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The Prodigal God

The Prodigal God

Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith

from 4 reviews

Tim Keller uses the story of the Prodigal Son to shine a light on the message of Jesus; grace, hope and salvation.

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In The Prodigal God, New York pastor Timothy Keller uses the story of the Prodigal Son to shine a light on the central, beautiful message of Jesus: The gospel of grace, hope and salvation.

Keller argues that the parable of the prodigal son, while Jesus’ best-known parable, is also his least understood. He introduces the reader to all the characters in this timeless story, showing that it concerns not just a wayward son, but also a judgemental older brother and, most importantly, a loving father.

This short but powerful book is a reminder to the faithful, an explanation to the seeker and finally an invitation to all – both older and younger brothers – to enter in to the ‘unique, radical nature of the gospel’: the reckless, spendthrift love of God.

Read an independent book review.

Product details


  • Introduction
    The Parable

  • ONE
    The People Around Jesus:
    "All gathering around to hear him."
    Two Kinds of People
    Why People Like Jesus but Not the Church

  • TWO
    The Two Lost Sons:
    There was a man who had two sons."
    The Lost Younger Brother
    The Younger Brother's Plan
    The Lost Elder Brother

    Redefining Sin:
    "All these years I've been slaving for you."
    Two Ways to Find Happiness
    Two Lost Sons
    A Deeper Understanding of Sin
    Both Wrong; Both Loved

  • FOUR
    Redefining Lostness:
    "The older brother became angry and refused to go in."
    Anger and Superiority
    Slavishness and Emptiness
    Who Needs to Know This?

  • FIVE
    The True Elder Brother:
    "My son, everything I have is yours."
    What We Need
    Who We Need

  • SIX
    Redefining Hope:
    "He set off for a far country."
    Our Longing for Home
    The Difficulty of Return
    The Feast at the End of History

    The Feast of the Father:
    "He heard music and dancing."
    Salvation is Experiential
    Salvation is Material
    Salvation is Individual
    Salvation is Communal
    Babette's Feast

  • Acknowledgements


Contributors Timothy Keller
ISBN 9780340979983
Format Paperback
First published March 2010
Dimensions 128mm x 197mm x 12mm
Weight 0.12 kg
Language English
Pages 140
Publisher Hodder & Stoughton

Other information

Timothy Keller was born and raised in Pennsylvania and educated at Bucknell University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Westminster Theological Seminary. He was first a pastor in Hopewell, Virginia. In 1989 he started Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan with his wife, Kathy, and their three sons. Today Redeemer has nearly six thousand regular attendees at five services, a host of daughter churches, and is planting churches in large cities throughout the world.

Independent reviews

The Prodigal God

Tim Challies, Challies.com, 30 Oct 2008

It is rare that a book effectively spans an audience of both believers and skeptics, but Keller bridges that gap. For skeptics this is a presentation of the gospel message of human sin and God’s extravagant grace; for believers it is a recounting of a story that never grows old. For skeptics it is an encouragement to be like the younger son by turning to the loving father who welcomes all who come to him; for believers it is a means of examining hearts to see if we have become like the older brother, so secure in our position that we take the Father’s love for granted and even resent it when that love is extended to those whom we feel are less deserving of it.... continue reading

Customer reviews

24 Oct 2016

“Very good”

Great fast service. Good company.

9 Mar 2016

“challenging read”

This book is a challenging read we are doing it as part of our Home Group with the discussion guide. It challenges preconceptions about the story and raises issues that we need to face and work through if we are to reflect our Christian faith to those outside the church.

14 Jun 2012

“A real challenge to the elder brother part we all have”

A reminder of how wastefully extravagant God the Father is, and just how counter-cultural this parable really is. It is a real challenge to the elder brother aspects in all of us - we can be just as lost as the younger brother and not always realise it. This book helps us to look at our motives as we serve Our Lord and whether we truly love Him with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind and all our strength and love our neighbour (younger brother) as God calls us to do.

28 May 2012

“Excellent book”

Read it myself and thought it was fantastic. Then bought another copy for a friend who has asked if she'd messed up too much for God to accept her back.

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The Prodigal God | Timothy Keller |
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