Book review Mission in the Old Testament
CRITICAL BOOK REVIEW
Bibliographical Data: Kaiser, Walter C. Jr. Mission in the Old Testament – Israel as a Light to the Nations. Baker Books: Grand Rapids, MI. January 2004.
Information about the Author: “Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. is president and Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Old Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.” He has a Doctorate. He is also the author or coauthor of several books. He is a strong advocate for Christians making God’s missionary purpose a central theme in their lives. “Missions cannot be an afterthought for the Old Testament: it is the heart and core of the plan of God” (38). Walter desires for the church, to not only participate in blessing to the greatest of ability, but also to receive the supreme blessings the Lord has to offer us.
Purpose of the Author: “God’s eternal plan was to provide salvation for all peoples; it was never intended to be reserved for one special group, such as the Jews, even as an initial offer! It is the history of this offer and the way it was carried out in Old Testament times that will form the heart of our study here” (10). Through this book Kaiser wants his reader to understand the correlation or the connecting point between the Old Testament and New Testament pertaining to missions. Kaiser wants the reader to understand that Genesis is the beginning for the call of missions, not the New Testament. He yearns for the reader to reflect on what he has to say and not only share his burden, but act on it. Kaiser’s main purpose and focus is to fully define, expound, and elucidate the Old Testament mission in a way that his readers’ could have a better understanding. “Mission points to a central action: the act of being sent with a commission to carry out the will of a superior. It is God who commissions and God who sends” (11). “Israel was to be God’s missionaries to the world-and thereby so are all who believe in this same gospel” (20). Kaiser puts things into simple terms and charges us or challenges all of us “ Who will go?”
Plan of the book: Walter Kaiser’s main theme or plan, if you will, of the book is to refute the notion that the theme of missions inaugurated with the Great commission, but instead missions is a main theme throughout the Bible’s entirety. “ Thus this theme of a mission to the whole world for...
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...After reading this book I now have a greater knowledge and understanding for missions. As I said earlier it is God’s will that we are all called to be some form of missionary. When people think “missionary” they automatically think foreign land, but that’s not what the word missionary means. Going to a foreign land is just one form of being a missionary. We are all called or charged by God to be some form of a missionary.
Recommendation: I personally have benefited greatly from reading Mission in the Old Testament. At first when assigned this book I assumed it was a book only for those who are preparing to go into the mission field to be used as a guide and a tool, but as I later discovered that my assumption was wrong. Instead this book was written for anyone who desires to know God’s plan, God’s purpose, God’s will, and God’s call for their personal life. I also recommend it to be used in small study groups such as youth groups or a prayer meeting. I think every new and old Christian, if you will, should read this book. I myself have a greater knowledge and understanding of the Old Testament mission and like I said have a greater burden for God’s missionary plan and purpose.
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