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A Preacher's Perspective on the Book, Stories with Intent

"Preacher's Perspective" is an ongoing review of books of interest to preachers from the Christianity Today book-of-the-year awards. Stories with Intent addresses the topic of how to interpret the parables of Jesus.

Stories with Intent: A Comprehensive Guide to the Parables of Jesus
By Klyne Snodgras
Published by Eerdmans


A few years ago my church did a preaching series on parables and as a member of the teaching team, I volunteered for the first week. I presented an informational sermon on the hermeneutics of parables (although we didn't call it that) designed to help people interpret parables for themselves. I had five points, and my goal was to create an original parable to illustrate each of the five points.

Wow, did I receive an education! I learned that this form of literature, which appears beguilingly simple, is actually complex. I learned that Jesus was a brilliant teacher. Have you ever tried to create your own parable? The essence of the genre is the comparing of the invisible realm with the visible, the Kingdom with the ordinary stuff of life, and it takes the imagination of a poet and the heart of a prophet to do that. For the series I ended up creating one or two parables, borrowing one ...

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