Thursday, February 27, 2014

Wild-Eyed and Squint-Eyed

My favorite book in the Bible is the book of Acts. I don't know how anyone could possibly make any sense out of the epistles--that build upon the Jesus' teaching--without a solid grasp of the book of Acts that connects them. But if I were to pick one particular chapter of the Scriptures as my favorite, I believe it would be Luke 15, which tells the story of the Prodigal Son. I can't make sense of the gospel or Christianity without it.

As clear as the sun on a cloudless Georgia day, I have seen the struggle of others and myself as we vacillate like we are spiritually bi-polar, from being like the wild-eyed Prodigal, or being like the squint-eyed Elder brother. Yes, I have clearly seen it in myself and others...

After finishing my rounds today I returned home, scanned through my bookshelf, and picked up The Prodigal God, by Tim Keller. In 2010, the book was given to me, along with a beautiful personal note, as a gift by my friend Charles Mitchell. Once I started reading I kept reading it through to the last page.

Perhaps, like me, you have read the story of the prodigal many, many, times. Perhaps, like me, God has met you there in the story, yet, you feel like there is more to the story than meets the eye. Let me leave you with this quote from Keller's book, and an encouragement to read it.

… I believe… that if the teachings of Jesus is likened to a lake, this famous Parable of the Prodigal Son would be one of the clearest spots where we can see all the way to the bottom. Many excellent studies have been written on this Biblical text over the last sever years, but the foundation for my understanding of it was a sermon I first heard preach over thirty years ago by Dr. Edmund P. Clowney. Listening to that sermon changed the way I understood Christianity. Over the years I have often returned to teach and counsel from the parable. I have seen more people encouraged, enlightened, and helped by this passage, when I explained the true meaning of it, than by another text. 
~ Tim Keller


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