What if the Parable of the Good Samaritan happened during 9/11? What if the story of the Prodigal Son took place on the party island of Ibiza in Spain? What if the Parable of the Talents took place on a television reality show? When asked a question like “Who is my neighbor?,” Jesus often answered with a story. He did this because humans often see themselves in stories better than they do in direct answers. For instance, the universal situation of rescuing someone who is in desperate need on the side of the road somewhere, far from home, resonates with people down through the ages.
In Stories for Ears to Hear, Tincan Caldwell puts a modern spin on the parables of Jesus in an attempt to help the reader imagine what the heart of these stories would look like today. In his famous challenge before telling a parable, Jesus would encourage “those with ears to hear” to listen to his tales of prodigal sons, lost coins, victimized travelers on the road, and elaborate parties with no guests. In telling these stories, Jesus brought the sensibilities of heaven to the very real dusty highways and hills of his homeland.
In reimagining these classic parables (the parable of the good Samaritan set against the backdrop of the 9/11 tragedy, the parable of the unmerciful servant moved to a struggling record store, the parable of the talents reimagined in the world of a network reality show), Caldwell challenges readers to re-examine how heaven wants to invade the everyday stuff of life, like roads, parties, wayward sons, and the foundations we build our lives upon.
That makes for a great story any day...
Tin Can Caldwell (or Alex Caldwell, as his driver’s license says) is a writer, reporter, freelance preacher, and stay-at-home dad who lives in Tilton, New Hampshire. He enjoys a hearty bowl of oatmeal, the band U2, the writings of John Steinbeck, the Boston Red Sox, and wearing a variety of nifty hats. He would like to thank his two pretty daughters, India and Ireland, and beautiful wife, Julie, for letting him make unusual career moves. Stories for Ears to Hear is his first book.