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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

"Journeying with Luke" (James Woodward, Paula Gooder and Mark Pryce)

TITLE: Journeying with Luke: Reflections on the Gospel
AUTHOR: James Woodward, Paula Gooder and Mark Pryce
PUBLISHER: Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2015, (128 pages).

The gospel of Luke is one of the most descriptive gospels about the life of Jesus. Meticulously written with facts and teachings recorded down by the faithful physician-disciple, Luke, it stirs the not just the minds of those studying it but also the hearts of those pondering on the truths they have. Written to accompany the Scripture readings of the Revised Common Lectionary, this book arises out of a series of conversations between the three authors. They want to determine how best to help others understand the gospels, to explain them and apply them for the busy individual. There is a mixture of information, interpretation, and reflection for personal application. They present the characteristics of each gospel theme, the shape of the gospel, the storytelling technique, and the underlying theological themes accompanying it. Paula Gooder, a writer and lecturer in New Testament studies gives us an analysis of the style of the gospel. Mark Pryce, Bishop's adviser for Continuing Ministerial Development in the Diocese of Birmingham offers poetry and prose to help us with spiritual imagination that is grounded in the gospel. James Woodward is canon of St George's Chapel, Windsor, and he offers pastoral and practical theological reflections. Togerther, they describe:

  • Who the author is?
  • The prologue of Luke and Acts
  • The role of Luke as a historian
  • The gospel as a two-volume work (ie, Luke and Acts)
  • Theological Themes (Soteriology, Eschatology, 
  • Jews and Gentiles
  • How the gospel of Luke can be read in conjunction with the liturgical year.
Beginning with Advent readings, readers will find it convenient to follow through the Calendar seasons of (Christmas and Epiphany); Lent; Passion Week; Easter narratives; Ordinary Time, and so on. Usually when we read the Revised Common Lectionary, it is usually the calendar that determines the reading of Luke. This book brings the gospel of Luke to the forefront, and gives us another angle to approach the liturgical year and the Scripture together. Four such books are written, each based on one of the four gospels. This book is the first of the series.

At the end of each chapter, there is a section for "action, conversations, questions, prayer" which makes this book an excellent resource for group study, teaching, discussion, even preaching. The book is brief which should appeal to those readers who do not have much time to read. The book is clear which can be profitably used in a group setting. I enjoy the reflections that end with a call to apply what we learn. Like Lent is essentially a renewal of vision. The Passion season brings together many themes of temptation, salvation, and the Fall, to help us appreciate Jesus even more. These and many more are put together in this guide that not only prepares the reader for devotion, it prepares the heart for action.

Rating: 4.5 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me courtesy of Westminster John Knox Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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