Thursday, September 10, 2015

Israel's Mission by Ray Vander Laan

 Focus on the Family brings you Volume 13, Israel's Mission: Becoming a Kingdom of Priests in a Prodigal World, the latest release in Ray Vander Laan's popular That the World May Know® video series. That the World May Know features Vander Laan's unique method of Bible teaching and takes viewers on location to give context to the original writings.

Vander Laan has always believed that to more greatly understand and appreciate the Bible, one had to have a sense of the land and the culture from which it sprang. Biblical analogies and examples, while meaningful and helpful even to this day, were first meant to convey God's truth to particular people in a particular time and place. So the more fully we can appreciate those times and places, the more fully we can respond to the power of the Word.


God gave the assignment to His people thousands of years ago: to bring "lost sheep" back into the love and safety of His kingdom. He said to become a "Kingdom of Priests," and put God on display to show the world what He is like. It's still our task today. In this thirteenth volume of the That the World May Know ® film series, you'll glimpse the urgency and rewards of welcoming the strangers and prodigals the Lord longs to embrace. Discover the mission that can give your life --- and the lives of those around you --- greater meaning than you ever imagined.

Join renowned teacher and historian Ray Vander Laan as he guides you through the lands of the Bible. In each lesson, Vander Laan illuminates the historical, geographical, and cultural context of the sacred Scriptures. Filmed on location in the Middle East and elsewhere, the That the World May Know® film series will transform your understanding of God and challenge you to be a true follower of Jesus.

My review:
  I have long been interested in this series, but have never had the chance to check any of the DVDs out until I got the opportunity to review this one. I recently did a review of a DVD that was similar to this one that I thought was too brief and didn't have much depth, but this is completely the opposite. There are 5 different lessons on the DVD, all of them averaging 31-32 minutes. The DVD has fascinating footage of Israel and Jordan. Ray Vander Laan has a small group of people he addresses as they travel with him throughout the Middle East, which makes it more interesting than if he were just addressing the camera.

 There is a book for the DVD that I believe comes separately, but was also given to me with the DVD. Coming in at 252 pages, there is a lot covered in the book. Each session:
Focuses on passages of Scripture explored in the film.
Includes sidebars, maps, photos, and other study tools.
Features questions that facilitate discussion and inspire personal reflection.

  The lessons cover Abraham and Sarah, Israel at Sinai, Jesus renewing the Mission, the prodigal son, and the seeking father. Vander Laan ties it all together in the plan of redemption in a way that is fascinating and easy to follow and understand. Each lesson is covered by approximately 40 pages in the book.

  I found the DVD and book very well done, and something that would benefit any Christian. It could be done by an individual, a family, or a Bible study group.

About the author:

Since receiving his Master's of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1976, Ray Vander Laan has been actively involved in studying and teaching Jewish culture using the methods of Jewish education. He has continued graduate studies in Jewish Studies in the United States, Israel, Turkey and Egypt. He has been a teacher for 35 years and is an ordained minister with the Christian Reformed Church. He has also authored a book entitled Echoes of His Presence, published by Focus on the Family. Vander Laan founded That the World May Know Ministries in 1998. Ray has taken over 10,000 people with him on his study tours of Israel, Turkey and Egypt.

Ray's preaching and teaching ministry is focused on understanding the Bible in light of the historical and cultural context in which God placed it. This perspective on the Bible highlights God's call for His people to be a transforming influence on their culture. He uses research of the top scholars in the fields of archaeology, history, and Biblical study as tools to explore the Biblical text ever more deeply. His gifts, expertise, and calling are to link that cultural information and the Bible so that its message applies to our lives today in very practical ways.

Isreal's Mission is available from Focus on The Family

Thanks to Litfuse for the review copies.