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The Journey: Walking the Road to Bethlehem Hardcover – September 1, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 175 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Adam Hamilton is senior pastor of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, one of the fastest growing, most highly visible churches in the country. The Church Report named Hamilton’s congregation the most influential mainline church in America, and he preached at the National Prayer Service as part of the presidential inauguration festivities in 2013 and was appointed to the President's Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Hamilton is the best-selling and award-winning author of The Call, The Journey, The Way, 24 Hours That Changed the World, John, Revival, Not a Silent Night, Enough, When Christians Get It Wrong, and Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White, all published by Abingdon Press. Learn more about Adam Hamilton at AdamHamilton.org.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press; a edition (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426714254
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426714252
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #311,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Being a moderate United Methodist Elder, I find myself drawn to the writing of Adam Hamilton. He usually writes in a way that challenges me, yet encouages mr to be who I am, and he did it again in "The Journey." This is a good, quick read. The reader is challenged to look closer at some common conceptions regarding the time before Jesus' birth and determine their validity. By taking the main characters and locations and deconstructing them, the reader is forced to reexamine their assumptions about this beautiful story. If you are looking for a great theological battle that examines the nuances of the virgin birth or Theotokos you should keep looking. However if you are looking for a perfect small group study, or an advent read this book is just what you need. This is a book that would resonate with any mainline or nondenominational church here in the midwest. I highly reccomend it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Adam Hamilton's The Journey: Walking the Road to Bethlehem is an Advent title, based loosely on a series of sermons given at Church of the Resurrection in 2010. In this short book, Hamilton focuses on the life of Mary, helping us to see with clarity the magnitude of her life in light of her faithful response to God's calling as the one who would bear the Christ in her womb, mother him, mourn his death at Calvary, and eventually be found among the disciples at Pentecost. Mary has been a bugaboo for Protestants, so Hamilton's treatment is refreshing and helpful for non-Catholics who have not heard enough about the mother of Jesus via sermon or in Sunday school lessons.

This isn't to say that Mary has not been present in Protestant tellings, nor that she has not been important. But it seems to me that her life has been reflected upon too seldom, for there are so many other things taking place at the birth of Jesus demanding our attention. Herod, threatened by the prospect of the birth of another king, orders the murder of a host of children. Intellectuals from the east have come from afar to visit Jesus as a child. Joseph, according to Matthew's account, has struggled with the news of Mary's pregnancy, and must be assured by way of a dream that the marriage is right. Shepherds, according to Luke, have been summoned to the place of Jesus's birth by a host of angels, and depart amazed, sharing all they have heard and seen with others. Also in Luke, it is Mary's cousin Elizabeth, who in old age has conceived a child who will go before Jesus. His name will be called John.

Amidst all this commotion, Mary is mostly quiet, submissive, and open to God's will.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We are using The Journey as a Ladies Bible study on Wednesday evenings.
Total group size - 17. We only have 2 sessions left.

We love the insight into the lives of Mary & Joseph and Zechariah & Elizabeth, and the DVD that goes along with it takes you to the Holy Land so you can better visualize what you read in the book.

Adam Hamilton is a great narrator as well as a knowledgeable and insightful writer/theologian.

Everyone in the group gives it a thumbs up and eagerly looks forward to the next session.
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Format: Hardcover
With particular emphasis on cultural and geographical details that we typically don't get in the Nativity Narrative, United Methodist Pastor Adam Hamilton, who researched and lived this book in the Holy Land, walks his readers through the Christmas texts in Matthew's and Luke's gospels; he doesn't shortchange us on Hebrew Bible background and antecedents either!

In five chapters'Mary of Nazareth, Joseph of Bethlehem, Mary's Visit to Elizabeth, From Nazareth to Bethlehem, and The Manger'the author writes about central and more peripheral actors in the story of Jesus of Nazareth's birth. The Journey is full of interesting information about population size of each town, distances from one place to another, social classes and occupations of the residents, religious practices, material and construction of buildings.

A few highlights for me were in chapter 4, "From Nazareth to Bethlehem," as it explored which route Joseph and Mary likely took on their way to the place of Jesus' birth, with the author's conclusion it probably was the one that led to their tracing the geographical path of salvation history to that point. The same chapter has a diagram of the house with attached stable where Mary gave birth, and carefully explains it all. Mary had a midwife? Of course, though I'd never thought through that fact! Also, in chapter 2, "Joseph of Bethlehem," he offers details regarding the "messianic" Isaiah 7 text, information I knew in outline, but was happy to learn more about.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like many reviewers here, I read this book as part of a group study. I enjoyed this book very much. Hamilton has a way of taking material that we've all read or heard and putting it in a fresh light. By breaking the journey down into into its component parts, he is able to introduce fresh ideas and input into tradition. For instance he analyzes Mary's encounter with Gabriel and Joseph's encounter with his own messenger. Hamilton details Mary's journey and relationship with her cousin Elizabeth, and the actual journey to Bethlehem.

What I found most intriguing was Hamilton's willingness to speculate into the details of Mary and Joseph's lives which the Bible does not detail. Hamilton mixes Jewish tradition in with some Christian theories that date as far back as the second century regarding who each of these characters really were and what their journey means to us in modern times. Hamilton describes how the early Christian church sought to keep Mary a pure virgin throughout her life. He explains how Jewish customs on engagement did not necessarily exclude marital relations. These concepts are very different from our 21st century understanding of Biblical events and thus become a challenge for us to accept. Hamilton does not force us to accept his theories, but rather he places them before us with his evidence not unlike an attorney representing a client before a jury. When this is put before a book study group, many different opinions can be shared.

Hamilton has been challenging his congregation and his readers through several various books and The Journey is ready to takes its place amongst his other works. The reader comes away with a deeper understanding of the significance of Christmas and the Christmas season.
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