Browsing archives for July, 2010
This is a good word from Piper about replacing God with aspects of religion. It seems like it’s right, but it’s really pride. I’m definitely prone to fall into this sin. Check it out!?
These are two different shirts that I recently designed for my 2nd favorite worship band* – sorry guys, I’m still a die-hard Charlie Hall guy, but MM rocks! The concept was to make kind of an old school team mascot shirt, but with a little bit of a twist since we added the scientific name for each animal. Fun project! Look for these shirts this Summer anywhere MM is playing.
The Prodigal God marks the third Tim Keller book that I’ve read this year. All three books (The Reason for God, Counterfeit Gods, and now The Prodigal God) were gifts from my brother Andy and his family. They’re all worth your time.
A Revealing Twist on a Old Favorite
Tim Keller has an uncanny ability to take Bible stories that you’ve heard many, many times before and reveal their relevance in previously unthought of ways. The Prodigal God is a striking example. The entire book explores the parable of “the prodigal son,” or as Keller likes to call it, “the parable of the two lost sons.” As Keller’s renaming of the parable might suggest, he finds as much meaning and significance in the story about the older brother as he does in the story about the younger brother.
The title, “The Prodigal God” is also a bit of a twist on the normal understanding of this parable. The word “prodigal,” according to Keller, means “recklessly extravagant,” or “having spent everything” (1). And he aptly applies this title to God, who recklessly loves His people and who spent the life of His son for our redemption. Keller claims that he has “seen more people encouraged, enlightened, and helped by this passage, when he explained the true meaning of it, than by any other text” (XIII).
I don’t think Keller is stretching the meaning of this story. I think He’s right, and it’s amazing to see all the applications that this story entails.
For me personally, I can identify with “the older brother” in this parable. I know my standing before God is one based on Jesus’ performance and not my own performance. But sometimes, in the midst of life, I find myself believing that my performance is the ground upon which God is either proud or disappointed. Sometimes in these moments, especially when I think I am excelling in my pursuit of God, I am the most judgmental person you’d ever want to meet. I start expecting people to live up to my standards. This is pride, and it’s older brother syndrome. The Prodigal God, and about ten other things in my life right now, have helped remind me that I have plenty of faults, and I need to be humble. After all, when I am humble, I am most useful to God.
This is a good book. Easy to read. Life-changing. I wish it weren’t twenty bucks, because I’d buy about fifty copies and give them away.
Between Now and Eternity
Let me start out by saying that the ultimate hope for any government is only Jesus. On this side of eternity, every political theory is lacking. The only perfect government will be the future one, where Jesus is king and the heart of every individual has been made perfect. Until that glorious kingdom is fully made known, every government will be less-than-perfect. Political party affiliation, political candidates, and political ideas will all be found lacking. So I don’t put an exorbitant amount of hope or time into politics. However, I do think we are called as Christians to live out the implications of the gospel to the various cultures that we find ourselves in, and this includes the political culture within America. Between now and eternity, I want to recommend the ideas of Ron Paul as a good solution to a lot of America’s problems.
To be perfectly honest with you, to fully review this book would be a waste of your time and mine. To fully say all that I wish to say about the book, would be to quote the whole book. Rather than writing a lengthy review, I would rather you just read The Revolution. In fact, if you want to stop reading this review right now (which honestly is not much of a review anyway), and instead go read Ron Paul, I would applaud you. There is no portion of The Revolution that I wish to synopsize. I like every word. There is no part I disagree with. It’s all good.
The two political parties, as they currently exist, both promote a future for America that is heading towards total and complete futility. Ron Paul offers an alternative path. Bush was an awful president. Obama seems no better. Does either one intend to lead America into futility? No. But the politics they promote are like a heavy weight tied around the ankle of this country. The nation is drowning. These days America is not the America that we wish it to be. It is not the America that the founding fathers wished it to be. And personally speaking, I like the America that they envisioned better than they one we currently have. So I’m recommending this book.
Simply put, and I know this sounds awfully dogmatic, I dare you to read this book and consider its ideas honestly. Maybe you’ll disagree with some of them, but I think you’ll agree with a lot of them. And that at least will be a step in the right direction.
This is an awfully good audiobook (concise, about 5.5 hrs), that’s how I read it. But, I’m thinking of buying a physical copy so I can go back and underline some stuff (see previous post).