“You will speak in parables.” George H. Martin likens the manner given Isaiah to speak in Isaiah 6 to parables. He notes,
“How strange is that? Imagine telling teachers to teach so that children all fail, or imagine a world where we expect traffic cops to create congestion and cause accidents. Try to imagine a coach instructing his players on how not to tackle or when to drop the ball, rather than how and when to catch it. This is the kind of world into which Isaiah is pulled.” (Feasting on the Word, Year C vol.1, p.316)
Martin goes on to point out how Jesus applied this same experience to himself. Somewhere hearing the prophetic call it seems Peter Rollins responded ready to offer modern day parables for and to the church. And, his are every bit as provocative. Last year Paraclete Press published Rollins’ The Orthodox Heretic And Other Impossible Tales.
The collection of parables is among some of the most thought provoking stories I have read. One of my favorite parables from the book is, “Being the Resurrection.” Rollins addresses the tendency to substitute mental assent for transformative practice. That is, people tend to say they believe a “truth” and yet the very manner in which they live betrays the very truth allegedly believed. This reminds me of Dallas Willard who asserts our beliefs, real beliefs, are present in our actions. Anything we say we believe but fail to practice is really not a belief. So, you can imagine by the title of one of my favorite, Rollins targets the “resurrected life.” That is, believing in the resurrection is to live a particular way with others as an expression of that very belief.
The Season of Lent is on the horizon. If you purchase The Orthodox Heretic from Paraclete Press, they will send you another 7 parables giving you a total of 40 to use in your Lenten reflections. Watch the video below and listen as Pete describes his thoughts that take in an Easter Tour he will do titled, “Insurrection.”