June 15, 2010

The Prodigal God

The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian FaithI am almost finished with the book The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller.

I had heard of this book through several different sources: I had seen it mentioned on blogs, talked to people who had read it, seen it mentioned on Christian websites and magazines and had a few friends who kept recommending it. So, when I had an opportunity to purchase a few books, this one had to make it on the list.

I started reading it yesterday morning, and I am almost done.  I am in the last chapter right now, and only paused to give it a mention on the ol' blog.  I don't want to mention too much from the book, because I want you to purchase it and read it!  But... I will give you at least one quote, but before I do, let me give you a little intro, so that the quote might make sense.

Timothy Keller is writing about the gospel and is using the parable of (what we commonly call) the prodigal son as the conveyor of the gospel message.  Much of the book is dealing with the two lost sons... yeah two... not one.  Here is an excerpt:
The hearts of the two brothers were the same.   Both sons resented their father's authority and sought ways of getting out from under it.  They each wanted to get into a position in which they could tell the father what to do.  Each one, in other words, rebelled -- but one did so by being very bad and the other by being extremely good.  Both were alienated from the father's heart:  both were lost sons.
He goes on to say:
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 you can rebel against God and be alienated from him by either breaking his rules or by keeping all of them diligently.  
It's a shocking message:  Careful obedience to God's law may serve as a strategy for rebelling against God.
I'll say no more and quote no more (for now), but I absolutely recommend this book!