Parables as Imagination 8

The parables of Jesus summon us to the edge of the world in order to imagine a world that can only be called “kingdom.” One scholar says Luke 7:41-43 is one of the treasured religious possessions of the Western world, while I’d say it was originally Eastern! Still, he’s onto something. It’s brief enough for [Read More...]

Parables as Imagination 7

The parables of Jesus summon us to the edge of the world in order to imagine a world that can only be called “kingdom.” Parables are more than illustrations and more than stories making a point. Instead, they invite us into a storied world that has the power to transform the one who enters the [Read More...]

Parables as Imagination 6

The parables of Jesus summon us to the edge of the world in order to imagine a world that can only be called “kingdom.” In this world we have stereotypes, like the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14, after the jump). In this imagined stereotyped world the Pharisee is self-righteous, hypocritical, unloving, and conscious [Read More...]

Parables as Imagination 5

Imagine a world where ultimate vindication will come, but knowing that ultimate vindication will come does not lead to passivity but to the demand for justice in prayer. So the Parable of the Unjust Judge in Luke 18:1-8. It teaches us not so much to badger God until he gives in, but that God is [Read More...]

Parables as Imagination 4

Imagine a world — at Jesus’ invitation — where God is good, where God’s people come to him with their requests, and where God responds to them. Imagine a world where God is good, where God is gracious, where God wants to respond to the needs of his people. Imagine a world where God trust [Read More...]

Parables as Imagination 3

Imagine a world where the worst of offenders or the least conforming or the most offensive — in other words, sinners — are restored to the table of fellowship. That’s what Jesus exhorts the Pharisees and legal experts to imagine when he tells the parable of the “prodigal son” (which you can read after the [Read More...]

Parables as Imagination 2

Imagine a world, Jesus once told his followers, where lost people get found. Jesus told three such parables, we call them the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son. I want to dabble with the first two today. We need to begin at the beginning: Jesus is eating with the wrong people: tax [Read More...]

Parables as Imagination 1

Parables sometimes get a bum rap. For too many and for too long Christians have read the parables as illustrations of propositions found more clearly in other texts. So, it is argued, Jesus gives a parable about the pearl of great price — a parable that seemingly tells his followers to give it all up [Read More...]

Living the Parables of Jesus Today

On this blog I’ve maintained a number of times that the parables of Jesus invite us to imagine another world, to imagine the kingdom of God, and they do this by creating a world, by inviting us into that world, and then — like an experience in Narnia — depositing us back in this world [Read More...]

Jesus, Deliciously Odd 3

This is the season for publishers to stun the world with the latest discoveries of Jesus, but it appears there is very little in the offing this year. But one book that is now available is Pope Benedict’s volume two about Jesus, and I really enjoyed his volume one. So: Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: [Read More...]