According to Luke by Clare Richards (Published by Blackie, £3.95).
WHAT SHOULD be one of the most interesting parts of the school curriculum, Religious Education, has proved for many to be quite tedious and unexciting. Studying a Gospel has often meant a systematic note taking, summarising each chapter in turn. In this way much of the mystery and beauty to be appreciated has been missed.
According to Luke by Clare Richards will definitely prove to be an invaluable aid to Religious Education in schools (especially at GCSE level). Firstly this book is thoughtfully laid out with much variety in style of presentation, thus helping to alleviate the boredom of too many pages that look alike!
More importantly, the reader is given a short but most useful introduction to the meaning of the Gospel, background on the Gospel lands, Jewish life, Roman rule and Luke himself. Following that the predominant themes disclosed by Luke are discussed and cleverly related to modern and ancient literature, photos and illustrations.
A great achievement of this study is that the student is not allowed to see the Bible as a well preserved book, one is shown its importance as belonging to its age and in the third section, as it can be applied today. Even though Clare Richards states in the preface that it is not a text book specifically for denominational schools, I am sure that many Church schools will welcome it for its obvious understanding of St Luke's Gospel as a testament for believers and the careful handling of modern social themes.
At a time when the benefit of Religious Education lessons is frequently questioned this book makes a welcome appearance, as it succeeds in demonstrating thoroughly but simply, that the Gospels are, 1900 years on, of interest and relevant for everyone regardless of age and creed.