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The Storytelling God: Seeing the Glory of Jesus in His Parables [Kindle Edition]

Jared C. Wilson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Throw away your Flannelgraphs...

The prodigal son. The good Samaritan. The treasure hidden in a field. Most of us have heard Jesus’s parables before. Yet if these stories strike us as merely sweet, heartwarming, or sentimental, we can be sure we’ve misread them. In The Storytelling God, pastor Jared Wilson helps us to see how Jesus’s parables reveal profound spiritual truths about God, humanity, the world, and the future.

Discarding the notion that Christ’s parables are nothing more than moralistic fables, this book highlights how each one is designed to drive us to Jesus in awe, need, faith, and worship.



Editorial Reviews

Review

“Growing up in church and Christian schools, I was taught that Jesus’s parables were basically about how we should live. To be sure, many of the parables do show us God’s standard for our lives, but they also reveal how we have failed to live up to that standard, and how God in his infinite mercy has done for us what we could never do for ourselves. My friend Jared Wilson shows how Jesus used parables to illustrate the upside-down and counterintuitive ways of God compared to our ways. We see how the parables are not a witness to the best people making it up to God, but rather a witness to God making it down to the worst people—meeting our rebellion with his rescue, our sin with his salvation, our guilt with his grace, our badness with his goodness. Thanks for the reminder, Jared. I keep forgetting that this whole thing is about Jesus, not me.”
Tullian Tchividjian, Pastor, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; author, One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World

“Jared Wilson’s new book is a punch in the gut. Gone are the tame, bedtime-story versions of the parables we’ve been told in the past. Instead, Wilson invites us to see them afresh with all of their explosive, imaginative power.”
Mike Cosper, Pastor of Worship and Arts, Sojourn Community Church, Louisville, Kentucky

“In showing us the parables of Jesus for what they are (and are not), Jared Wilson invites us into a deeper understanding of their author and the kingdom he came to establish. The Storytelling God teaches us to read and reflect upon the parables with great care, and rightly so. The parables, and this book, point the way to life abundant.”
Scott McClellan, Communications Pastor, Irving Bible Church, Irving, Texas; author, Tell Me a Story: Finding God (and Ourselves) through Narrative

“My own bookshelf has precious few commentaries on the parables and this will definitely fit nicely into that gap. In fact, this book is actually two books for the price of one. Part devotional commentary and also doubling as a solid gospel tract. This book serves the gospel straight up on a plate. His chapter commenting on the gospel and the poor is worth the price of the book alone. Clear, straightforward, biblical, gospel-centered writing. Definitely recommended reading.”
Mez McConnell, Senior Pastor, Niddrie Community Church, Edinburgh; Director, 20schemes

“With a characteristic combination of wit and wisdom—humor and sobriety—Wilson grabs your attention, fixes it upon Christ, and keeps it there for the duration of the book. Readers in search of a pastoral introduction to biblical parables that is rich with real-life applicability can gladly make room for this volume on their bookshelf.”
Stephen T. Um, Senior Minister, Citylife Presbyterian Church, Boston, Massachusetts; author, Why Cities Matter

About the Author

Jared C. Wilson is the pastor of Middletown Springs Community Church in Middletown Springs, Vermont. His articles and short stories have appeared in a number of periodicals, and he has written the popular books Your Jesus Is Too Safe, Gospel Wakefulness and Gospel Deeps, as well as the curriculum Abide. Wilson lives in Vermont with his wife and two daughters, and blogs regularly at The Gospel Driven Church hosted by the Gospel Coalition.


Product Details


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Josh
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
“Throw away your Flannelgraphs. They are flat and soft, and the story of Jesus is neither.”

In his newest work, Wilson looks at The Storytelling God, seeing how Jesus used parables to reveal Himself to His beloved. Wilson immediately confronts the misunderstanding of the parables as “sermon illustrations”, Confucius-says cousins, and shows them to be something much greater.

<blockquote>When Jesus teaches a parable, he is not opening up “Chicken Soup for the Soul” or a fortune cookie but a window to the hidden heavenlies. He is revealing a glimpse of eternity crashing into time, a flash photo of his own wisdom brought to bear. The parables give us a direct portal to the kingdom of God being done on earth as it is in heaven.</blockquote>

He continues,

<blockquote>There are two errors readers of the Bible make most often about the parables of Jesus, each a pendulum swing away from the other. The first error is to believe that the parables are simplistic religious illustrations, almost spiritual folktales. In this erroneous reading, the parables are read superficially, as moral lessons. The parables are of course fairly simple up there at the surface—some of them simpler than others—and there are clear moral lessons in the stories. But the parables are more complex than that. On the other hand, there is another school of thought, equally erroneous, that would have readers poring over the parables as if they were some kind of Magic Eye hidden-picture painting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Book of the Year July 13, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was taught that the Bible was mostly about me as I was growing up. It wasn't as direct as I make it sound and I am sure that you were taught the same way. Every story that we read, went through in Sunday school, or heard from the pulpit was about our moral application of said story. We needed to have the faith of Joseph or the patience of Job. Here are five steps to being an awesome believer like so and so. Emulate the guys in the hall of faith. Get to work being a better believer.

Then, I started wondering if God had written the hall of faith in Hebrews to simply say, "Hey, look what I did with these jokers." I wondered if Job wasn't about Job at all. Perhaps it was about the God who sustained him. Perhaps, it preached the gospel to us.

As I began reading Jared's book The Storytelling God, he emulated my thoughts. The first lines really captured my attention. He tells the reader to throw out our flannelboards because the Bible isn't a book about our morals or how we should be acting. The entire Bible is about the redeeming power of Jesus Christ. Isn't that refreshing. Isn't that powerful. He, the Lord Jesus, isn't wanting us to be tripped up by our own effort. He is calling us to think on Him...to rest in Him.

I loved this book. I loved it more than I can convey to you. It is one of the most brilliant and well written books that I have ever read. I loved it because it reminded my heart of Jesus and his finished work. I loved it because it truly preached the gospel to me on every single page. This is a must read. It's about the Lord Jesus Christ.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Storytelling God April 17, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Who doesn’t love a good story? A good story is one that grabs you and pulls you in at all twists and turns of the story until the ending. Stories inspire. Stories motivate. We are surrounded by stories, and one thing that is clear is our God is a storytelling God. This can be seen all throughout Scripture. The Bible is fully of stories that are captivating to the heart, and teach us much about God and His people.

In The Storytelling God, Jared Wilson looks at a series of stories in the Bible that are told by Jesus known as the parables. The parables that Jesus tells are simple stories that have a deeper and central teaching and message. Unfortunately, today many pastors use the parables to make illustrations to their points in sermons and often take the meaning of these stories out of context or lessen the message of Jesus’ intention in the story. Wilson says, “When these oft-repeated stories from Jesus strike us as sweet, heartwarming, or inspiring in the sentimental sense rather than the Spiritual sense, we can be sure we’ve misread them” (13). Jesus’ parables are stories with eternal purposes. Jesus spoke through parables in a way that was confusing to those outside the kingdom. This was intentional. The stories that Jesus told contained the mystery of eternal life (33).

Wilson walks through many of Jesus’ parables and helps to see them in the light they are to be understood, not one that is too simplistic or one that is overly searching for more meaning than is there. Much has been written on storytelling and the importance of story, and one cannot skip over the importance of Jesus’ parables in helping the people of God to understand a little bit of the kingdom.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great transaction
Published 2 days ago by Danny Holman
4.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful
The parables have a long and storied history in the history of the Church. Some of this history is positive and some of it. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Dave J. Jenkins
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Wilson Book
Jared Wilson, author of Gospel Wakefulness and Gospel Deeps has written another great book in The Storytelling God. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jill Hart
4.0 out of 5 stars Help with parables
Everyone loves a good story, especially one told by a good story teller who is able to grab and keep our attention. Read more
Published 2 months ago by parkerj
4.0 out of 5 stars the parables are for you
Often wrongly described and misused, the parables Jesus told are full of wisdom, goodness and Him. Jared Wilson gives a glimpse into the parables (and Old Testament examples of the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jonathan
4.0 out of 5 stars The Storytelling God Review
Who doesn’t love a good story? A good story is one that grabs you and pulls you in at all twists and turns of the story until the ending. Stories inspire. Stories motivate. Read more
Published 3 months ago by BCKJ
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Instructive
I really enjoyed this book. It gave me a much better understanding of the parables and the culture in the Bible.
Published 3 months ago by PK
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Preachers too !!!
As a pastor growing in preaching, it takes a great deal of prayer and a deep commitment to learning from those gifted in preaching. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ken Patterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Love His Writing
In The Storytelling God: Seeing the Glory of Jesus in His Parables, Jared Wilson takes us on a journey throughout some of the parables of scripture to show us that the parables... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dustin Carpenter
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Work on Jesus' Parables
When we have read passages of Scripture many times, it’s possible for us to become numb to their message and lose our wonder at the glories they contain. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Scott Slayton
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More About the Author

Jared C. Wilson is a pastor and an award-winning writer whose articles, essays, and short stories have appeared in numerous publications.

A minister for over a decade, he has become known for his passionate gospel-centered teaching and strong calls for missional Christianity.

Encounter his passion for the ongoing reformation of the evangelical church almost daily at www.gospeldrivenchurch.com.

"Jared Wilson writes with power."
-- Ray Ortlund, Jr.

"Those who have read his writing have vividly encountered his passionate gospel-centrism, and those who have benefited from his ministry have witnessed it firsthand. His voice is thoughtful and strong, pastoral and prophetic. And you ought to listen to it."
-- Ed Stetzer

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