Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Prodigal God - by Tim Keller

I recently read the book "The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith" by Timothy Keller.  It was a great and easy read; though challenging to the core.

As you can probably guess, the book is based on the story of the two sons, often spoken of as The Prodigal Son story.  This story always helps me continue to grasp the Father's heart and who I am and the Father's embrace of me.  Over the last couple of years I've been in numerous situations where this story has been at the fore: considering Henri Nouwen's book last year in my faith community gathering and also having a print of the picture based on this story in my workplace last year.  The story has shaped me deeply over recent years.

This book refreshed much of that shaping - and shaped me afresh too.  A few points of Keller's book that stood out to me were: an emphasis on who the hearers of this story were (a mixed group of listeners); the emphasis on the eldest sons lostness as well as the lostness of the younger son; the fact that the story ends with us not knowing how the story really ends; the Father's initiative in coming out to both sons.  However, the thing that really struck me was Keller's exploration of Jesus as the "true elder brother" and the cost to the elder brother of the Father's welcoming home of the younger son.  This exploration has left me pondering - and thankful.