Keller: The Prodigal God
I received an advanced copy of The Prodigal God this week, Tim Keller’s third book (Reason for God, Ministries of Mercy). This short book is a narrative introduction to Christianity based on Keller’s reading of Luke 15, focusing especially on the parable of the so-called “Prodigal Son.” His faithful reading of this familiar story brings into focus the self-righteous sin of the elder brother as well as the irreligious sin of the younger brother, charting a gospel middle that points the sinner away from themselves to the abounding grace of the Father.
Chapter after chapter offers redefinition of traditional evangelical readings of topics such as sin, lostness, and heaven. Keller’s insightful re-readings and redefinitions are valuable for new Christian and old, and especially for those who have a problem with Christians and the Church. If you’ve heard Keller preach on this passage before, there’s a lot of overlap; however, there are some fresh gems embedded in the text. Here are a few:
“The world is not simply a theatre for conversion narratives, to be discarded at the end when we all go to heaven.”
“Most of us are either too eager or not eager enough for what Jesus offers.”