed the Fast Track Bible cards, Audio Dramas, and Books. Visit Home & School Mosaics to see what they had to say.

Disclaimer: I received a set of the cards described here solely for the purpose of writing this review. I have not received any other kind of compensation. All opinions expresses here are solely my own.