Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl

Was given a preview copy of “Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl” which I had never heard of before. It was a dvd series which made the consumption of it a little more palatable than a book review, being honest here I keep falling asleep when reading, call it a two year old joy/disease. N.D. Wilson isn’t someone who was on my radar till now, so I had no clue what to expect. So here is a bit of my experience with “Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl.”

  • The cinematography of the whole thing is quite good. If you watch it beginning to end as a I did you might pick up on some of the similar looped videos from chapter/segment to segment but as someone who has produced and edited a video 1. I see that stuff easily 2. I forgive that stuff as long as it isn’t overwhelming. The audio is equally good. This makes for an enjoyable watching experience if nothing else.
  • Wilson (sorry, just can’t do the referencing as N.D.) is fusing together a whole lot of philosophy, science and religion. I immediately thought of Rob Bell in this way of teaching. These are not Nooma videos, but I did think of that to. The videos speed through through Wilson’s thoughts so I’m sure I missed a thing of two, which will probably be most people’s experience. But there always was some takeaway idea that I heard in there.
  • Wilson also has some video that are poetry mixed to a video element. Watching the whole thing through those took me a minute to realize that is what this segment was, but I actually would skip back at that point to listen/watch again. Poetry is really cool when read by the authors, you get some of their original emotion & intent when you can experience that. As an art fanboy I was in to those segments.
  • Wilson grew on me. I was skeptical of the whole thing at first. In part because I wasn’t familiar with him or this at all. Towards the middle to end of the whole thing I found myself in the rhythm of him and a bit about his message. Seems like a pretty cool guy I wouldn’t mind having a drink with.
  • I imagine everything through the lens of “Is this a teachable element for youth?” For the sake of this being video and the whole collision of philosophy, science & religion it’d be a great discussion starter for the guys. Not sure the girls would get into it as much, but maybe. I haven’t done any control and test groups there, just my suspicion. All our kids are in some level of educational science and that is part of what they wrestle with in their spiritual formation. Not sure the level of philosophy for a middle schooler..
  • Wilson’s theology I wouldn’t necessarily agree with in all points. The core stuff seemed to be there, the more nuanced things I might switch up. A few times I had that feeling, “I’m not sure why, but that just doesn’t jive.” It is more of an apologetics type creation so that is probably where a little bit of that comes from.
  • There is a study guide, if you want to teach into this. I didn’t go there as of yet, so I have not perused it as of yet.
  • Will I go through this myself with my teenagers? It is possible. We have our outlines and things set for the foreseeable future at the moment so it probably won’t happen soon, but it could make an appearance. I think if nothing else it would be a good discussion starter for many of my teens to give words to their own faith. That would be what we would use it for.


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