31/01/2014

Rediscovering the Father Heart of God (by Jeff Lucas)

Jeff Lucas is from the UK but currently lives in the US, where he is a teaching pastor. He is known internationally as a speaker and also as a writer, although I did not come across his books until a few years ago. Since being introduced to one of them by a friend, I have started to read and collect as many as I can, so was delighted to discover this one on special offer recently from the AwesomeBooks site.

It transpires that 'Rediscovering the Father heart of God' is one of Lucas's earliest books, first published in 1991 with the bizarre title 'Sweet and sour pork'. While the current title is undoubtedly less snappy, it is also considerably more helpful: for the book is one of many excellent Christian books using the parable of the Prodigal Son to demonstrate just how much God loves us.

However, this is not just a treatise about love, important though that is. Each section has a brief modern retelling of part of the story, with considerable artistic license, before going on to talk about it in its Middle Eastern context from 2,000 years ago, and also its relevance to modern believers.

The author has a pleasant, easy-to-read style which is light enough to be able to get through two or three chapters at one sitting, yet thought-provoking enough to want to spend at least a few days on the book. Lucas shares a few interesting personal anecdotes and makes some good points. It didn't say anything different from what one might hear in sermons on this theme, or indeed other books following the topic of the Prodigal Son; but in my view this is a theme that needs to be covered regularly. Sadly, Christians these days are all too often NOT known by their love for each other.

However, the most amusing part of the book, in my view, is the wonderfully ironic introduction from the author's good friend Adrian Plass.

Sadly this is not currently in print, although it can sometimes be found second-hand on both sides of the Atlantic.

A few other books I have read and would recommend on a similar theme are: 'The Lost Message of Jesus' (by Steve Chalke), 'The Return of the Prodigal Son' by Henri Nouwen, and 'He Loves Me' by Wayne Jacobsen. There's also the very short but well-written 'Prodigal' by Paul O'Rear, only available in Kindle form, or the hard-hitting classic, 'The Father Heart of God' by Floyd McClung.

Review by Sue F copyright 2014 Sue's Book Reviews

No comments: