The Prodigal God

December 7, 2009


“Everyone is dedicated to a project of self-salvation” says Tim Keller in The Prodigal God (44).  Prodigals and older brothers alike all have their “rights” and Keller exposes us all as he explicates the parable of the Two Sons (or “the Loving Father” depending on your perspective).  The lavish younger brother and the resentful older brother are both explored beautifully alongside their extravagantly loving father.

I won’t steal Keller’s thunder, but let me provide a few quotes to whet your appetite for this short, poignant read.

We must admit that we’ve put our ultimate hope and trust in things other than God, and that in both our wrongdoing and right doing we have been seeking to get around God or get control of God in order to get hold of those things (78).

The message of the Bible is that the human race is a band of exiles trying to come home.  The parable of the prodigal son is about every one of us (98).

This world is not simply a theater for individual conversion narratives, to be discarded at the end when we all go to heaven.  No, the ultimate purpose of Jesus is not only individual salvation and pardon for sins but also the renewal of this world, the end of disease, poverty, injustice, violence, suffering, and death.  The climax of history is not a higher form of disembodied consciousness but a feast (111).

Christianity, therefore is perhaps the most materialistic of the world’s faiths.  Jesus’s miracles were not so much violations of the natural order, but a restoration of the natural order (112).

Though many of you have read the story many times, I think you’ll be surprised and moved–regardless of who you identify with most in the story.  I don’t know that there would be many people unscathed by this short read.

Follow the link to buy The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith on Amazon.com.

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One Response to “The Prodigal God”

  1. Gregg Says:

    A fabulous book that I would join in recommending!


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