On the Third Day
Tom Wright, Paul Vallely, Ruth Gee, Libby Lane, John Pritchard; York Courses, 2017

£15.00 (Approx)
3.4
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

An ecumenical course in five sessions written by Bishop John Pritchard. For discussion groups and individuals – suitable for Lent or any season.

The Course audio brings the opinions and thoughts of these leading Christian thinkers into your discussion group. It is intended to be used in tandem with this course booklet.

What do you get?

CD, glossy paperback booklet/brochure, black and white booklet transcript of audio. Discounts for multiple copies, or online orders – it is recommended that all group members have their own copies of both the notes and the transcript.

Who is it for?

Adults, Growing, small groups, individuals.

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Light glossy booklets and an efficient CD invite us to wrestle with the implications of the Easter story, aided by some substantial thinkers such as Tom Wright, Paul Vallely, Ruth Gee, Libby Lane and the always enriching writings of John Pritchard.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    The inside cover page spells out a few suggestions, but the layout of the material is self-explanatory.

    How accessible are the leader’s notes?

    Helpful notes as to ‘how to get the most out of this course’ appear on the first page. Icebreakers are recommended (but not supplied). All group members are encouraged to read each session before the meeting. However, experience suggests that the session will work equally well without this, as the audio will be listened to, either all at the beginning of the session or split into two. Then there are questions for groups, for which flexibility is encouraged – select a few or address them all.

    Who could lead it?

    An easy resource to lead, though it may require some adaptation for your group, to pick out the most relevant questions from the dozen or so available; and decide how much of the pre-reading to pick up on.

    How helpful are the participants’ resources?

    The group members can reread the transcripts as well as pre-reading Pritchard’s beautifully expressed input for each session. There is so much to engage with, this would be very helpful. Some members may find the quantity a little too much, but the quality is assured, and pic k and mix allowed. The boxed quotations are a great addition.

    How good is any digital material?

    Simon Stanley leads us through the CD, with a summary of each session at the start, plus introductions to the audio contributors. All contribute to each of the following sessions, with Libby Lane supplying the reflections at the end of each one.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    It is suggested that the leader either supplies or ask group members to bring paper, and pens, and gives advance notice of any Bible passages they may be asked read aloud. Read or listen to the material, of which there is a fair amount – the input in the booklet including boxed quotations; plus the transcript and questions.

    • Is there website support? Links?

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Listening together, and then discussion, should enable most groups to interact well. The topics themselves are handled from a variety of perspectives by the contributors, which should also produce reactions, both for and against.

    How well does it cater for a variety of both learning and delivery styles?

    This resource is heavy on reading, although obviously the audio CD brings life to that. The boxed quotations, and the questions, should provoke good discussion. There are a few more creative moments, such as imagining yourself into a Bible story, according to the Ignatian tradition.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    This resource would suit a more traditional group who are good at listening and reading, and used to engaging in discussion. The topics are well presented, and often challenging, and should get good responses, with opportunities for some healthy wrestling with them.

    How well does it encourage people to work together in applying the material?

    The chief applications are up to the individual for the most part; though there are some interesting ideas on ‘rescuing Easter’, and some challenges within the discussions.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    There is a main Bible reading attached to each topic/ group of questions. These are five or six others within the questions; about half the questions are directly based on a biblical passage.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    There are quite a lot of Bible readings for each session, if you want to use them. Many of these just have one question related to them. There are some great juxtapositions of biblical text and quotations from the audio presenters, inviting us to engage with the issues.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    This is applied to both life and death, through the focus on resurrection, and what it may mean for us too.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    Roman Catholic, Methodist, male and female Anglican Bishops contribute to the audio reflections.

  • How well does it inspire people towards whole-life discipleship?

    This is a great invitation to wrestle with the implications of Christ’s death and resurrection, for faith, life and thought. You won’t agree with everything that is said by everyone, but it will sharpen your thinking and reveal some of your attitudes, perhaps even to yourself. Pritchard’s input in the booklet is unfailingly inspirational; Libby Lane’s closing reflections return us to a more worshipful focus on God for ourselves.

    How well does it encourage and enable people to grow in their faith?

    There are a lot of ideas and approaches for each session, from pithy quotations and Pritchard’s input to the four people on the audio. The questions vary in depth and breadth; plenty of choice.

    How well does it stretch faith and vision of God and his purposes?

    This resource is wide-ranging, as it explores the implications of the Easter story for our own lives. It gives room for personal as well as academic, theological and practical responses. Loads to think about.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    The mixture of input and quotations are often centred on an anecdote or real-life stories which help us to connect the material to our own lives.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    There are some interesting points of view on what a Christian actually is, and who is a non-believer, which will raise some reactions, relevant to evangelism, and the resource does not flinch from asking the difficult questions about this.

    How well does it encourage local or network-based community involvement?

    Some of the questions do invite us to engage with this, but it is not a focus.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Not a focus, but acknowledged.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Not a focus, but implied.

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