“There are two ways to be your own Savior and Lord.”


“One is by breaking all the moral laws and setting your own course, and one is by keeping all the moral laws and being very, very good.”

The Prodigal God

Tim Keller

I love this quote (and many more) from Tim Keller’s new book The Prodigal God. I don’t plan a full review of it, but I do highly recommend it.  It’s based on the parable of the Prodigal son, the Elder brother, and the Father.

Another great quote:

The hearts of the two brothers were the same.  Both sons resented the father’s authority and sought ways to get out from under it.  They wanted to get into a position in which they could tell the father what to do.

Each one, in other words, rebelled — but one did so by being very bad and the other by being extremely good. Both were alienated from the father’s heart; both were lost sons.

Do you realize, then, what Jesus is teaching?  Neither son loved the father for himself.  They both were using the father for their own self-centered ends rather than loving, enjoying, and serving him for his own sake.  This means you can rebel against God and be alienated from him either by breaking his rules or by keeping all of them diligently.

It’s a shocking message: Careful obedience to God’s law may serve as a strategy for rebelling against God.

[emphasis mine]

3 thoughts on ““There are two ways to be your own Savior and Lord.”

  1. nephos says:

    Chuck, I just finished both of Keller’s books and enjoyed both. I tend to be hesitant about “hyped” authors, but he delivers well. “Prodigal God” seems to present his underlying philosophy of Christianity and ministry, while “The Reason for God” is more apologetic (along the lines of “Mere Christianity”).

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