I’ve been reading a good bit lately. Mostly some books on ministry skills, which is good. But it is important not to get too stuck in those.
So, I just in the past few days read Timothy Keller’s The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith. It is fantastic. He takes Jesus’ classic parable from Luke 15, which he reminds us ought to be called “the lost sons”, and helps us inhabit the text by interpreting both it and us well.
Both sons are lost, but only the younger knows he is. The older brother has been a faithful rule-keeper, but lacks love. In the words of Paul, he is a “resounding gong” and “clanging symbal” of a man. He does not know he is lost. Neither have chosen the true way of life, loving the Father for his own sake. Keller unpacks the parable, and with it the gospel, so wonderfully I felt engaged by the reconciliation of Christ once again.
On Tim Keller — If you don’t know who he is, he’s become more widely known in just the past couple of years. He’s had a couple of books published of which this is the second one. The first, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, is an apologetic work. I’ve got it, but haven’t read it yet. Keller is pastor of Redeember Presbyterian Church in NYC. Christianity Today recently ran a feature on him here.
Go ahead and pick up The Prodigal God… and read it sooner than later.