Item description for A Tale of Two Sons: The Inside Story of a Father, His Sons, and a Shocking Murder by john macarthur...
Overview In The Tale of Two Sons, one of America's most loved Bible teachers takes you deeper into Luke 15 than ever before, revealing insights into the culture of Jesus' day and an unforgettable ending.
The Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) has been preached from nearly every pulpit in the world and is known by many who read and cherish the Bible. The story is so powerful because it presents, in clear and inspiring terms, our struggle with sin, the need for humble repentance, and the Father's inexhaustible mercy and love. Unfortunately, many Christians would say that they have nothing new to learn from this gem of Scripture. It has lost its luster. But in The Tale of Two Sons, John MacArthur restores the brilliance of this passage, giving engrossing historical background and unveiling a surprise ending readers have never heard before.
In A Tale of Two Sons, one of America's most loved Bible teachers takes you deeper into Luke 15 than ever before, revealing insights into the culture of Jesus' day and an unforgettable ending.
The Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) has been preached from nearly every pulpit in the world and is known by many who read and cherish the Bible. The story is so powerful because it presents, in clear and inspiring terms, our struggle with sin, the need for humble repentance, and the Father's inexhaustible mercy and love. Unfortunately, many Christians would say that they have nothing new to learn from this gem of Scripture. It has lost its luster. But in A Tale of Two Sons, John MacArthur restores the brilliance of this passage, giving engrossing historical background and unveiling a surprise ending readers have never heard before.
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Studio: Thomas Nelson
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.16" Width: 6.36" Height: 0.88" Weight: 0.95 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 2008
Publisher Thomas Nelson
ISBN 0785262687 ISBN13 9780785262688 UPC 020049023792
Availability 0 units.
More About john macarthur
John MacArthur is pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, as well as author, conference speaker, president of The Master's College and featured teacher with Grace to You, an international radio broadcast. His more than six dozen books have sold millions of copies worldwide and include more than two dozen volumes of The MacArthur New Testament Commentary series.
The son of Jack MacArthur and fifth cousin of U.S. General Douglas MacArthur, John MacArthur attended Bob Jones University before transferring to Los Angeles Pacific College (now Azusa Pacific University). He later obtained his Masters of Divinity from Biola University's Talbot Theological Seminary, in La Mirada, California. He graduated with honors. From 1964 to 1966, he served as an associate pastor at Calvary Bible Church, in Burbank, California and, from 1966 to 1969, as a faculty representative for Talbot Theological Seminary. Then, in 1969, he became the third pastor in the then-short history of the nondenominational Grace Community Church of Sun Valley, California.
His daily radio program, Grace to You, which is now broadcast throughout much of the world, began as an audio recording ministry to provide cassettes of his sermons to listeners. They were first broadcast in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1977.
In 1985, MacArthur became the president of The Master's College (formerly Los Angeles Baptist College), an accredited, four-year, liberal arts Christian college; and, in 1986, he founded The Master's Seminary. MacArthur also received an honorary doctorate from Talbot Theological Seminary[ and an honorary doctorate from Grace Graduate School.
Nearly 43 years after beginning in the pulpit of Grace Community, MacArthur completed one his own life goals of preaching through the entire New Testament on June 5, 2011, at the end of his projected target window, stated the previous January, to finish "some time in the summer." During the same interview, MacArthur projected he would complete his commentary series within another five years, some 35 years after beginning.
MacArthur is married to Patricia and they have four children and fifteen grandchildren.
John MacArthur, es el pastor-maestro de la Grace Community Church en Sun Valley, California. Ademas, es presidente de The Master's College and Seminary. Es un prolifico autor con muchos exitos de ventas. Su estilo popular de exposicion y ensenanza de la Biblia puede escucharse a diario en su programa radial de difusion internacional "Gracia a vosotros."
John MacArthur has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Tale Of Two Sons?
Content More Intriguing Than Title May 20, 2010
As another reviewer stated, this parable has always been one of the most well-known; I felt I had heard or read enough to understand the parables in Luke 15 fairly well. However, I made the choice to read this book to see if Dr. MacArthur had additional insight as his 'Gospel According to Jesus' had encouraged me to dig much deeper into God's Word. Therefore, I purchased this book having high expectations of a more in-depth learning experience; this book most certainly did not disappoint. Members of my Bible study group wanted to know more after I shared some of the book's insights with them. They purchased, read, and as I did, learned much about the culture of Jesus day; our own shortcomings and failures; and the mercy and grace of a loving and forgiving Heavenly Father. This will be a book I willingly share with (or gift to) my friends and family.
Read Ken Bailey's book on Luke 15, which MacArthur uses heavily Dec 10, 2009
Finding the Lost: Cultural Keys to Luke 15 (Concordia Scholarship Today) Jacob & the Prodigal: How Jesus Retold Israel's Story
Many of the this site Reviewers would have some of their reservations about MacArthur's book answered by reading Ken Bailey's books on Luke 15. MacArthur uses Bailey as one of his sources but does not do justice to the more than 35 years of research Bailey has done as a New Testament scholar in the Middle East. Bailey thoughtfully and convincingly explains how the West has mistranslated several portions of Luke 15. This in turn has led to the Western Christian Church misinterpreting this sermon by Jesus - the Gospel within the Gospel.
I recommend that you read Bailey's "Finding the Lost Cultural Keys to Luke 15" and "Jacob and the Prodigal: How Jesus Retold Israel's Story." You will gain a much richer understanding of Jesus as a theologian and your faith will be strengthened.
MacArthur is guilty of oversimplification. He says that parables only have one meaning. This is an overreaction by Protestants to the use of allegorical interpretation. Jesus is saying much more than just God is concerned with saving the lost. Jesus lays out his theology on sin, freedom, repentance, grace, joy, fatherhood, sonship, Christology, family/community, atonement, and eschatology.
MacArthur's text is a watered-down version of Bailey's work and much of the richness of Luke 15 is missing.
The irony of MacArthur's book is that he uses the appendix to bash the Emigrant Church Movement and narrative theology, yet he himself is doing narrative theology when one considers the study guide that goes along with this book.
The study guide that you can buy for this book is actually fairly decent. It is full of excellent reflective questions and can be made more meaningful if you supplement the study guide with Ken Bailey's "Finding the Lost Cultural Keys to Luke 15."
Too Much Plagiarism Oct 11, 2009
Some cut and and paste from my blog (click on my name to locate):
MacArthur mentions three books of Bailey as his source in the intro. Directly quotes Bailey twice in the book. And Bailey is sourced in half (2) of the footnotes in this book. Twice as much as I'd like to see.
MacArthur begins by suggesting that "it's not a good idea to try to milk meaning out of every incidental detail in a parable" (viii). I would suggest that he should have followed his suggestion. Particularly when he milks Bailey for 'cultural insight'.
One of these lactations occur when MacArthur suggests (20,85) that "the idea that God would freely accept and forgive repentant sinners... was a shocking and revolutionary concept. Almost no one in that society could conceive of God as reaching out to sinners". And that this society thought it was "the repentant sinners duty to work hard to redeem himself and do his best to gain whatever degree of divine favor he could earn".
Another lactation occurs when the prodigal son is suggested to be wishing his father dead (45,51). That "any self-respecting father in that culture would naturally feel he had to disgrace the son as publicly as possible- giving him a slap across the face, a public denunciation, formal dismissal from the family, and possibly a funeral". Young makes a bold claim that Bailey is being anachronistic- by importing modern examples into the first century here. In other words, this is shear speculation. There is no historical reference.
A final lactation occurs when MacArthur claims, the elder son "never really understood or appreciated his fathers goodness to him; but he was happy to receive it and milk it for whatever he could get out of it". Seems a little hyperbolic to me. Almost as mockingly hyperbolic as Luke 15:31.
Apart from these lactations MacArthur does some excellent stuff here. Perhaps unknowingly- even shooting Bailey's gospel directly in the udder:
"And so we're told, Christians should be less concerned about their personal redemption and more concerned about redeeming our culture or resolving the large scale dilemma of our times, such as racial prejudice, global warming, poverty, the marginalization of disenfranchised people or whatever worldwide crisis is slated to be featured cause for the next Live Aid concert(142)".
See Bailey's gospel here and here. Udderly incompatible.
Jesus 26 sentences - MacArthur 210 pages Aug 25, 2009
This book is really an in depth study/commentary on Luke 15:11-32, the parable of the prodigal son.
MacArthur separates the book into five parts:
* The Parable * The Prodigal * The Father * The Elder Brother * The Epilogue
Each part has several chapters describing a particular aspect of the parable.
Overall, I believe MacArthur writes the truth in depth. Maybe a little too deep, in this case, for the average person. I found the book to kind of drag on in spots with too much detail for me to follow.
MacArthur correctly states in the Appendix that Jesus used parables as a tool to teach and defend the truth. However, I do think MacArthur gets a little excessive in his explanation of this parable.
In fact, several times I had to stop reading and get a dictionary out to look up words MacArthur used. After figuring out the meaning of the word, I could think of several other more common and understandable words to use instead.
I wonder how much of this book was MacArthur's writing versus Phil Johnson's editing. It seems to me that Johnson likes to use those "big" words.
At any rate I do not recommend this book to the average reader. While I believe MacArthur is correct in his description of the parable, the book seems to be geared more to the academic world rather than the common Christian.
New insights for me and a shift in perspective Aug 24, 2009
I thought this was a worthwhile and readable book. John MacArthur takes a fresh look at what is commonly referred to as the Parable of the Prodigal Son, and it was a very eye-opening shift in perspective for me. As I've always heard the story told, almost nothing is said about the elder brother. The main thrust is made out to be the amazing forgiveness of the father, end of story. But, it is as least as much about the hardened heart of the older brother in the face of such grace. Over a third of the parable focuses on the elder brother (and his father's response) at the end.
John MacArthur also shares many cultural and historical facts that, while not necessary to understanding the story (i.e. the Word of God is sufficient), are helpful. For instance, the pods that the swine were eating were probably carob pods, which are barely even edible for pigs, more a bare subsistance food in a time of famine, so the prodigal son is more desperate in his hunger than I had imagined. There are many other details like this.
At times I think, he probably makes a bit much of some cultural detail or another and reads too much into the story, and I felt that he restated some points a few times too many. I think the book could have been reduced in size by about 20% and been the better for it. But, all in all, a worthwhile read. I'm not sure if I'll keep it or not, as it's not the sort of book I'm likely to read again and again, but I acquired it used and am glad to have read it once.