I have long been a practicing Christian, even recently have started and almost completed a read of the entire New Testament. The Prodigal God gave me an insight into one of Jesus' parables on a level I have never encountered, and it changed my life. He focuses on the parable of the Prodigal Son, in particular the "older son" in the story who is often neglected in sermons but is a crucial part of the story. It is directed at the Pharisees, which today are represented by many people (myself included) who seek to "earn" God's respect through actions, with our heart still astray from his core of love. Keller's study of this parable revealed to me the two most common struggles people have with their faith, what the root of the struggle is, and how to overcome it. Reads extremely easily, yet does not seem "dumb" or "trivial" to even the most reflective, intelligent readers. After reading I bought 5 copies to give to close friends. Highly recommended.
I'm sure that we've all had the experience of hearing something so frequently that we're certain we can't learn anything new about it. At least two exceptions to this mindset are: studying dinosaurs in the second grade, and the parable of the prodigal son. Once again, Timothy Keller, from whom we have come to expect intelligent, and articulate communication on issues of faith, does not disappoint. He shows us that the historical explanations we've heard, from Sunday School to the pulpit, have often fallen short of the mark of explaining in biblically faithful ways, this parable of Jesus. "The Prodigal God" points out the mistaken notion that the parable is about the younger dissolute son, who merely serves as a cautionary tale in comparison to the "righteous, long-suffering older brother". In a fresh new look at this parable, the gospel message shines more brightly and clearly. We will find great freedom in the message that the gospel is for the self-righteous as well as the self-centered. If you're interested in gaining newer and deeper insight into grace that flows from the prodigal heart of God, this book will be a great choice for you.