This book by Timothy Keller is one of my favorites on the subject of Christianity because it looks at the gospel through the story of the Prodigal Son. This is a great comparison as the parable is rich with examples of Christian doctrine, our human condition, and ways in which we can stray from the path as Christians.
Also, this book looks at both brothers and challenges Christians to look at themselves. The book shows that the father in the story is a forgiving man that has been offended but shows an abundance of joy; the son is, obviously, wasteful and ungrateful but turns and repents of his ways and returns to his father. We also look at the older brother in the parable who lacks all form of compassion and thinks about only what he has lost.
While the looks at the father and the prodigal son are fascinating and Keller does a great job expounding on them, I really liked looking at the older brother. For me, when hearing this parable, I just would think, when it came to the older brother, that he has a point but should be a little kinder. But Keller does a great job of not only showing how this older brother is an example of the pharisees but that he’s also a reflection of many Christians around the country (and world) today.
This book shows how the gospel looks from God’s view, from Jesus’s sacrifice, from an outsider’s view, and it’s also a look at how many people who are simply “religious” fail to miss the point not only of the parable but of the gospel and the basis of Christianity entirely.
I really like Timothy Keller because he can deal with deeply spiritual or doctrinal issues in a way that is relatable to most readers, be they Christians or not. While this is a more focused book, dealing only with Christianity and not so much general philosophy or religion, it’s a fantastic read that helps those inside and outside Christianity to get a better grasp on foundational truths of the faith.