Customer Reviews


67 Reviews
5 star:
 (53)
4 star:
 (10)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book
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...
Published on 25 Feb 2009 by R. Mason

versus
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not that good
Tim Keller writes in a clear and engaging style. I particularly like the way that he illustrates his points by drawing on other writers. The overall effect is quite persuasive.

However, some of the clarity comes at the expense of over-simplification. I think most of us can identify with the older/brother categories, but people are far more complex than that. In...
Published on 26 Aug 2011 by Sid of the Sunday League


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book, 25 Feb 2009
By 
R. Mason "Rob" (Nottingham UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Regardless of your experience of Christianity, this book is for you., 28 Oct 2008
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.

I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO ANYONE...
Why?

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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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 (Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith (Paperback)
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.

If you have recently become a Christian then this is a must-read as it will help to prevent you from falling into the trap of becoming an 'elder brother'.

One of the things I really like about this book is its SIMPLICITY. It takes a very famous passage of Scripture and then walks us through it. We get historical insight into the story which helps us with modern application.

I also like that it is EXEGETICAL. It is clear throughout the book that Keller is not using the passage as an excuse for some form of self-help. Rather this book is very firmly grounded in Scripture.

So please, please read it. In fact, spend the few quid and buy it because it will be like a refreshing pool that you constantly find yourself dipping into when the busyness of life starts making things go out of perspective.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So simply, yet so amazing!, 15 Aug 2011
By 
Mr. J. D. A. Bloor "JoshyBloor" (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith (Paperback)
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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Prodigal God, 1 Nov 2010
This review is from: The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith (Paperback)
Such a superb book - completely challenging an up-till-now understanding of this well known parable. A classic book. High recommend.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not that good, 26 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith (Paperback)
Tim Keller writes in a clear and engaging style. I particularly like the way that he illustrates his points by drawing on other writers. The overall effect is quite persuasive.

However, some of the clarity comes at the expense of over-simplification. I think most of us can identify with the older/brother categories, but people are far more complex than that. In this case, two sizes do not fit all. As it is, the first part of the book feels like a sermon on the dangers of dry, uptight religiosity. It is a good sermon, but I wonder how urgent a pastoral issue this is outside the US.

Keller goes on to broaden his message from this one parable without considering whether Jesus's original listeners would have heard it in that way. He does, rightly, locate the parable as a parable of exile and homecoming, but seems to struggle to make up his own mind as to precisely what the homecoming is. Did Jesus inaugurate the kingdom - albeit with a future consummation - or is it a still future event, as the final chapter implies. In which case, what exactly did Jesus achieve? On the one hand. Keller says that Jesus defeated the power of "death, disease and disorder" generally (nice alliteration), but on the other hand, this is BECAUSE (my capitals) Jesus died to pay the price for MY sin. Keller has smuggled in an atonement theology judicial role for God; a role that sits uncomfortably with the scandalously extravagant love of the father of the prodigal (Deuteronomy laid down a death penalty for stubborn and rebellious children). As a minor quibble, I was disappointed that he omitted the critical qualification that SOME (again, my stress) "Christian theologians have spoken" about Jesus's sacrifice securing the necessary not guilty verdict.

There is good practical advice within the book, but, in contrast to the essentially corporate nature of the kingdom, Keller's vision feels very individualistic. It's all about my relationship with God, my "inner-heart conviction", me sensing God's forgiveness, me "absorbing" the gospel. He skips over the role of the Spirit in both calling people to faith and equipping them for life within the body of Christ. For Keller, church (or at least the right kind of church) is primarily a useful support to us in our development rather than the purpose for which we are called and equipped, and the place in which the present inauguration of the kingdom should be experienced. The role of the sacraments is dismissed in a single sentence.

Lastly, an author ought to be careful about quoting another writer to support one point in isolation if this is inconsistent with the author's overall arguments. CS Lewis did speak of Sehnsucht, but held a quite different understanding of salvation from Keller. Bonhoeffer addressed worshipping communities (in established sacramental churches) in the face of the pressing evil of Nazism. He wasn't advising individuals on their spiritual development.

This is not a bad book. Maybe it will encourage some readers to come to faith for the first time because it is such an easy read. My feeling, however, is that, fundamentally, it only preaches to the converted. They seem to love it. I'm not one of them. There are better books on basic Christianity, including CS Lewis' "Mere Christianity". The style may now be less engaging, but there's more substance behind it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointingly inaccurate in places, 29 Dec 2011
By 
Chris Hopton (Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith (Paperback)
I was getting on fine with this and enjoying fresh insights when the author seemed to lose track of the actual Lukan text. His summary on pages 27-28 of the father's comments to the elder son have little grounding in Luke's own account. Contrary to what the father says to the elder son, the author asserts on page 26 that "by bringing the younger brother back into the family he has made him an heir again, with a claim to one-third of their (now very diminished) family wealth". There's nothing in Luke's account to justify this conclusion. On the contrary, Luke tells us that the father reassures the older and resentful brother with these words, "Everything I have is yours". The father's acceptance of his younger son doesn't seem to entail that his profligacy has been annulled and he is once again entitled to inherit. He may be forgiven and restored but may have to live with the consequences of his reckless behaviour. Since Timothy Keller includes the full text of this parable, I don't understand why his exegesis should depart so significantly from what the text says.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Always something to learn..., 23 April 2010
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith (Paperback)
Having been taught this story seemingly forever and having taught it as a Sunday School teacher and a Religious Education teacher in a secondary school, I self-righteously (the 'Elder Brother' in me) thought I knew it back to front, but Timothy gave it a fresh perspective and really challenged me to look at the significance of the parable and my concept of God in a fresh way. Ok, I give in, as I have said to OTHERS so many times, there is always something to learn....
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An important message for religious Christians, 12 April 2010
By 
M. Earwicker (Vienna, Austria) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith (Paperback)
A reminder that the salvation of Jesus is not just for the prodigal son-types (who know they are not Christians) but also for those who think they live such "perfect" lives they don't need Jesus' forgiveness.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Good, 15 Oct 2009
By 
David Woollin - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
When I read this I thought 'how obvious was that?' or probably more accurately 'how did I miss that?' Let me explain. Tim Keller points out something very obvious at the start of Luke Chapter 15. That is that this set of well known parables (lost sheep, lost coin, lost son(s)) are directed at the Pharisees and teacher to whom he is speaking in response to their attitude that Jesus is hanging around with 'sinners'. The end result is that 99% of the sermons you hear on the parable of the prodigal/lost son have the wrong emphasis. Jesus is not focusing on the son that takes the money, wastes it and then returns repentent and is welcomed back. NO, he is looking more at the older brother, the one that never left (the pharisees and teachers). 'How did I miss that?' I do have a question though - I know we do not go into the minutia of a parable but I would still like to hear someone explain v31 in a little more detail 'my son, you are always with me and everything I have is yours'.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith by Timothy Keller (Paperback - 15 Oct 2009)
7.43
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews