The Prodigal God.

17 Feb

Anyone familiar with the parable will know that Keller has already got his book a little wrong. The prodigal Son is a story of a wayward heir who is welcomed home by an hospitable father. Not, like the title suggests, a faithful son seeking a god who is far away and quite uninterested.

Uh, actually, scrap all that. I’ve just read the introduction. Apparently ‘prodigal’ doesn’t mean what we’ve taken it to mean all this time. In the story the son is wayward, yes, but also lavish in his spending. Prodigal actually means a person who is a spendthrift, or person who spends money recklessly and wastefully.

This blew my tiny little mind.


The book is an unpacking of that most famous of parables, but it’s also an eye opener to the story behind the story, the God behind salvation. It majors on the two lesser known (or studied at least) characters in the parable, namely the elder brother and the father. The father taking the place of the recklesly (prodigal) gracious God and the elder brother playing the part of the morally upright, but just as lost, self-righteous types in the world. 

Without wanting to spoil the book I’ll end by saying it’s a refreshing unpacking of the Gospel, backed up with plenty of Keller style illustrations (i.e. from all over new and ancient culture). I’d heartily recomend this to anyone who has eyes (or fingers to read the brail version). However if you were going to read just one of the last few books I’ve reviewed I’d make it Spectacular Sins by Piper.

4star4 out of 5 cheesey christian fishes tells it’s own story.

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One Response to “The Prodigal God.”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. There’s a Gospel Illustration in There. « Saint Beagle - 26/02/2009

    […] also highlights what Tim Keller writes about in his book, The Prodigal God. See there are two ways Swansea could have been knocked out. Firstly, the humiliating, not even […]

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