Sunday, January 11, 2009

both sin

I find Tim Keller's The Prodigal God full of wisdom. Here he wonderfully covers the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15.11-32.

Keller defines sin as "putting yourself in the place of God as Savior, Lord, and Judge just as each son sought to displace the authority of the father in his own life." Both of the sons are lost. Both are alienated from the father. Both of these son are wrong yet both are loved. The father invites cares for them and invites both into his love and feast. The beauty of the Gospel as drawn out by Keller is that "in its view, everyone is wrong, everyone is loved, and everyone is called to recognize this and change."

I especially like Keller's focus on the older brother.

The elder brother is not losing the father's love in spite of his goodness, but because of it. It is not his sins that create the barrier between him and his father, it's the pride he has in his moral record; it's not his wrongdoing but his righteousness that is keeping him from sharing in the feast of the father.

Truer words could not be spoken. The younger son is wrong. Without return to the father he is lost. But his nature is more likely to ultimately break and lead him to humble himself before the father. The nature of the older son however is the very thing that provides him false security and comfort. If faced with calamity, he will tend to attempt to strengthen himself rather than find refuge in his father.

1 comment:

Kristine said...

I loved this little book. I gave the two copies I originally purchased away as Christmas gifts, and have decided that I really need to posess my just wasn't the same reading such a great, though-provoking book, without being able to ear-mark and scribble all over it ;)

I similarily agreed with his insightful thoughts into the error of the elder-brother. I've heard similar criticisms in the past, but I very much appreciated his take on it.