Last month one of my close friends emailed me a link to a 14-minute video on Amazon.com that serves as a preview for the recently released Planet Earth: The Complete BBC Series (also available in HD DVD and Blu-ray). After reading more about this BBC series, I became aware of another BBC series released a few years ago called The Blue Planet: Seas of Life.
Jenni and I had the opportunity to watch these DVD series, and they are excellent! Over the last three years, we have checked out a few dozen nature DVDs from the library (e.g., many produced by IMAX), but none of those compares to Planet Earth! Wow. It includes five DVDs: the first four contain eleven 50-minute episodes, and the fifth contains three episodes on “the future” and environmentalism. The last ten minutes or so of the eleven episodes on disks 1-4 share interesting stories about what the film crew endured to secure such unusual footage. (Warning: Occasionally a crew member’s speech is a bit offensive.) The footage on the main episodes is stunningly majestic and detailed, colorful and brilliant. The vistas are breathtaking. I learned something new in every episode, usually viewing (1) fascinating animals and plants on God’s earth that I never knew existed and (2) behavior by well-known organisms that shocked me because I had never heard of such things (e.g., a pride of lions attacking an elephant). (Cf. Wikipedia’s overview.)
In preparation for watching these, we listened to John Piper’s sermon “The Pleasure of God in Creation,” which Piper later published as this chapter in The Pleasures of God, my favorite book by Piper. Thrilling! Moving! Worshipful! Watching first-class films about God’s planet is a worshipful experience—even if the people who make the films have entirely different agendas! How many more reasons do we have to praise God than did the authors of Scripture, whose knowledge of God’s earth was significantly limited in comparison to ours today? Piper calls Ranger Rick “a theological journal,” and I think it is appropriate to call Planet Earth a theological documentary.
Related: Piper on “Planet Earth”