About the Author
Matthew Payne demonstrates the meaning of empathy not in a way of tolerating people but guiding them to see the beauty of grace. His gifts of exhortation, encouragement, teaching, prophecy, and evangelism are evident throughout the book. He does not want to waste the time of people reading a book that only few could understand. The parables to him are very personal and he believes that their messages ought to be written in a style that people could identify with.
You will find in this book a conversational partner. The author is talking to you. He made himself very vulnerable but he does not worry about it for grace to him is not a matter of speculation but a daily reality. He claims to have been transformed by the power of grace and since July 2010, his life is one full of joy and glory. See yourself both in his darkest and brightest hours of his life.
About the Book and Its Goals
The Parables of Jesus Made Simple is a Christian non-fiction book. It has fifty-four chapters and the parables are alphabetically arranged. The style is simple and conversational. Anyone could relate to the stories told in it. The book is heavy on personal testimony. It is like a personal letter, a personal testimony, and a typical message you hear during the Lord’s Day from a passionate pastor The book is very practical and sound in terms of Christian living. It is commendable for it pastoral intent and the message is timely. Dealing with prejudice, loving people, real Christianity, experiential knowledge of Jesus, service, sacrifice, and holiness are just examples of the subjects covered throughout the book.
The author describes accurately the character of our time. We are living in an era where people are seeking for purpose in life. Depression, restlessness, confusion, chaos, and constant change describe our time. Complacency in the church, self-centeredness and lack of love among people prevail. A new “Dark Age” has dawned upon us despite of our boast of technological advancement and global development.
The book is intended for the post-modern age and the post-modern church where everything new is considered fashionable and accepted. The author directs people to find meaning in life in an age where social media reign – the age of the dominance of Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Matthew Payne challenges Christians to be Jesus to those people around them. The author’s primary concern is the application and the relevance of Christianity. He calls Christians to self-examination, to share the gospel, to depend on grace, and to minister to the lost. Definitely, the book is an easy-read but the message is not easy to take for granted.
I have five recommendations:
- You mentioned a surprising statistic in page 13 that 99% of Christians in the U.S. is not living an abundant Christian life. How I wish you could provide a data to support your claim.
- Since you arranged the book alphabetically, I think Chapter 43 ought to be Chapter 39.
- Some chapters are too short
- There are several typos. In chapter 51, “forth” should be “fourth”.
- Your exegesis of the parables is not the usual method we read in a standard Hermeneutics textbook but it is commendable for I understand your intention. You can do an exegesis as part of the application. There is no need to separate the two. I see your book as an application of Christianity in its entirety.