Stranger on the Road

Stranger on the Road

I came across this book about 10 years ago when I worked in an inner city church in Birmingham. It takes its title from the encounter Jesus had with 2 disciples on the way to Emmaus in Luke 24. In v27 we read that, ‘beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He (Jesus) expounded to them all the scriptures the things concerning himself.’

Taking this premise the book works through the Bible from the book of Genesis through to the resurrection of Jesus and lays the foundation for the gospel that was to come. The book has some major pluses, including:

1. It takes the Bible as a coherent, cohesive structure and gives people a great overview.

2. It’s simplicity means that it is easily understandable for anybody no matter what their educational background.

3. It builds up to the gospel in the NT in such an ordered, well structured way that it is hard to miss the force of it when it comes.

4. There is no denominational spin, just a clear God honouring picture of the His great salvation plan.

5. It comes with a great spiral bound workbook with easy to work through questions to ensure people have understood each lesson.

6. It leads people to the wonder and work of Jesus at Calvary.

Some caveats though:

1. It is a very wordy book and what I mean by that is that if you are working with people with limited reading ability then it is a bit of a mountain for them.

2. You need to work hard at dividing the book up into more manageable bites. There are 15 chapters in the book and some are so long they have to be split into 2 or 3 sections. This can mean the course drags on for some time so you have to work hard at keeping interest going.

However, this can be helped by using the DVD in partnership with the workbooks. We have done this at Niddrie to great effect. The only problem is the rather dated style of presentation and the extremely annoying clips at the end of each section when an extremely cheesy American couple give some ‘thoughts’ on what they’ve just heard. It drives me mad and I usually fast forward past that bit.

As a resource there is very little on the UK marketplace to match it and it is definitely worth taking a look at. Also, be aware I think the book has been updated and is now called, ‘By This Name’ now. The children’s version is called, ‘The Lamb’ and is a brilliant resource for teaching children. I went through it with my girls a few years ago and they loved it.