August 26, 2009

Book Review

A Tale of Two Sons by John MacArthur

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.

Jesus used about 26 sentences in the parable. MacArthur used 210 pages to explain it!

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