Saturday, July 22, 2006

Book Review

I just finished The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming by Henri J.M. Nouwen for the second time. I had read it many years ago and remembered loving it but lent my old copy out and never got it back. So I bought a new one recently and read it again. Here is a basic idea of what the book talks about...

Its almost a character study. It looks more in depth at the parable of the prodigal son through the painting by Rembrandt; through each character involved: the younger son, the elder son, and the father; and through the life of the author.

Most of us think upon the story and imagine ourselves in the role of the younger son and God in the role of the Father. Through this book you are challenged to wonder which son you are. Some of us are more like the elder son, posessing a not as easily identifiable lostness. One son's desperation is more obvious than the others'. Regardless, both sons need to return home and experience the Father's love fully. But Nouwen doesn't stop there. He claims that the ultimate goal of our spiritual journey should be not only to "return home to our Father" but to continue beyond that point and become the Father. " My final vocation," Nouwen says, "is indeed to become like the Father and to live out his divine compassion in my daily life."

Now this truth may sound familiar but I promise you, its never been articulated quite like it is in this book. You can't help but be challenged by this story. I will never see the parable or my life the same again.

I highly recommend this book.

1 comment:

MOM said...

Set it aside for me to read on the plane ride(s) coming up, please !!! I'm looking for good reading material........

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