>Overall, I'd say this parable wasn't as well written -- it was much
>more obvious that the author was "proving a point" (a well written
>parable is a story with a "moral", not a piece of apologetics).
I'd have to disagree. The characterizations in the first parable were even more two-dimensional and contrived than they were in the second. And in both you could see the "moral" coming a long way off. True, the second parable lacked some of the <DANGER> memes of the first (he turns to the camera, "Kids, don't, let this happen to you! Go inspect YOUR foundation right now!!!"), but I don't think the writing was noticeably better or worse.
I suspect it only seemed more "obvious" to you because it wasn't your point he was proving this time. If the first parable was to have a real "moral", the house should have fallen down at the end. As it stands, the moral is, "Blind trust is stupid, but that brother is a real ass regardless."