I’m loving Tim Keller’s book, The Prodigal God. Today was a bit disturbing on a few levels. Then I sat down this evening to read. Wow. This book, this evening was providential and encouraging. Thank you Lord.
Some great insights from it:
*Jesus is pleading not so much with moral outsiders as with moral insiders. He wants to show them their blindness, narrowness, and self-righteousness, and how these things are destroying both their own souls and the lives of the people around them.
*religious moralism is a particularly deadly spiritual condition.
*Jesus’ teaching consistently attracted the irreligious while offending the Bible-believing religious people of His day. However, in the main, our churches today do not have this effect. The kinds of outsiders Jesus attracted are not attracted to contemporary churches, even our most avant-garde ones. We tend to draw conservative, buttoned-down, moralistic people. The licentious and liberated or the broken and marginal avoid church. That can only mean one thing. If the preaching of our ministers and the practice of our parishioners, do not have the same effect on people Jesus had, then we must not be declaring the same message Jesus did. If our churches are not appealing to ‘younger brothers’ (as in the younger brother in the prodigal story), they must be more full of elders brothers than we’d like to think.