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The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming. Paperback – 1 May 1994

4.8 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Darton,Longman & Todd Ltd (May 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 023252078X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0232520781
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 14 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A beautiful book, as beautiful in the simple clarity of its wisdom as in the terrible beauty of the transformation to which it calls us --New Oxford Review

From the Inside Flap

The beloved spiritual writer meditates on the parable of the prodigal son's return -- a powerful drama of fatherhood, filial duty, rivalry, and anger between brothers -- and its enduring lessons for Christianity.
Full-color photographs with gatefold. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
There have probably been more sermons written about the parable of the prodigal son than any other passage in the Bible. This seemingly simple story is full of truth and meaning, and it seems that every such sermon I hear brings out something entirely new, fresh, and instructive. The best such sermon I've ever heard came only a year ago - by focusing on the elder son, the preacher gave me a completely new perspective on the parable. It was that sermon that convinced me to pick this book up when I came across it.
Nouwen's The Return of the Prodigal Son is basically a lengthy meditation on the famous parable in conjunction with Rembrandt's portrait of the same name. It is a very personal story, as Nouwen relates how the painting and its subject matter have inspired him and facilitated his focus on God over a number of years. One could say that Nouwen is in fact obsessed with Rembrandt's painting, but it's definitely the healthiest of obsessions. In times of struggle and self-doubt, Nouwen describes the strength and inspiration he has garnered from The Return of the Prodigal Son. The truly remarkable thing about his narrative is the level of raw honesty he confesses about his own weaknesses and temptations. Few men of the cloth would confess to the inner struggles Nouwen discusses at length, and that makes this book much more meaningful and instructive for Christians than most other books on the Christian bookshelf.
Nouwen relates how his focus on the painting shifted over the years. Originally, he was drawn to the image of the prodigal son himself, and he could see many ways in which he himself strayed from his true Father for worldly reasons.
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By A Customer on 12 May 2005
Format: Paperback
I feel this is Henri Nouwen's best work. He investigates the story of the Prodigal Son in light of Rembrant's painting. He also shows how each person fits into the character of the younger son, the elder son and the father. The book make me stop and think especially the area of the elder son, making me realise some characteristics in my personality that I had just ignored. Above all this book helps us understand how God loves us no matter what.
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Format: Paperback
An inspirational reflection on homecoming, affirmation and reconciliation. Nouwen's pens down his personal reflection on Rembrandt's painting of the same name and how it affected his spiritual journey. He looks into each of the three main characters - the younger son, the elder son and finally the father, drawing parallels with his own life. It truly is an inspirational book challenging the reader to pause and reflect at one's own spiritual journey.
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Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent read. As Nouwen reflects on each of the characters in Rembrants Painting, you to feel that you could also be that character. I truly recommend this book for spiritual reflection and reconciliation.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I cannot recommend this book too highly. Nouwen,s language is sometimes a bit flowery but his wisdom shines through nevertheless. He takes you on a wonderful journey from prodigal son to elder brother and I learnt how I had aspects of both in me. I then learnt how to internalise the father as well, to forgive as well as to be forgiven. That is a wonderful lesson to learn
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I purchased this, as requested, for a Lent course which I attended for a period of weeks before Easter; it was a ecumenical course between all the local churches in our area.
Henri Nouwen relates a passionate account of his spiritual journey after first seeing a poster depicting Rembrandt’s painting of ‘The Return of The Prodigal Son’. It had an immediate and lasting effect on him. After twenty years as a Priest teaching in university, he became a Pastor in a community for people with learning disabilities.
I recommend this book; the meaning of the parable of the Return of the Prodigal Son became more comprehensive and the parable took on a more contemporary meaning.
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Format: Paperback
The theme for our youth weekend away was based on Luke 15 and the Prodigal Son. Much of my inspiration came from The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming by Henri Nouwen. I first encountered this book on a retreat day at Youthwork the Conference, where we explored how we can resemble each of the characters in the story Jesus told. It really inspired me to look afresh at this parable, and it's a book I've dipped in and out of several times since. In the preparation for the weekend I re-read this book a couple of times, and was challenged afresh personally on the ways in which I rebel from the Father.

Nouwen writes the book as a long meditation that reflects heavily on Rembrandt's wonderful picture which focuses on his personal journey which he expresses with great honesty. The book then follows the story focussing on each of the three characters. First he talks about how he was drawn to the character of the younger brother and admitting the ways in which he had rebelled. He goes beyond talking about pure rebellion and wrestles with the difficulty in accepting the Father's forgiveness.

Later on in his life, someone suggested Nouwen had more in common with the elder brother than the prodigal son, and this opened up a whole new level of spiritual understanding for him. This is the character who is often most ignored. Nouwen highlights how the elder brother has rebelled, even if he's stayed at home. It challenged me on ways in which I work for the Father but don't truly hang out with the Father. He then challenges the reader to move beyond the two brothers and to attempt to imitate the father. Nouwen closes the book by suggesting several ways in which we can try to develop the divine gift of compassion.
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