Guest / Limited Access /

What do an engineer from Alabama, a newspaper columnist in Dallas, and a host on CBS's The Early Show in New York all have in common? An interest in the gospel--according to Andy, Barney, Opie and Aunt Bee, that is. People from around the country are taking note of a new Bible-study series based on the popular 1960s television program, The Andy Griffith Show."I've been a fan for a long time," says Joey Fann, 34, of Huntsville, Ala. A software engineer, Fann watched reruns of the show in college to relieve stress. "I noticed that some episodes brought out a certain moral point," he says.Fann eventually created a study for his church in Huntsville based on several of the episodes. "The first class had about 20 people," he remembers. That was two years ago. In the months that followed, Thomas Nelson publishers took notice and agreed to distribute the series nationwide.Since its release in May 2000, churches and ministries have purchased over 6,000 copies of the video-and-study-guide series. "We have some churches that are buying hundreds of the study guides at a time," says Harry Clayton, senior vice president of Nelson Word Multimedia Group.Congregations will show an episode before breaking members into small groups for discussion, says Jim Baird, director of Nelson Word. "It's not a study of the show," he says. "It's a Bible study. The show simply illustrates biblical values." Each study offers a handful of Scriptures and a series of questions intended to help participants connect the show with biblical ideas.Some critics, however, consider the study an attempt to satisfy an "entertain me" mentality of the American church. The central themes exalt basic moral principles without keeping Christ and the basic doctrines of Christianity ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedAn Embarrassing Week for Christians Sharing Fake News
An Embarrassing Week for Christians Sharing Fake News
Don't believe everything you read on the Internet. You embarrass us all when you do.
TrendingMelinda Gates: ‘I’m Living Out My Faith in Action’
Melinda Gates: ‘I’m Living Out My Faith in Action’
One of the wealthiest and most controversial women in the world believes that all lives have equal value. She’s willing to spend $3.6 billion a year to prove her point.
Editor's PickWhat Having Millions of Followers Taught Me About Christian Dialogue
What Having Millions of Followers Taught Me About Christian Dialogue
Full House actress: Let’s stop attacking each other with Bible verses.
Comments
Christianity Today
Sunday School: What Would Andy Do?
hide thisSeptember 4 September 4

In the Magazine

September 4, 2000

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.