1) Arminian and Calvinist Debates.
2) Wayward Children.
Luke 15: 20-24, “20 And [The prodigal son] arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.”
“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, ‘This man receives sinners and eats with them.’”So he told them this parable…”
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”
I wanted the attention. They got the attention on the field. They were popular on the campus. This was my place.
One day a coach came who I had a particularly poor relationship with. I was angered he was even there. I wanted to stand up and rebuke him for being a fake Christian.
However, I am not claiming that the parable is an allegory that situation. I am claiming that the overall principles from the parable (rejoicing over saved souls, not being jealous, etc.) can be applied to everyday life, without making the parable an allegory for my everyday life.
There is a subtle but important difference in making the Scriptures all about us through analogy, and applying the Scriptures not about us to our lives. It is a difficult thing in all narrative texts, but it is important that we toil to identify the primary meaning of a passage, and then apply its principles in an appropriate way.