Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller

Title: The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller

Pages: 139

How it was obtained: It was a gift.

Time spent on the "to read" shelf: 1 month.

Days spent reading it: 1 day.

Why I read it: I have heard a lot about Timothy Keller and was interested to check him out. Glad I received this gift.

Brief review: Keller's premise is that the story of the prodigal son should really be titled the story of the lost sons. He focuses almost exclusively on the fact that the parable of the prodigal son is as much about the older son's relationship to the father as it is about the younger son's relationship. And he does a good job at explaining that element of the story well. One idea I wish he explored more was the idea of God being a prodigal. The book has it as the title, and it is mentioned in the introduction, but little else is said explicitly about that particularly thought provoking nugget.

I really wanted to love this book. I looked forward to reading it, enjoyed the introduction, but it just seemed to fall kind of flat for me. Not that it wasn't good, it was fine. It just did not grab my attention like I thought it would. Prodigal God lays down a clear gospel message. Furthermore, Keller does a good job of addressing distortions of the gospel that pervade our thinking. I think Keller has a clear message, but it just was not as creatively presented as I thought it would be. I would recommend this book to people, mainly because it is a quick read and full of good insights despite the few drawbacks I have noted.

Favorite quote: "Forgiveness always comes at a cost to the one granting the forgiveness."

Stars: 3.5 out of 5.

Final Word: Grace-filled.


Rob said...

Prodigal--recklessly extravagant. I have thought for several years that the most amazing thing about this parable is the lavish, astonishing love of the Father. And, of course the context makes it clear that He was speaking to all the "elder sons," Pharisees, etc.

Rob said...

Also, a great quote. True.