The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
by Timothy Keller
Hardcover: 139 pages
Date Published: 2008
Point: In the story of the two sons in Luke 15, God is the prodigal who spends in a recklessly extravagant way to win back two lost sons.
Path: Keller walks through the familiar story with profound insights and convicting applications. In this short book the truths of Scripture cut deeply.
Sources: Following the story of Jesus, Keller references Edmund Clowney, Elisabeth Eliot, C.S. Lewis, John Newton, Jonathan Edwards, and others.
Agreement: Keller’s presentation of this often sentimentalized parable was well done. Bringing the older brother to see his own lostness can hardly ever be done through rebuke or mental arguments. It needs a story. For this reason Jesus told the story, and for this reason Keller followed it.
Personal App: Am I living as the older brother in my pride and self-righteousness?
Do you realize, then, what Jesus is teaching? Neither son loved the father for himself. They both were using the father for their own self-centered ends rather than loving, enjoying, and serving him for his own sake. This means that you can rebel against God and be alienated from him either by breaking his rules or by keeping all of them diligently. (36-37)
“If, like the elder brother, you believe that God ought to bless you and help you because you have worked so hard to obey him and be a good person, then Jesus may be your helper, your example, even your inspiration, but he is not your Savior. You are serving as your own Savior.” (38)
Stars: 5 out of 5
It would be worth another read and I would recommend it. It would be valuable to give to both a younger and older brother – both need the Father’s extravagant grace.