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CBD was thankful to get the chance to interview Dave Stotts, host & editor of the bestselling history curriculum Drive Thru History. His 12 years working in media production have taken him to 27 countries to shoot and edit award-winning documentaries such as Icons of Evolution and The Search for the Real Mt. Sinai.

CBD: There’s so much to learn when it comes to ancient history. Who chooses what events to cover in Drive Thru History? What factors were considered?

Dave Stotts: It's a real team effort.  We’ve used research and writing from history experts and Bible professors, but our producer Jim Fitzgerald and I do a good bit of it ourselves.  We try to highlight historical events that were most influential to Western Civilization.  In the Ancient History series (Rome, Greece and Asia Minor) we focused often on the early Church, the Apostles and the spread of Christianity because we believe those things to be of incalculable influence on how Western Civilization developed.  We also believe America to be a monumental achievement in Western Civilization as well – not to mention its legacy of faith and freedom.  So in this new series, we’re exploring the ideas and ideals of our founding fathers and the world-changing events that surrounded them.

CBD: You provide some hilarious clips at the end of each DVD that showcase the hard work of creating a documentary. What was it like filming on location abroad? Were there any memorable moments that didn’t make it onto the DVD?

DS: Filming an on-location, travel-oriented history program is difficult enough, let alone doing it in another country, with language barriers, strange environs, and often long distances between locations.  There are difficulties with crowds, schedules, permits, weather and the challenge of making sure we’re not telling a story in front of the wrong ruin!  But then we’ll step back and realize we have one of the coolest jobs in the world – traveling and making history come alive onscreen.  Suddenly all the setbacks are worth it.  One memorable moment that didn’t make it onscreen was when we lost a cameraman.  He got swept away by a crowd in a political demonstration in Athens, Greece and we simply had to drive around until we happened to cross paths again.  It was quite a relief when we found him.



CBD: What was the most difficult aspect of working on Drive Thru History/America?

DS: Filming in the U.S. was easier in many ways.  Everyone speaks English and you basically know where you are and were you’re going.  There’s also usually a Starbucks whenever you want one.  But the downside is that there is far more red tape to worry about.  Permits are required for everything and there is a lot more scrutiny in terms of what we’re doing and how.  For instance, we were pulled over by the Secret Service near the White House simply because we looked suspicious with a professional camera.  In retrospect, however, I can see why.  Our cameraman was hanging out of the passenger side window getting a shot of our Humvee’s tire, right as a procession of cars drove by that must have been the Presidential motorcade.  I’m glad we had the permit that day! 

CBD: You said “There can be no just outcome by rewriting history.” Is this true in all cases? Do you see a need to stick by traditional historical understanding in the face of politically correct writing? Or can there be an allowance for the adage “the victor writes the history books?”

DS: In some sense, the victor always writes the history books.  There is no absolute objectivity in any discipline.  When it comes to history, however, we must try best we can to suppress our biases and the things we want history to tell us, in favor of what the data of history actually teaches.  In the case of Christianity, there is much that gets intentionally omitted from modern history books because of some kind of politically correct agenda.  In Drive Thru History our goal is to teach Christian history right along with so-called real history to demonstrate the two go hand in hand.  After all, the Bible, while it is so much more than this, is very much a history book.  All Christians are, in that regard, stewards and preservers of history. 



CBD: What do you think are the most important lessons from the ancient world and colonial America for our modern times?

DS: In the Ancient World, perhaps the most important lesson is that the establishment of Christianity has been an objectively good development to the history of Western Civilization.  That may not sound like a controversial thing to say, but there are many in our currently culture who don’t want to hear that.  Christian history is not perfect, but there can be no denying the fact that our world would be impoverished were it not for the contributions the Christian message has made.  More fundamental to that, however, is the event that served as the impetus for the unlikely rise and establishment of the Christian Church.  That event, of course, would be the bodily Resurrection of Jesus.

In Colonial America, perhaps the most important lesson would be that to build a strong country, leaders of true self-sacrifice with a desire to see our traditions preserved are essential.  So many politicians today seem motivated out of self-interest and personal recognition.  Our Founding Fathers were driven by things much deeper and more honorable.  They were servants of the people – and recognized the crucial necessity of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, and strong traditional values.

CBD: Do you have a favorite historical figure? If so, why? 

I don’t have a favorite historical figure, but I found that, in the ancient history series, the Apostle Paul kept surfacing as perhaps the most important figure in early Christianity.  His courage and tenacity impressed and encouraged me deeply.  In the Early America series, I was dazzled by the brilliance of Benjamin Franklin, and was inspired by the courage and honor of George Washington. 



CBD: In what ways do you believe history should affect the life of a young Christian? 

DS: In a word, humility.  We are stewards, not re-inventors, of the traditions and institutions that have been passed down to us.  Another lesson is that we have to work hard to make history boring!  But sadly, so often, we have done just that.  Drive Thru History works because it tells history in a fast-paced exciting way.  Not because history needs “spiced up”.  On the contrary, history is so exciting and important, it deserves to be told in a way that brings it alive in a captivating, artistic, and yes, even funny way!

CBD: You drive some pretty nice cars in your travels. Which one was your favorite, and what do you normally drive?

DS: My favorite car was the Mini Cooper.  It has all the benefits of a small car (which are needed in a city like Athens or Rome where parking spots are hard to find!) but with the power of a turbo-charged engine.  At the moment, I’m driving the bright orange Jeep Wrangler we used in the filming of the American History series.  It’s all tricked out so I get plenty of looks as I’m driving around.  I love the Jeep, but I’m finding myself at the gas station more than I would like. 

CBD: Can you tell us anything about your upcoming plans or the new Drive Thru History DVDs Patriots, Penn and the Freedom Trail and Columbus, the Pilgrims and Early Boston?

DS: The 2 DVDs (6 full episodes) in the all-new American History series of Drive Thru History are now available.  We consider them to be some of our best work yet.  Better cameras, better animations – but the same old host!  In these 2 DVDs we take the viewer all over Boston and Philadelphia.  There will be at least 2 more DVDs in addition to those in this series where we explore the history we discovered in Virginia, New York and New Jersey. We’re excited to see how these DVDs will inspire our audience to honor the history of this great nation.




 From Drive Thru History

Drive Thru History: Patriots, Penn, and the Freedom Trail
Drive Thru History: Patriots, Penn, and the Freedom Trail
CBD Price: $16.99

Drive Thru History: Columbus, the Pilgrims, and Early Boston
Drive Thru History: Columbus, the Pilgrims, and Early Boston
CBD Price: $16.99

Rome If You Want To DVD, Greece and The Word DVD, Turkish Delight DVD, and East Meets West DVD
Rome If You Want To DVD, Greece and The Word DVD, Turkish Delight DVD, and East Meets West DVD
CBD Price: $58.49

Drive Thru History America: Foundations of Character
Drive Thru History America: Foundations of Character
CBD Price: $36.99


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