Our image of God reveals not only God’s character, but our own.
Jesus’ parables reveal a God who is intentionally available to those who seek him. They invite the listener to enter the narrative and engage with God one-on-one to expand our understanding of faith and of ourselves.
The image of God in the New Testament takes at least three forms: The person of Jesus, Jesus' teaching about the kingdom of God with the parables, and the founding of the church on Pentecost by the Holy Spirit. In this book I will focus on the image of God the Father found in the parables.
The authenticity of the parables as Jesus' own words is seldom questioned, in part, because Jesus' parables are unique, a genre unto themselves, but not a typical genre. A typical genre might adhere to a particular structure or story form, but not a parable.
Image of God in the Parables is written in a devotional format with a reflection, prayers, and questions for study.
Cover art by C. Hiemstra (2023), The Lost Sheep, Used with Permission.
Hear the words; walk the steps; experience the joy!
Author Stephen W. Hiemstra (MDiv, Ph.D.) is a slave of Christ, husband, father, author, and volunteer pastor. He lives in Centreville, Virginia with Maryam, his wife of more than thirty-five years. They have three grown children.
Clear, well-researched, and innovative, Hiemstra has produced an important work investigating the defining feature of humanity—the Image of God.
Paul Lauerman, Pastor
Image of God in the Parables introduces you to a different perspective of God that you might not have considered before, an intimate God that seeks you out to have a relationship of Creator with created.
The book will deepen your spiritual walk with the Lord as He continues to disciple us daily through His written word and many of life’s experiences.
Eric Teitelman, Pastor
In Image of God in the Parables, Stephen Hiemstra uncovers the image of God as Jesus taught in his parablesREAD MORE
Sarah Hamaker, Author
Stephen W Hiemstra helps us deepen the truths of the Kingdom of our beloved God.
Julio Martinez, Pastor
Stephen reminds us that: “We can never fully comprehend God, but he invites us to try. When we do, the forms that lead us to him, like the parables and worship, no longer constrain us. They simply launch us into this new dimension available only through faith.”
Briane Pittman Kairns
“Jesus’ parables are like the water offered to desert traveler lost, faint-hearted, and close to death.“ The Image of God in the Parables is a drink from the Living Water for the seeker who longs to quench his thirst for God in the arid desert of modern materialism.
Image of God in the Parables by Stephen W. Hiemstra is a wonderful exploration of the divine through the lens of Jesus' parables. The book examines the multifaceted nature of God's image as revealed in the New Testament, with a particular focus on the parables that convey the teachings of Jesus. Hiemstra contends that our perception of God reflects not only the divine character but also our own, establishing a connection between theological understanding and personal introspection. Hiemstra takes readers on a spiritual journey through the parables, highlighting their immersive quality and the unexpected paths they offer to experience God's transcendence. The book blends theology, narrative, and personal reflection, touching on metaphysics, anthropology, epistemology, and ethics. The author engages with philosophical perspectives, including the limitations of logical proof and the role of faith. Hiemstra explores the concept of ''warranted faith'' and the relational evidence of God's existence found in the Bible, emphasizing truth as a central theme.
The discussions on mercy unravel the distinction between mercy and compassion, drawing insights from parables like the “Good Samaritan” and the “Unforgiving Servant.” The author weaves biblical examples and principles into the book, reinforcing the consistency of God's merciful character and challenging believers to embody mercy in their lives. This gorgeous spiritual offering invites readers to meditate and to reflect on the hidden imports of the parables, with tools to grasp the allegorical interpretation of the Parables such as the “Barren Fig Tree.” Hiemstra integrates personal anecdotes and biblical references in the book, emphasizing divine mercy as a test for recipients and exploring the concept of restorative justice. The exploration of the healing of the man with an unclean spirit and the Parable of the Lost Sheep provides insights into the intricate relationship between grace, faith, and human response. Image of God in the Parables is written in prose that is accessible and in a voice that is authoritative. The questions at the end of each chapter will provoke a spiritual journey in readers. This book is a gift of faith that should be read and shared.