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Parables of Parenthood – chapter 3

In anticipation of the book’s release in 2014, I am going to offer a series of excerpts on this blog. I hope these selections wet your whistle; may you be like my son, Sam, who knows the word, “more”!

dudes with SamI am reminded of Paul’s understanding of wisdom as “Christ crucified” which

paradoxically appears to be foolishness to the world (1 Cor

1:18–25). The point is that the wisdom of God can challenge

the assumptions of our culture. For example, Matthew’s

Sermon on the Mount and Luke’s Sermon on the Plain are

full of “advice” that most successful people in our modern

world would consider outright lunacy: turn the other cheek

(Mt 5:39; Luke 6:29); if anyone wants to sue you for your

coat, give your cloak as well (Mt 5:40; Luke 6:29); love your

enemies (Mt 5:44; Luke 6:27).

 

These ethical commands seem illogical–even offensive–

because we place such a high value in our culture on

individualism: A penny saved is a penny earned. Pull yourself

up by your own bootstraps. No pain, no gain. God helps

those who help themselves. While nowhere to be found in

the Bible, these “scriptures” are used by many people to interpret

the parables and teachings of Jesus. But might our

wisdom actually be foolish in the long run? Does our attitude

of individualism create a foundation of love?

Copyright Andrew Taylor-Troutman, 2014; Wipf & Stock Publishers

About Andrew Taylor-Troutman

I am a pastor and a preacher, a writer, a husband and a father. My professional and personal lives are deeply involved with story-telling: stories that are silly and poignant or profound and commonplace. Stories that are tear-jerkers and belly-shakers. Stories about my son, Sam, and the congregation I serve, New Dublin Presbyterian Church. Each in its own way, these personal narratives shed light on the great story that God is writing with humankind and all of creation.

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