Matt Mikalatos had a similar upbringing to me (or I to him), having been fully imersed in Christian culture and education from soother to drivers license.
As he says here
One side effect of growing up in Christian culture can be a certain contemptuous familiarity with the Bible. I remember impatiently tapping my feet when we trotted out the Christmas story, begging for it to end so we could tear into the presents. I remember playing “Bible Trivial Pursuit” in sixth grade and thinking to myself, “I know everything there is to know about the Bible, except how to pronounce some of the names.”
And having heard the stories over and over, it’s hard sometimes to really hear things anew. It becomes difficult to get the initial impact that these unusual stories would have had on the original audience - a mottly mix of religious men, widows, children, tax collectors and fishermen all crowded around hearing some man talk about the truths of life not in theological treaties, but in stories. Unexpected stories.
Matt’s retelling of these biblical parable brings back to life the messages that may have got lost somewhere among the flannel picture boards of my youth. Or perhaps the shouting preachers, badly animated tv specials or our preconceived ideas of what Jesus was really on about.
For a fresh look at some very old but powerful stories, have a look. I look forward to reading more from Matt. I really loved these.