Though I’ve not read the whole book yet (it is a massive 800+ pages), the parts of Stories with Intent that I have read so far were very helpful. Here’s a blurb from Klyne Snodgrass’ discussion of Jesus’ two “mini” parables on the cost of discipleship found in Luke 14.28ff. (The parables of two individuals who sit down and consider the cost of something before doing it.)
In their present context the parables (of Lk 14.28ff) are clearly intended to warn against a premature and unaware acceptance of discipleship. … Discipleship is no light matter, and the urgency of the call does not diminish the seriousness of the commitment. With these parables Jesus does not seek to deter discipleship, but his goal is not merely to gain as large a following as possible” (p. 385-6).
“These parables differ greatly from the easy believism that marks so much of American Christianity. Churches urge everyone to believe, to accept Jesus, but make no demands on people’s lives; the more adherents the better, even if the message is curtailed for ‘marketing’ purposes. Such shallow ideas about conversion create enormous problems for individuals, churches, and societies. We need to do a much better job helping people understand what Christianity really is about” (p. 387).
“To say ‘Jesus is Lord’ …does not mean ‘Jesus is Lord unless….’ Faith in Christ worth the name by necessity means discipleship with all its consequences. We are given over to another who shapes our lives” (ibid.).
This book is a must have when studying the NT parables!