Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith by Timothy Keller

I know of many who has heard Jesus's ever famous parable "The Prodigal Son". And I know of many who hasn't got the chance to hear about it too, which I think they might have a hint since many story's adaptation has minor hints of this parable. In my years of being a believer of Christ, this parable speaks to me in so many ways. It has so many dimensions that this can be a very good material for all people (especially Christians).

Only 7 chapters and this book is able to astound me by realizing how one parable is able to sum up the Bible as a whole. I never knew who was the original audience that Jesus was REALLY speaking to when it was being told.

Tim Keller started out by clarifying the definition of Prodigal:
1) Recklessly Extravagant
2) Having Spent Everything

Note this, this parable was a response to the grumbling Pharisees around him and Jesus starts the story by saying "There was a man who had two sons." Now, this is where the discussion starts.

Firstly, Timothy has laid down all the foundation of the Middle Eastern patriarchal practices when he further breakdown the story by explaining how inappropriate these two sons has shown towards their father. Secondly, this book shows us there were two types of sons who sins against the father. The "Younger Brother" is the one who has rebel but repented. The "Elder Brother" would be the one who refuses to forgive both the father & brother for what he thinks he should be the one getting rewarded.

Our society is divided into two cultures, as Keller points out. The culture of the "older brother" is the conventional moral conformist, commonly known for "stability" as well as striving to please authority figures. The "younger brother" culture lives by their own rules, walking a path of self-discovery. Every person gravitates to one of these two categories, and some combine the two. Both cultures proclaim, "If those people would follow our example, the world would be a better place." Our problem is that, no matter what side of the cultural divide we land on, we still play the role of the two lost sons, alienating ourselves from the Father by a self-centered focus on either keeping all the rules or breaking them all.

Overall, I love how this parable has executed for the greater good for the Christian community. Now I know why many are getting away from the Christian's faith. It is because of us who portrays so much like the "Elder Brother" that drives people away from God. Good read!

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

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