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The Long Road to Heaven: A Lent Course Based on the Film "The Way" Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Length: 135 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Review

"A powerful exposition of the Christian salvation story... The book is as effective a treatment of its great themes as I have read." - Church Times

"Brilliantly set up and appropriate for Lent... A very welcome addition to the Lent courses out there." - The Good Book Stall

"A powerful combination of Bible insights rooted in an extraordinary movie... Taking part in a Lent course like this can easily become a life-changing experience." - The Tablet

From the Inside Flap

A pilgrimage in good company whilst reading the Scriptures prayerfully will be familiar to many groups of Christians in Lent. In this course about "salvation" we are also invited to watch a film as attentively as we might look at a painting. Characters who are not knowingly on a journey to find God are found by God in a life-changing encounter. They are what salvation looks like in this imaginative, creative and enjoyable Lent course that will lead us to new life at Easter. The Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3252 KB
  • Print Length: 135 pages
  • Publisher: Circle Books (29 Nov. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00G3MU2N4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #29,753 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
Tim Heaton's Lent Course 'The Long Road to Heaven': an imaginatively conceived Bible Study on the Doctrine of Salvation. It's also bang up to date.

Anglican minister, Heaton uses American director, Emilio Estevez' movie 'The Way' (2010) starring Martin Sheen as a start point for discussion about the doctrine of salvation. The film follows a bereaved father, Tom (Martin Sheen) as he travels to France to recover the body of his estranged son, Daniel (played by Estevez) who died whilst travelling 'El Camino de Santiago' ('The Way of St. James'). Tom decides to complete the pilgrimage to Compostela ('Field of Stars') that his son had begun as a way of honouring Daniel's short time on earth. Burdened with grief, Tom intends to walk in solitude scattering his son's ashes along the wayside. En route, he meets other wayfarers, similarly struggling souls, trying to find their own answers to the meaning of life and faith. Over the course of several weeks' walking, this initially discordant band of four, establish a bond of uneasy friendship and experience their own inner transformation.

In parallel with the fictional pilgrims' journey, 'The Long Road to Heaven' plots the Christian road to salvation. Heaton's 5-week course (6 if you show the whole DVD in the first session) presents key biblical texts for study in pairs and short clips from the film to prompt small group discussion alongside accessible passages on Christian doctrine from prominent modern theologians: Bauckham, Hauerwas, Macquarrie, Moltmann, Pannenberg, Volf and others within a clear historical trajectory. The book asks course participants to consider scripturally and theologically: What are we saved from? What are we saved for? Who can be saved? What do we have to do to be saved?
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This proved to be an excellent resource for Lenten preparation, offering challenges to how we regard travelling our own road in life and how we choose to make that journey, with Heaven not only as the goal but as the source of how we live now on earth. The material, and the carefully considered questions asked of us, were not only about our relationships with God but our relationships - and often the lack of them - with those we encounter along the way: those we might choose to avoid given our human weakness in making hasty judgements of who people are and why they choose to do what they do, in this instance, walking the Camino.
The framework of the course was very pertinent to me as I walked the Camino in 2010, alone but frequently in the company I met along the way. It was a life-changing experience and challenged my own pre-conceptions of what I might be capable of (I am ever amazed that firstly I decided to go and then that I actually made it! as a small then 59 year old averagely fit, naturally shy woman). The other challenge was that there was no choice about who you might meet each day and whom you might find yourself sleeping next to! The film expressed that beautifully and the sections of the book allowed the encounters between Tom and his fellow travellers to unfold from all the initial rejections and misunderstandings into the richness and friendship that was finally revealed to each of them.(I myself met people I will never forget, inspirational and deeply likeable and loveable, despite not always being the 'types' I might usually gravitate towards.
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Format: Paperback
We found this book very interesting, stimulating, and informative. We liked the format of the course: the book itself was well laid out, with good-sized print enabling the reader to read with ease. the content of the book was well-sourced, and the scripture references were clear and very thought-provoking.
The course gave our group of six ample opportunity to explore and to express our feelings, and to share our vision and thoughts, and to make connections with our lived experiences and our faith. It influenced our personal prayer lives, helping us to explore the Gospel narratives at a deeper level. Because of this we have become aware of those same stories happening all around us in the day-to-day. The course has left us with an uneasy feeling about our past beliefs, springing from our childhood: that the Christian way is the superior way and the only way.
The film clips from "The Way", with their questions for discussion, were extremely good, helping us to look our for and to become aware of the little asides and nuances which we could inadvertently have failed to notice on our first full-run view of the film.
The meditation and prayer at the conclusion of each session knitted the whole together. Again the readings were so well- chosen and appropriate, giving the group time and opportunity to reflect after each reading. There can be no better way to conclude each session than with a prayer by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book as I had been asked to lead a Lent group. Having watched the film I really enjoyed reading the book in the same way I would read any book. The Lent group was a great success in the way it used clips from the film and then asked searching questions for members of the group to discuss. These really stimulated the discussion, so much so that I sometimes needed to draw the group back together. The readings in the 'Meditation & Prayer' at the end of each chapter have been well researched and thought out and were a perfect ending to each session. Chapter 2 "St James the Great and Santiago" is brilliant, as is the whole book.
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