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The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith [Paperback]

Timothy Keller
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
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Book Description

15 Oct 2009
In THE PRODIGAL GOD, New York pastor Timothy Keller uses the story of the prodigal son to shine a light on the central, beautiful message of Jesus: the gospel of grace, hope and salvation.Keller argues that the parable of the prodigal son, while Jesus' best-known parable, is also his least understood. He introduces the reader to all the characters in this timeless story, showing that it concerns not just a wayward son, but also a judgemental older brother and, most importantly, a loving father. In this challenging and inspiring book, Timothy Keller invites both faithful believers and curious outsiders to come to a new and totally life-changing understanding of the central message of the Christian faith.

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The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith + The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Scepticism
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (15 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340979984
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340979983
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Timothy Keller is senior pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Manhattan: and New York Times bestselling author of The Reason for God. He is also author of Counterfeit Gods and The Prodigal God book, film, and discussion guide.

Product Description


Fifty years from now, if evangelical Christians are widely known for their love of cities, their commitment to mercy and justice, and their love of their neighbours, Tim Keller will be remembered as a pioneer of the new urban Christians. (Christianity Today magazine)

A fine exposition of the heart of the Christian faith...much needed at the present time (Evangelicals Now)

Book Description

Timothy Keller focuses on Jesus' best-known parable - the prodigal son - as a paradigm for the central messages of Christianity: grace, hope and salvation

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book 25 Feb 2009
Whether you have been a Christian for decades or just interested in the real message of Christianity this book is worth every penny. Keller has the gift of being able to explain the message of the Bible in ways that grip you and challenge the way you think.

Looking at the famous Parable of the Prodigal Son Keller opens up the story to show Jesus' message of the three ways to live, and dismantles misunderstandings that many hold about the message of Christianity.

This book is a very easy read - my two teenage sons couldn't put it down.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
The short version of the review is:
This book may transform your life because it presents the only message in the world capable of bringing about such change - namely, the Bible's message of God's extravagant love for undeserving bad people.


In this book, Keller, in his classic simple yet intelligent way, offers a fresh presentation of the message of the Christian faith - not by devising a new message, but by going back to the Bible (mainly focusing on the parable known as "The Prodigal Son" - or as it should be put - "The Parable of the Two Lost Sons") and showing that its message is sadly quite different from the moralism many religious church-goers present. In this sense, the book challenges and shocks Christians as it reminds them of the wonder of the love God freely shows to bad people. In doing this, the book will also provide the sceptic with a clear presentation of the message the Bible presents of God's free offer of his extravagant yet undeserved love.

All readers - both Christians and sceptics alike - will be pointed to the true heart of the Christian faith in a way that does bring challenge, but also a thrilling sense of refreshment and hope. While it will involve everyone admitting to failure, it is then that it can take all readers to experience and enjoy the free love of God and to see what it cost Him in sending Jesus to pay with his life - buying us back - it's a love that is free for us yet was so costly for him. As mentioned above, this is the only message that can bring real change in someone's life - Keller also explains how and why this is the case is a most helpful way.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another book every Christian should read! 3 Nov 2009
By Peter Roxburgh TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was recommended this book by my Pastor, as a resource for a talk on Grace that I will soon be giving. I am so glad I made the time to read this book - and you don't need a whole lot of time!

This is probably one of the easiest books about Grace you will ever read. I found the Discipline of Grace The Discipline of Grace: God's Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holinessa fantastic read. I have also read Terry Virgo's book God's Lavish Grace. Both are excellent and I highly recommend them as well.

However, this book is almost less theoretical and gets to the HEART of Grace.

You will be challenged to look at your thought process, whether it is about the Parable of the Lost Son, or as Tim Keller calls it 'the Parable of the Two Lost Sons', or your thought process about how God deals with us, how we deal with other people and how we deal with ourselves with regards to grace.

I would recommend buying it because it is a short book and I know that I will get things out of it from a second and third reading, or just dipping into it that I didn't pick up on the first time round.

I agree with one of the other reviewers - regardless of your interaction with Christianity, this is a book you should read.

If you want to get a good understanding of what Christianity is about then this is a great book to start with (other than the Bible!).

If you have been a Christian since you were a young child (like myself) then this is a fantastic book to read to be reminded about Gods amazing love for us and how we need to protect ourselves from the elder-brother mentality.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So simply, yet so amazing! 15 Aug 2011
Although there are a lot of authors floating around who are repeatedly compared and hyped up as the 'next C.S. Lewis', it is fair to say that Timothy Keller deserves the comparison.

This brilliant book manages to expand upon one of the many parables Jesus taught - 'The Prodigal Son'. However, although this parable is often focused heavily on the mercy of the father towards the son, Keller makes the alternative point that in fact it is far worse to be the elder brother, rather than the younger one (ultimately concluding that you should strive to be neither, but an in between brother).

Although I would love to review this book extensively I do not have the time. However, what I will say is it has shifted and completely shown me a new Christianity I never saw. While I was always afraid that my moral efforts would anger God if they were not good enough, in this book I realised that Christ loves us! And while the son was a long way off, the father met him and ran towards his son and embraced him with love. This sort of love breeds TRUE obedience, devoid of fears about stumbling.

Great book, great author and some really good quotes from other theologians too, as well mentioning a few other brilliant literary achievements.

Read this! It WILL change your view on who God really is!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars the prodical son by timothy keller
really wonderful book highly recommended
Published 8 days ago by swimrose
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
this book really challenges your thinking! without a doubt it's one of my favourite books, I would highly recommend it.
Published 3 months ago by c
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb book!
Great book on the parable of the father and the two sons. I was never fond of referring to the parable of the prodigal son as the older brother is equally central to the story- as... Read more
Published 3 months ago by DA Marco
5.0 out of 5 stars This book cuts straight to the heart of God
Having being convicted of some issues in my life, I ended up embracing a life of the older brother (in the parable of the Prodigal Son). Read more
Published 4 months ago by Andrew
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended
A good, easy to read book from an excellent evangelical preacher and writer. Full of good teaching and should be a blessing to all.

It comes highly recommended.
Published 4 months ago by Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars An important book that is a must read.
We tend to look at things from our perspective, but this book helps to get us to look at it from the right perspective, Gods.
Published 4 months ago by David Dexter
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant new insight into the story of the prodigal son
The Prodigal God was an eye-opening look at the story of the Prodigal son story. I think this is a "must read" for anyone looking for a deeper understanding of this... Read more
Published 5 months ago by David Hurst
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
I love Timothy Keller's exploration of this well known tale. Loved the fresh insight he was able to bring, I found this book really helpful. I highly recommend it!
Published 6 months ago by Hellyers
5.0 out of 5 stars My coimments
I think it gives a refreshing understanding of the parable of the ';prodigal son'. It spends time on the elder son and his relationship with his father.
Published 6 months ago by Mr. John P. Redfern
1.0 out of 5 stars Hmm probably not for me
Started reading this book - however maybe due to my busy mind at the time I just couldn't get into it - it's not a particularly long book and maybe I should try again, at the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by @richpidgley
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