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The Prodigal God

August 5, 2012

The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller (Dutton, 2008) has been a must read book in many circles since its release. Having now just finished the book I can clearly see why. The book covers the familiar story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 with in depth  insight in to the 1st century Jewish  culture of Jesus day, the Biblical context in Luke  and a Theology of Gospel for the 21st century. The book begins with several redefinitions including the word prodigal: “1) recklessly extravagant 2) having spent everything” These ideas Keller applies to God in his grace. The other key is to redefine the parable as the story of two lost sons who were estranged from their father in different ways but still very much out of sync with the fathers perspectives and love. The exploration of the “Law keeping brother” as Pharisee and non-gospel participant fits the context of the text well and serves as a place for serious self reflection in 21st century Christian church communities. The book is subtitled Recovering the heart of the Christian Faith  and as such this book may very well be the best in a recent long line of books produced to explain or articulate a simple yet profound expression of Christ’s Work and Love free from “traditional religious” cultural trappings. The book has a richness and depth because of Keller’s illustrations from classic movies, literature, theology, music and hymns. At only 133 pages it is not a difficult read and should be accessible to all who truly want to explore the gospel and the human proclivity to self righteousness, speaking for myself I know I should regularly. Buy multiple copies of this book, give many of them away, discuss the ideas in small groups but be sure to keep a personal copy for your own application and for when you teach on this parable!

  1. drkevinturner22 permalink

    Thanks for the link on my thoughts about Timothy Keller’s Prodigal God. Blessings you continue to make an impact by helpfully suggesting good books with strong theological content

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