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

Jared C. Wilson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 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


“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

  • File Size: 1613 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway Books (February 15, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,599 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 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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4 of 4 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 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 Very helpful July 3, 2014
The parables have a long and storied history in the history of the Church. Some of this history is positive and some of it. Throughout the ministry of Jesus, He often used parables to point to greater eternal realities. We live in a culture today that is consumed with stories from television to movies and novels. Yet, in the parables Jesus taught profound truths about God, humanity, the world, and the future. Many people today also view the parables as only moralistic fables. In his new book The Story Telling God: Seeing The Glory of Jesus In His Parables Jared C. Wilson writes to help readers understand how each parable under consideration is designed to drive people to Jesus in awe, need, faith, and worship.

The book opens with a consideration of what a parable is and then moves to look at the pearl of great price, the parable of the talents, the prodigal son, the good Samaritan and Jesus as the point of the parables. As Jared opens up and explains the parables, he does so with biblical fidelity and pastoral care. As noted in the introduction to this review, the parables are often taught in a way where the point of the parable is missed entirely. Thankfully the author doesn’t do this but instead sticks to the point of the passage and keeps the purpose of the parable in in view.

While other books on the parables such as Interpreting the Parables by Craig Blomberg are more academic in nature, The Story Telling God provides lay readers with an accessible and enjoyable treatment that will help them understand the parables better. Throughout the book, Jared uses humor, pastoral care and wisdom to grab our attention and to fix our gaze on the person and finished work of Jesus.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great clarifications on the power of the parables of the BIble.
Very well written in an easy to understand way. I learned that the parables of Jesus in both the old and new testaments had so much more depth of meaning than I had previously... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Robert Trostle
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Treatment of the Parables of Jesus
The parables of Jesus have long been beloved portions of Scripture. From the Parable of the Good Samaritan to the Parable of the Prodigal Son, these stories have provided... Read more
Published 27 days ago by Michael C. Boling
4.0 out of 5 stars This is an essential Parables Reference Book; keep it ...
This is an essential Parables Reference Book; keep it handy. I found it on AMAZON, read it on my KINDLE for a while, then had to stop, set it down and contemplate. Read more
Published 1 month ago by TexasNative
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is very enlightening. I struggle with much ...
This book is very enlightening. I struggle with much that has to do with the Bible and hopefully I will be able to use the information that I read in this ook to my advantage in my... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Deniece Woods
5.0 out of 5 stars Parables Unpacked
The Story Telling God (TSTG) by Jared Wilson was a welcome look into the parables of Scripture. Parables by their very nature are often viewed in a similar vain as Aesop's Fables... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Micah Hasty
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Review: The Storytelling God
About the Book

In our culture today we are consumed with stories. If you pick up the latest Seth Godin book, no doubt it will explain that a product or business needs to... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jon Kenney
5.0 out of 5 stars Good study for the church library
Just what I needed for our church library
Published 2 months ago by Church Librarian
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful insight
Published 2 months ago by Karen Gundry Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great transaction
Published 2 months ago by Danny Holman
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 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
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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

"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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