Sunday, July 27, 2008

Interview with Derek Leman, Author of Feast

After having the opportunity to read this awesome new resource for anyone trying to learn about the feasts found in Leviticus 23, I was given the chance to ask the author, Derek Leman, some questions regarding this new Bible study. I should mention that although I went through the resources contained in the leader's kit individually, Feast looks like it would be so enriching and fun to go through with a group! Following is the interview....

What made you decide to write Feast?
I have been sharing Passover and the Fall Feasts of Israel in churches for years. I have always enjoyed the chance to share with Christians how the Old Testament and Jewish roots of faith in Jesus deepen our lives. Along the way, I had a chance here or there to write something for a Christian publication. A few editors out there thought of me as a go-to guy on Jewish roots. So one day I got a wonderful call from LifeWay, asking if I'd like to write a small group study for Threads, a division that publishes for 20's and 30's. I tried not to act like I'd just won a sweepstakes and accepted the assignment. Working with a big, professional publisher has been a joy.

I really like that you included your family's personal experiences with celebrating the festivals. How did your family begin celebrating the "feasts of the LORD"?
I was a new follower of Yeshua when I met my wife and was going to Bible college in Chicago. I did not yet fully understand the feasts and the Torah, but I was drawn to things like Passover and lighting candles on Friday night. Coming to Yeshua brought me to the Jewishness of Yeshua. Before I read the Bible, I actually thought Jesus was Catholic. Discovering his Jewishness by reading the New Testament filled me with questions. I met some Messianic Jews and started getting answers. My wife grew into them while dating me and they were part of our marriage from the beginning. Eighteen years and eight kids later, they are here to stay.
How do you think the various audio/visual materials enhance the study?
Many people have never seen a Sabbath meal. They have dozens of questions about Jewish traditions and what they would look like for their family. The video sessions show me and my wife with one Messianic Jewish couple and one Christian couple. The Christian couple asks us questions in an intimate setting about what these traditions mean to us and for our families. I think a lot of people would get a first glimpse at what the feasts could bring into their home.
Some Christians may feel apprehensive about studying something they have never experienced themselves. How would you respond to someone who thought that he/she doesn't know enough to go through the Feast study?
This book is for beginners and yet has insights for the initiated also. Beginners will find everything explained and no knowledge of Jewish customs assumed. Those who already know a good deal about the feasts will find interpretations, suggested applications, and personal notes that will enhance their celebrations.
What is your vision for how God may use Feast?
I think that numerous Christian families and small groups in churches can add the richness of physical celebration to their worship. I know that already in places all over people have used Feast to host dinners. I imagine teachers will use ideas in their teaching to better explain biblical passages. The beauty of Jewish roots and holistic worship is that they are God's ideas and not man's.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Passover, Firstfruits, and Weeks celebrate the death, resurrection of our Messiah and his imparting the Holy Spirit to us. Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, and Tabernacles celebrate the return of Jesus, the coming judgment of God, and the World to Come where we will dwell with God. The themes and truths of the Jewish holidays follow God's complete plan for this world. They are the root from which Christianity sprang and the historical reasons the church had for leaving them behind were unsound. I hope a lot of people will come and discover the joy of God's calendar.
And there you have it folks! As I've stated on here before, I am very excited about this new study and hope that you will check it out at Threads, a division of LifeWay. (And knowing my readers, you will appreciate that you can download a free sample of Feast at the Threads website).
*Thank you to Threads and to Derek for this new resource and for giving us an interview here on Tavita's Purse!


robyn said...

Wonderful interview! I'll have to check out the book one of these days! :)

Jeff said...

Our small group has been reading through the Torah in a year, and found FEAST to be an amazing way to explore the deeper meaning of the feasts and festivals. We Christians seem to "gloss" over these, and in so doing, miss an incredible amount of meaning and depth to our faith.
I highly recommend Derek's book (and his other ones, too)!