A Storyteller Looks at the Parables: Hardback Version
By Charles Maynard
Charles Maynard is author of more than 30 books and a pastor of one of United Methodism’s largest congregations, Cokesbury UMC in Knoxville, Tennessee. In addition to being an author and pastor, Charles is known internationally as a gifted storyteller, speaking at events and festivals - including the National Storytelling Festival - throughout the United States.
In his introduction to A Storytellers Looks at the Parables, Charles writes:"Stories are how we remember, where as narrative is how we think. No one recounts the events of a day by saying, 'I had a brilliant thought today that came to me in three parts.' No, what people say is, "I got in the wrong line at the store, and you will never believe what happened!' They tell the story of their day."Jesus, Maynard notes, used storytelling as the method that would carry the message of the Kingdom of God the farthest. He "stuck" his truths in people's minds by telling stories.
Often, we rush past Jesus' stories to determine their meaning, and we rarely hear the story itself. Many outstanding commentaries and sermon collections have been written about the parables. This book, however, is designed to help you see the art of Jesus' storytelling and learn to appreciate it. It also aims to assist the reader in hearing and experiencing the stories. When you are caught up in a truly remarkable story being well told, you don't analyze it. You listen to it. You feel it.
The book is divided into two sections. The first includes six chapters:
- Parable as Story
- Is the Bible True?
- Words at the Right Time
- Do It Yourself
- Listen and Enjoy.
- Don't Explain.
The second section includes ten meditations based on parables:
- The Dirty Story
- For Heaven's Sake!
- Leave it Alone!
- Room at the Table
- People are the Problem
- The Owner of the Vineyard
- Wheat and Weeds
- The Fools Prayer
- The Final Exam
In addition, Maynard includes an extensive chart of the parables in the Synoptic Gospels.
What readers are saying about A Storyteller Looks at The Parables:
As a superb storyteller Charles Maynard entertains, inspires, instructs, and convicts. In this compelling book we are introduced to the purpose of stories and their most effective use, with special attention to the way Jesus used parables. I found the book to be a treasure house full of inspiration, useful resources, and pure fun. I heartily commend it to all for the blessings it offers.
Retired Bishop, The United Methodist Church
Charles Maynard helps us understand that the truth of feeling is more important than the truth of thinking. Maynard helps us see that knowing how to read and how to listen can change the actual meaning of the Biblical story itself.
American Storyteller, Author and Minister
Charles Maynard tells personal, touching, funny stories in a way that makes you feel as if you were there. A Storyteller Looks at the Parables is really two books in one. The first part reads like the master storyteller’s sermon on the mount. It is a wonderful collection of a lifetime of wisdom revolving around storytelling. The second part of the book helps the reader see these parables with fresh eyes, never overwhelming the power of the original stories told by Jesus. In A Storyteller Looks at the Parables, Maynard does for the parables what he has done with his own stories for so many years. He offers a reading of each parable in a way that feeds you for the rest of your life.
Dan Matthews, Jr.
Episcopal Priest and Host of Skypilot: Faith Quest Podcast