Jesus the Game Changer is the latest video release from Olive Tree Media. In short, the documentary series is a winner. It features 10 episodes, each 28 minutes long, which explore the person of Jesus, and the impact his teaching and followers had on society.
Jesus the Game Changer follows on from Olive Tree Media’s previous release Towards Belief. Karl Faase returns as host and once again conducts interviews with prominent thinkers from around the world. Since the series is arranged thematically, it is his input and cheerful presence which bring the episodes together.
Towards Belief dealt with theological responses to current social issues. As such, its tone was apologetic. Jesus the Game Changer is considerably less apologetic. Instead the focus is on seeing how Jesus’ teaching shaped modern Western society. This has been achieved by looking first at Jesus, and then how his teaching informs several broad subjects. The subject areas feature not only Jesus’ teaching but also cases studies demonstrating how this has been enacted by followers of Jesus.
Visually the series is well put together. Some interviews are outdoors, others in offices and churches, while others are in seemingly abandoned buildings. I don’t really understand the need for the last location but visually it works.
The Idea Behind Jesus the Game Changer
In an interview on Phil Cooke, Faase spoke of his intentions behind creating the series. He said:
“A growing number of people now believe that the Christian Church is a negative influence. They want to take the Christian voice out of the public square. Educational institutions and political arenas are now deemed ‘off limits’ for anyone with a Christian worldview. Yet the values we hold most dear in western democracies are directly attributable to the life and teaching of Jesus…
“What Christians need right now is confidence. In societies that stridently question the teaching of the Bible, Christians have lost heart. They are cowered into fearful silence. Christians can be confident that their faith stands on solid ground and that it holds up to scrutiny in both history and philosophy. In current debates, the influence of Jesus on culture has been largely lost or ignored. We want to communicate that western civilisation would not exist if it were not for Jesus.”
Faase achieves his goal in creating Jesus the Game Changer. His interviews are short but speak volumes into the subject they cover. They are informative and inspiring. Given the variety of sources, he creates a strong case for the positive influence of Christianity within society.
The same is true is for the case studies. Without these the series would feel like an academic exercise. Instead what is presented is an often gritty picture of where faith and reality intersect. These range from historical figures like William Wilberforce and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, to the present day in, Miroslav Volf and Hashim Garrett.
The list of Episodes:
- Women and Children
- Education and Health
- Reason and Science
Jesus the Game Changer can be purchased at Olive Tree Media’s website by clicking here.