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The Prodigal Evangelical by Gerard Kelly

I picked up this book purely because I was intrigued by the title, and think I have found a gem!

In reading it I have been both encouraged and challenged to re-think my approach to the gospel that we as Christians are called to live out.

The Prodigal Evangelical seems to have two themes, or strands, that are interwoven. One is a fairly personal account from Kelly himself to explain his journey to making a Christian commitment, along with his developing understanding of the Christian gospel. In part this account sometimes seemed overly apologetic to me, but it rings with honesty and sincerity.

The other strand is to draw four "notes" from the parable of Jesus known as The Prodigal Son that, to Kelly, sum up the gospel of Jesus:

we are made to be beautiful, being loved by God;

we are damaged and broken by sin and circumstance;

we are forgiven by God;

we are invited to share with God in the future he has dreamed for our world.

For me, the result of drawing these two strands together is, in part, a call to remember and re-live the depth and beauty of the hope that God gives us in Jesus. I also feel challenged to see how I might live out and share this gospel with those I know and love.

John Wilson

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