Fresh Eyes on Jesus’ Parables: Discovering New Insights in Familiar Passages

Doug Newton. David C. Cook, $15.99 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-4347-1212-7
Newton, director of the National Prayer Ministry of the Free Methodist Church-USA, provides a valuable addition to literature aimed at helping general readers understand Jesus’s parables. Newton believes it is important that Christ followers understand the “elasticity of the parables.” He proceeds to “stretch” nine of the best-known parables, demonstrating that traditional interpretations fall short of fleshing out the full meaning of the stories. His interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount as a call for optimism is particularly revealing. Newton stresses that one must read each parable in full historical context; scripture that surrounds the story can also contain helpful clues to unearthing new depths and shades of meaning. At the end of each chapter, a section titled “20/20 Focus” invites readers to engage with the insights learned, and a “Vision Check” discusses how the stories relate to modern topics, such as women’s empowerment and the deleterious power of stereotypes. The author’s personal experiences are also generously sprinkled throughout the text, bringing the biblical lessons to life. While any reader will enjoy Newton’s biblical unpackings, pastors will be most pleased with this book of ample source material for sermon preparation. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/25/2018
Release date: 08/01/2018
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