Summarize your understanding of the main points of the poem/parable

Summarize your understanding of the main points of the poem/parable

Inquisition of the Inquisitor

Rebellion (Dostoevsky, 1991) []

The Grand Inquisitor (Dostoevsky, 1991) []

In Dostoevsky’s (1991) book, The Brothers Karamazov, he depicted two of the brothers, Ivan and Alyosha, discussing religious and political topics at a tavern. Ivan is a hard-bitten atheist/agnostic, and Alyosha is studying for the ministry in the Russian Orthodox Church and is the disciple of a well-known saint. Their discussion roams across many topics, including God, the problem of evil, and love. In the course of the discussion, Ivan shares what he calls a “poem” that he has written called The Grand Inquisitor that sounds more like a parable than a poem.

Summarize your understanding of the main points of the /parable

Analyze the poem/parable that Ivan tells. To what is it referring? How should we understand it? What is its meaning?

Does the Grand Inquisitor have a point? Do you agree with the Grand Inquisitor?

What is the significance of the kiss at the end?

Is this similar to a “parable of grace” or something else?

Your analysis should be no less than four full pages; not including the title page or bibliography. Support your statements with evidence from the Required Studies and your research.

This is the information for this weeks assignments


Parables of Grace

Though these parables are no longer considered “of the Kingdom,” they certainly have much to do with the character of the kingdom that has come. It is a kingdom of grace, of utterly indiscriminate grace, applied to any and all who would have it. It is mercy given to the undeserving, kindness where there should only be condemnation, to the point of bringing up the question of justice–is there a justice to be had in such a kingdom? Should not the wrongdoers be punished? Should the debtor not pay his debt? Should the wastrel who spends his father’s money (not yet an inheritance for the father is living) on wine, women, and song not rightfully be cast out? And, oddly, it is the ones who insist upon this calculus of justice who seem to be the ones that grace eludes. Jesus’ parables appear to confound the normal algorithms of justice.

The reality of grace, of mercy given freely to the one who deserves it not exposes one of the great paradoxes of the Christian proclamation. This paradox is the cross, where God’s justice and God’s mercy meet. Justice indeed gets its due. It gets the pound of flesh it rightly demands for sin, for the violation of a good creation resulting in the destruction of human creatures, whether that destruction is at the hand of other human beings or is imposed on oneself. On the cross, the broken human condition comes to naught as God kills the one who had become sin itself (2 Cor. 5:21) in order to break its power once and for all. Yet he does this by killing Himself. More accurately, it is by the death of the Son who is abandoned by the Father, calling out: “‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” (Mark 15:34) These terrifying words show the wrath of God being poured out on His abandoned Son who willingly offered Himself up on the cross to satisfy the justice of God.

Yet love and mercy prevail. Grace prevails. Because rather than pouring out His wrath upon those who deserve it and who would be absolutely annihilated in the event, God takes the penalty upon Himself, upon His own, dear Son. Moreover, His Son does not stay dead but rather rises from the grave in a glorious triumph over the worst that the enemies of God’s creation can do. Sin, death, and the devil are defeated, and God is shown to be all in all. God is just, but God’s mercy overwhelms His justice.

And this brings us to the paradox of grace. Those who deserve it, do not get it, and the one who deserved only joy and love forgoes his blessed life to embrace sin and death. The consequences of this strange logic are legion, and Jesus’ parables provide a lens into how this strange calculus works. From the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant to that of the so-called Prodigal Son, we see situations not working out as one would suspect, and it takes a deep knowledge of the Christian narrative to begin to make sense out of them. Even so, it seems that there is always more to be said. We close the week out with an examination of a famous literary poem/parable from Fyodor Dostoevsky that is as thoroughly part of his own Russian, Orthodox culture as are Jesus’ parables of their first-century Jewish, not-yet-Christian culture. And here, too, we are made to wonder at what is happening, how the figure of Jesus continues to break all pre-conceived notions and continues to dole out his life-changing grace. Lavishly.


Through participation in the following activities, the candidate will:

Analyze religious speech, the historical figure of Jesus, and Christianity.

Inquisition of the Inquisitor

Explain how to read material, which is deeply embedded in a narrative tradition.

The Younger or Elder Son?

Explain how to work with the wide , which is found among colleagues, students and their families.

Failing to Forgive


The following materials are required studies for this week. Complete these studies at the beginning of the week and save these weekly materials for future use.

Kingdom, Grace, Judgment (Capon, 2002)

Book 2, Chapter 1: Introduction

Book 2, Chapter 2: Death and Resurrection

Book 2, Chapter 4: Losing as the Mechanism of Grace

Book 2, Chapter 5: Death, Resurrection, and Forgiveness

Book 2, Chapter 12: Death and the Party

Book 2, Chapter 13: The Party Parables

Stories with Intent (Snodgrass, 2018)

Grace and Responsibility

Parables of Lostness


Luke 7:41-43

Luke 15

Matthew 18

Commentary on Luke 15 (Bailey, 1991) []

The Grand Inquisitor (Dostoevsky, 1991) []

Rebellion (Dostoevsky, 1991) []

Answer preview to summarize your understanding of the main points of the poem/parable

Summarize your understanding of the main points of the poem/parable


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