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The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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Praise for Timothy Keller and The Prodigal God
"Thrilling . . . Brilliant. Keller elegantly explains the goodness of God, redefining sin, lostness, grace, and salvation." —HeartsandMinds.com
"An amazing, thought-provoking, illuminating work." —Examiner.com
"The insights Tim Keller has about the two individuals in the story, and about the heart of God who loves them both, wrecked me afresh. Tim's thoughts deserve a hearing worldwide." —Bill Hybels, founding and senior pastor, Willow Creek Community Church
"Explain, explode, expose, explore—all of these Jesus did by telling the parable of the prodigal son. In this book, Timothy Keller shows us something of how this story actually reveals the heart of God, and, if we read it carefully, our own hearts. This brief exposition is unsettling and surprisingly satisfying. Like seeing something as your own home, or your own self, with new eyes. Enjoy and profit." —Mark Dever, senior pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.
"When it comes to the gospel of Jesus Christ, Timothy Keller is simply brilliant." —Mark Driscoll, pastor, Mars Hill Church and president, Acts 29 Church Planting Network
"Keller will be remembered as a pioneer of the new urban Christians." —Christianity Today magazine
"I thank God for him." —Billy Graham --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
As the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, Tim Keller started his congregation with a few dozen people. It now draws over five thousand weekly attendees who meet in three Manhattan locations. Redeemer has since spawned a movement of churches across America and throughout major world cities. Many pastors model their churches on Redeemer and Tim's thoughtful style of preaching. Dr. Keller lives in New York City with his wife and sons.
Top customer reviews
If you see nothing that you recognize as proof of something, than you don't.
Keller spends the first five of seven chapters diving into the younger-elder brother contrast in detail. He shows the error of legalism, how it is a symptom of pride, and how it leads to a sense of entitlement. Elder brothers adhere externally and joylessly to the law in exchange for favors owed. But God is prodigal--that is, "reckless"--and He is merciful to save worldly younger brothers and moralistic elder brothers alike.
But the final two chapters are where I think this book truly comes into its own. After talking about the problems--sins, really--of the two sons, Keller finishes his book with a look at the father. He looks at the parable's relation to the gospel, as well as a look at what a believer's life should look like in light of the gospel and this parable. God the Father sent His Son to pay the price for our homecoming. He crushed His Son on the cross so that we might be welcomed into heaven, and eventually the new earth, to live in an eternal home with God. And in that eternity, there will be great feasting (Rev. 19, Is. 25, Matt. 8:11). His last chapter, focusing on the "Feast of the Father," shows how we ought to live in experiential enjoyment of God. Keller does a good job of tying all the previous material back to applicability and how it works for God's glory. I found that these two chapters helped me understand more the grace of God, our subsequent gratification in God, and how they glorify God.
Who is this book for? I think this book is best suited for non-believers and new believers, to correct any misconceptions they have about how to live the Christian faith. It clearly demonstrates the folly of legalism and introduces how we ought to live in enjoyment of God and the gospel. This book contains a good presentation of the gospel, which will be of great benefit for non-believers. For believers who are older and more mature in the faith, this book is a welcome reminder of why God does not accept legalism. I do have to note that I don't think this will be as substantive for older, more mature believers. Since the final chapter of this book covers, briefly, the same material as John Piper's "Desiring God," I find that they pair very well together. I happened to be reading "Desiring God" at the same time as "The Prodigal God," and I found this book's final chapter to be an excellent introduction to the principles explained in "Desiring God." More mature believers may benefit from the greater extent to which Piper discusses the enjoyment of God. Still, this book is helpful at causing us to search ourselves to see if we have become complacent and legalistic in our faith.
This book is not dense. It is not a multi-hundred page exposition and exploration of this parable. It is a concise look at the tale and its implications for the life of a true Christian. Neither is any of the material particularly groundbreaking, but it is solid teaching and a good reminder of the fact that elder brothers in the church, proponents of pride and legalism, are wayward sons. "The Prodigal God" is a quick and helpful read examining and denouncing pride and legalism and exalting the all-surpassing love of the Father.
Keller, thus, uses Jesus' story to help explain the culture wars we are experiencing today and to challenge each of us to examine how we approach God. His use of contemporary illustrations are remarkable, but most impressive is his helping us see the Gospel anew and know and feel the need for us to be refreshed in it continually. This book is a must read for both new and mature Christians as it does rediscover the heart of the Christian faith.
In this short, readable book Keller unpacks this idea to show us that Jesus offers a better way for those disillusioned by the church and those who are slaves to rule-keeping. And it is not by abandoning the church, but by renewing our appreciation of God's grace through Jesus.