one tiny soapbox: 'A Tale of Two Sons' ...and on the parables of Christ
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Monday, May 19

'A Tale of Two Sons' ...and on the parables of Christ

or various reasons, my "reading flow" has slowed to a virtual trickle in recent months. But, despite this recent (sad) trend, I was determined to pick up and read a copy of my beloved John's most recent book: A Tale of Two Sons. Boy was I ever satisfied with that choice. This book is choc full of good readin'!

My eyes welled up with tears more than once as I eagerly consumed this brief tome. Christ's brilliant parable explained in this book evokes strong imagery that resonates of a Mercy and Grace far outweighing the sad counterfeits we often observe -- and personally demonstrate -- in our sin-sick world.

Given the current prevailing theological climate, I found particularly poignant the following words of wisdom in the appendix...
Whether the true meaning of this or that symbol is patently obvious or one that requires a little detective work, the point is still the same: Jesus' parables were all illustrative of Gospel facts. The stories were not (as some people nowadays like to suggest) creative alternatives to propositional truth statements, designed to supplant certainty...

Above all, He was not inviting His hearers to interpret the stories any way they liked and thus let each one's own personal opinions be the final arbiter of what is true for that person...

...on the question of whether each parable actually has a single divinely inspired sense and therefore a proper interpretation -- an objectively true sense -- there has never been any serious dispute among people who take the authority of Scripture seriously...

Jesus was a master story teller, but He never told a story merely for the story's sake. His parables weren't word games or do-it-yourself mysteries where each hearer was invited to provide his or her own meaning...

...one central lesson is always the most important feature of every parable and we should focus on that, rather than seeking hidden meaning in all the peripheral details of the story. When you see the key point of the parable, you have the essence of whatever truth the story aims to convey...there's no need to look for multiple layers of meaning or suppose that some deeper symbolism or different dimension of truth has been hidden in the incidental features of the tale...parables aren't allegories, full of symbols from top to bottom. They highlight one important truth -- just like the moral of a well-told story.
Hmph.

ibcarlos, Reformed thinker

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