Matthew’s Spiritual Journey

Posts Tagged ‘Prodigal God

Sharing the Father’s Welcome

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Thanks to blog posts by Keren and Dennis, I learned belatedly that you can read Edmund Clowney’s “Sharing the Father’s Welcome” on Crossway’s website (which is more useful than the link in my earlier post).

I am thankful to have access to this writing, especially because Tim Keller wrote that Dr. Clowney’s teaching influenced his understanding of the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

Also on Crossway’s blog, I found the link to free podcasts of “Preaching Christ in a Postmodern World,” a 18-session lecture series by Clowney and Keller. I had previously listened to the 21-minute introductory podcast and found it very useful in understanding the structure and goal of Tim Keller’s sermons each Sunday.


Written by Matthew

October 27, 2008 at 10:43 pm

The Prodigal God

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Rev. Tim Keller’s new book is now available. He explains what is in the book and why he wrote it.

It is an expansion of my sermon on the Prodigal Son parable in Luke 15. Kathy and I have long felt that this was the clearest and best single exposition of the gospel I’ve been able to do over the years. My interpretation of the parable was originally based on a sermon called “Sharing the Father’s Welcome” that I heard preached by Dr. Edmund P. Clowney over 35 years ago. That sermon had a profound impact on how I preached for the rest of my ministry. In some ways the teaching of this sermon is at the very foundation of Redeemer’s ministry.

What’s the book about? It’s about being ‘prodigal.’ The word ‘prodigal’ is an English word that means recklessly extravagant, spending to the point of poverty. The dictionaries tell us that the word can be understood in a more negative or a more positive sense. The more positive meaning is to be lavishly and sacrificially abundant in giving. The more negative sense is to be wasteful and irresponsible in one’s spending. (Some people think prodigal means ‘wayward,’ but there is no dictionary that indicates that the word means ‘immoral.’) The negative sense obviously applies to the actions of the younger brother in the Luke 15 parable. But is there any sense in which God can be called ‘prodigal’? I think so.

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Written by Matthew

October 27, 2008 at 4:47 pm