by Kevin on November 1, 2009Mr. Keller has sounded a bell in the dormitory of the sleepy church with the title of his latest pros, The Prodigal God. Readers will enjoy reading his insight into the broader significance of this well read parable. Considering the audience of the original telling, Mr. Keller brings to light and elaborates on the normally overlooked sting of this parable; a warning to those who like the older self-righteous brother may feel God’s extravagant grace to be unfair. This part of the book is worth the cost of admission. Unfortunately, Mr Keller only hints at the reason for the name of the book and fails to undergird the outlandish title with truth. Reasoning that God is “prodigal” because the definition of the word contains the idea of being lavish is like saying God is likewise foolish because the definition of “foolish” carries with it the idea of being easily taken advantage of. In the English language, being prodigal means being reckless, wasteful, careless, and having disregard for consequences. None of these qualities describe The One Holy God Almighty. While using a shocking title may sell books in the short term, I would not want to be Mr. Keller when he finally comes home and sees our Father holding this book in his hand. I gave this book 4 stars for his insight into the older brother and then took three away for his prodigal use of poetic license in the title.
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