Thinking Out Loud

November 14, 2008

Currently Reading: The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller

Filed under: Christianity, Faith, theology — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:00 pm

Really looked forward to this after reading Keller’s The Reason for God. Highlight so far sorta goes like this:

  • prodigal-god-tim-keller“Prodigal” means “spendthrift”, which also means “reckless”
  • The father in the story is reckless in his willingness to forgive and reinstate the son
  • The father in the story represents God
  • God is “reckless” in that he chooses not to “reckon” our sin; instead offering forgiveness

Keller wrote this book based on someone else’s sermon that has stuck with him throughout his life.   This is a very different book than The Reason for God. Instead, we have essentially something that is “gift book” sized, not a whole lot different from The Prayer of Jabez. However, Jabez was a $9.99 U.S. hardcover, while Prodigal God is a shocking $19.99 U.S.   Great book.  Bad marketing/pricing decision.  Still, this is the right gift for that person who may have familiarity with the basic “Lost Son” story (which Keller summarizes in a single paragraph) but have missed out on or forgotten some of the basics of the Bible’s much larger story, which Keller believes is fully present in this single parable.

Really, the quality of a book is not a function of the book’s size.   This is a truly impressive reconsideration of the classic parable and I can’t recommend this enough.   As it will be on the bookshelf of more “elder brothers” than “younger runaways,” I can only say that this really causes us to analyze our motivation behind what we do.  

In many ways, the younger son emerges learning a lesson about the father’s love that the older son has yet to grasp.


  1. […] been quite taken with Timothy Keller’s new book The Prodigal God, which I considered briefly here a few weeks ago.   I am ever impressed at the ability of this story to challenge us in so many different […]

    Pingback by Further Considering the Prodigal Son (and the Prodigal God) « Thinking Out Loud — November 29, 2008 @ 8:46 pm

  2. Since this was written, the book has been issued in paperback.

    Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — March 21, 2013 @ 9:48 am

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