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When God Comes Down: An Advent Study for Adults Paperback – September 1, 2012
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Our small group (8-12 persons weekly) found this an engaging Advent study. Harnish suggests Scripture passages to inspire the reading before each chapter and leaves the text unpublished so readers can review the short, pertinent passages in their favorite translation. Each chapter is short and accessible (under 10 pages), something to read and digest within less than an hour per week. In fact, one meeting we read a chapter out loud as a group and we had plenty of time for discussion in the hour-long study.
The theology is Scripturally-based, acknowledges its historical context, and is inclusive and relevant for people today. Harnish is a United Methodist pastor and as a United Methodist myself, the "God talk" he presented felt sound to me. That said, I believe this study can be used and enjoyed by non-Methodist just as easily.
Each chapter connects well, referencing each other without relying on each other; this is helpful if someone misses a meeting or doesn't do the reading. Harnish also uses the writings and faith journey of Thomas Merton as a thread running throughout the book to great effect for both those in our group who knew Merton well and others who didn't know him.
The chapters cover excellent themes. I appreciated the study starts with Elizabeth and Zechariah, a necessary part of the nativity story that often gets overlooked in the average Christmas pageant. Their chapter's theme is what it takes to confront situations one cannot control.Read more ›
The format lends itself to class room or small group home use. The narrative is inspirational, inspirational, motivational, with stimulating study questions for group discussion or personal reflection, contemplation, and application.
The well documented footnotes provide additional material for possible future reference and reading. All in all “When God Comes Down” is a noteworthy model for many applications for Advent at the adult level. It is also adaptable for inter-generational family use.
not heavy in scholarly language. Thought-provoking without being too complex for discussion groups
at church. Affecting, allows participants to connect with the ancient story right now!
This one is especially enlightening. I also like the references to other materials and spiritual thinkers. In fact, I picked up a collection of Thomas Merton's writings because I liked the sampling of his thinking included in When God Comes Down.
Brings some different perspectives to characters in the Christmas story.
Author is orthodox in his theology for the most part.
Steps outside the typical LifeWay style study.
Was way too short on substance for our group.
Author takes some leaps in his exegesis.
Really didn't lend itself to group study for our church.
I don't like writing anything other than glowing reviews and I really liked Harnish.
But I have to be honest and say that I wish I had picked a different study because this one required me to do a lot of my own additional study and pull from other resources. If you're a Pastor like me and looking for something that can stand alone content-wise, I'm afraid that this may not be the study for you.
I think it seems like a perfectly good personal or family study, though.
I would recommend this book to book groups of course good advent studies for Church's... It is helping me understand What Christmas is really all about..
The questions are hard to answer at the end of each chapter which is good as makes you think more about what you have read.
I am not done with it yet as my group is using it for Advent Study.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Spurred on a lot of participation. A new way of thinking about familiar scriptures.Published 7 months ago by Barbara A. Dwyer
Very interesting. Some people who are "literalists" may find it slightly disturbing. I thought it created some new thoughts.Published 18 months ago by Raggedlady
Great advent book, focuses less on materialism, and more on the story of the people who surrounded Jesus at his birth. Our adult Sunday School class really enjoyed it.Published 19 months ago by J. Diemer
Unlike a devotional, this one is a study, which I thought is a good thing. Only thing I didn't like is the use of too much paraphrasing as it came to referencing the Bible.Published 21 months ago by Kenneth M. Boser II
I never ended up using this as I got very busy this season....will try it next year and see how it isPublished on January 25, 2014 by Donna
This book was required reading for our "Advent" study class. However, I was quite surprised to discover that it was really interesting and informative. Read morePublished on January 6, 2014 by charles m