Tag Archive: Book Review

The Prodigal God

I just finished The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller. I really enjoyed the book. I read most of it in a day or two and then was away from it for over a month. Some of the good aspects of the book is the correction of my understanding of prodigal. Based on the parable, I assumed it meant sinful. Keller adjusts that view and explains that prodigal means abundantly giving, which actually makes sense with the actions of the younger brother. He was abundantly giving with his resources when pursuing sin, but the point of the parable is the abundance given from God. Though the father had no relationship with either son because of the disinterest of the sons, the father gave and gave when his son returned, desiring to do the same for the older son.

What Keller tries to get at is that the two sons represent two different kinds of people in the world. The older brother represents the legalistic, self-righteous and religious people. The younger brother represents the outwardly sinful. Both are separated from God and have no relationship with him. The father though wants to have a relationship with his sons, so as the father is representing God, we see how God made that possible through Christ. The sin of both kinds of people separates them from God and God wants to bring us back to himself because we were created for fellowship with Him. He accomplished that by clearing the sin away through Christ’s death on the cross, making it so nothing stands in the way so we could have fellowship with Him, like we were created for.

Keller ends his story with the feast. Jesus talks about a feast. The Old Testament ends with a feast. Why a feast? “There is no better way to convey vividly what it means to live out a life based on [Christ’s] saving work.” (p. 106) The feast in the new Jerusalem on the new earth, depicted by the parable, is where we get to “taste” an understanding of the grace of God purchased through the gospel of Christ.

I commend this book to people. I’ve read another review saying the opposite because he believes that Keller gets the emphasis of the parable wrong. What do I commend then? I commend using discernment. Have your Bible open with you when you read this book, when you read any book. Paul commends that.

In Just Do Something, Kevin DeYoung goes over the idea of finding God’s Will. I read this book on the way back from the Resolved Conference 2010. Since I had a long ride, I figured I could read this book. It’s pretty short. About 110 pages of reading. The audience of the book is for high school aged to about 30’s. He does a pretty conclusive look at God’s Will, explaining what it is and what it’s not.

In the first chapter he pretty up opens the book. Introduces it, gets the topic going over making decisions and looking at statistics. He looks at why younger people are so passive.

In the second chapter he takes a look at what it means to say God’s Will. He covers three ideas. God’s will of decree or his sovereign, predetermined, planned will. The second will that is covered is God’s will of desire. This is God’s revealed will in scripture, His commands and such. The third is where people get hung up. He calls it God’s will of direction. This is where people are trying to figure out which way God wants them to go in life. Trying to figure out what God’s sovereign will is. God does not want us to figure out his sovereign will. He will give us wisdom in choosing, but he does not expect us to figure out what He wants us to do for the next step.

In chapter three he covers why he believes people have issues with trying to find God’s will. He lists 5 things: We want to please God, Some of us are timid, we want perfect fulfillment (in this life in the stuff), we have too many choices, and that we are cowards.

In chapter 4 DeYoung covers why approaching God’s will in this way is wrong. Worth reading.

Chapter 5 covers looking at waling in God’s will from a Biblical way perspective. He use quite a few passages from scripture and explains them well.

In chapter 6 he compares God’s guidance to other supernatural ways God guides in the bible.

Chapter 7 and are back to back comparison passages on how not to find Gods will and ways to, as well as having wisdom and how to get wisdom from God.

Chapter 9 covers two specific topics, finding a job and getting married which are two of the biggest topics people want God’s will for. He covers the topics well.

In chapter 10 he closes the book in giving an example in the life of one of his grandfathers.

This was a good book. I’d recommend it to anyone. Joshua Harris is pretty much sums my opinion up in the forward if the book with this quote: “And the highest praise I can give this book is that this book is my new go-to book on decision making and ‘finding God’s will.'” If someone asked me about finding God’s will, I’d recommend that they read this book.

Many thanks to my pastor for giving me this book. Todd, this review is in honor of you.

Here are a couple of links to the books on a couple of sites. These are some ministries I’d like to support. Check to see which price is cheaper.
On CVBB.com
On Monergismbooks.com
On wtsbooks.com