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The Prodigal God Paperback – 15 Oct 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 102 customer reviews

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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 1.1 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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)

Another great choice for a short, punchy read... Keller shows us that the challenge in this striking parable is for the older brother too. (Together Magazine)

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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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.
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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!).
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Format: 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.
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