Posts tagged "Prodigal Son"


Life in a Distant Country (According to H. Nouwen)

A quote from Henri Nouwen’s classic The Return of the Prodigal Son, which dovetails nicely with what Will posted last week. Only word I might take issue with is “contemporary”, ht BS:

“Addiction” might be the best word to explain the lostness that so deeply permeates contemporary society. Our addictions make us cling to what the world proclaims as the keys to self-fulfillment: accumulation of wealth and power; attainment of status and admiration; lavish consumption of food and drink, and sexual gratification without distinguishing between lust and love. These addictions create expectations that cannot but fail to satisfy our deepest needs. As long as we live within the world’s delusions, our addictions condemn us to futile quests in “the distant country,” leaving us to face an endless series of disillusionments while our sense of self remains unfulfilled. In these days of increasing addictions, we have wandered far away from our Father’s home. The addicted life can aptly be designated a life lived in “a distant country.” It is from there that our cry for deliverance rises up.

Raleigh W. Hayes Snubs the General Confession

Raleigh W. Hayes Snubs the General Confession

Another look into the redemptive story of the Prodigal Son’s elder brother, Raleigh W. Hayes, and his mischievous minister father, the Episcopal minister Earley Hayes.

Mike Powell and Rap’s Bored Hedonism

Mike Powell and Rap’s Bored Hedonism

How do I love Mike Powell? Let me count the ways… He’s been churning out some of the most honest and thoughtful commentary on music that I’ve read in years, all with a refreshing candor and without a trace of heavy-handedness. I mentioned his work before in my Poptimism article, but his writing is very much worth seeking out at Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, or Spin for any fan of music or music writing. Not only is he a great music writer in the traditional sense, but Powell also exhibits a uniquely confessional and personal style of writing (especially in his…

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A Quick Depressing Fairy Tale

A Quick Depressing Fairy Tale

“The Ungrateful Son”, from the brothers Grimm, found in Lewis Hyde’s The Gift:

Once a man and his wife were sitting outside the front door with a roast chicken before them which they were going to eat between them. Then the man saw his old father coming along and quickly took the chicken and hid it, for he begrudged him any of it. The old man came, had a drink, and went away.

Now the son was about to put the roast chicken back on the table, but when he reached for it, it had turned into a big toad that jumped…

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The Hold Steady and Their Hoodrat Jesus

The Hold Steady and Their Hoodrat Jesus

“Tiny little text etched into her neck, it said, ‘Jesus lived and died for all your sins.’”

If you listen to The Hold Steady, you notice that Jesus shows up in strange places. He is etched in a neck tattoo, chilling with the Father in a character’s drug-induced hallucinations, and in the embrace of “young and awkward” lovers, just to name a few instances. If you listen to the band long enough, you notice that Jesus never leaves.

Unlike the one-dimensional Jesus of most Christian music (you know, the beatific guy who smiles beneficently upon you from up above), Craig Finn’s Jesus…

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Lecturing the Prodigal Son(s) in The NY Times

Lecturing the Prodigal Son(s) in The NY Times

A few thoughts on some recent Internet Prodigal Son banter, from David Zahl and Will McDavid:

As much as I admire The NY Times, it’s not where I go to read about grace. You? And yet, David Brooks was back at it again this week, talking about the parable of the prodigal son(s) and endorsing grace as an essential factor in crafting social policy for those who’ve squandered their inheritance/potential/goodwill. Check it out:

We live in a divided society in which many of us in the middle- and upper-middle classes are like the older brother and many of the people who drop…

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The Johnny Football Saga Continues

The Johnny Football Saga Continues

Oh my Johnny Football! The dramatic narrative of college football’s prodigal continues. As we’ve discussed before, the majority of the critique against the reigning Heisman trophy winner has to do with his off-the-field antics. This time, however, it’s Manziel’s antics on the field that are coming up for questioning. Due to signing autographs and potentially getting paid for it, Manziel was suspended for the first half of Texas A&M’s season opener. My Twitter feed has been utterly consumed as of late by comments anticipating Manziel’s return–most of which were anything but merciful.

Manziel’s first two quarters of the season were fairly good statistically, throwing…

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Previously on Parenthood: Another Breakout Session

Previously on Parenthood: Another Breakout Session

For the session I’m hosting—“Thou Art my Beloved Child: Parenthood for Prodigals”—we look at instances of surprisingly unconditional grace, mercy, and compassion (i.e., love) in the family context as seen in the TV show Parenthood. My emphasis is more on parenthood-the-topic than Parenthood-the-show so that anyone, whether a regular Parenthood viewer or someone who has never even heard of it, can follow and enjoy the discussion. That said, I use Parenthood for my illustrations because I myself am obsessed. If you’re uninitiated, it is one of the most honest and psychologically in-touch shows currently out there, which is no…

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Previously on Parenthood, Pt. 5: Perfect Love & Prodigal Returns

Previously on Parenthood, Pt. 5: Perfect Love & Prodigal Returns

This is the fifth installment in a look at the theological and pastoral wisdom found in the current season of NBC’s Parenthood, mostly regarding the intersection of unsuspected love in the context of suffering. It has been almost a month since I have written anything, mostly because I felt the program was in the middle of a filler-episode streak, understandably serving to carry on the narratives of its many subplots but not standing out with profound moments of grace in ways earlier episodes have. Don’t get me wrong. There were some touching moments in recent episodes like Adam caring for Kristina…

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Hopelessly Devoted: Luke Chapter Fifteen Verses Seventeen through Twenty Four

Hopelessly Devoted: Luke Chapter Fifteen Verses Seventeen through Twenty Four

This morning’s devotion comes from Jonathan Adams, pastor of Village Church Vinings in Atlanta, in a piece that was originally titled, “The Gospel is the Final Blow.”

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came…

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Hopelessly Devoted: Luke Chapter Fifteen Verses Eleven Through Thirty-Two

Hopelessly Devoted: Luke Chapter Fifteen Verses Eleven Through Thirty-Two

Our intrepid podcaster has been taking a breather this past couple weeks while he’s been out of the country, so we thought we’d run another Hopelessly Devoted this morning. This one comes from Paul Walker, and takes as its text the Parable of the Prodigal Son, dovetailing nicely with the Forde quote from last week, as well as one of the collects for the second Sunday in Lent (below). You may read the entire parable here, the final two verses of which we’ve reproduced here:

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is…

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C. FitzSimons Allison’s Kitten Story

C. FitzSimons Allison’s Kitten Story

 From 1962’s Fear Love and Worship:

“One reason for the joy in heaven over a sinner’s repentance is the unique power which comes with forgiveness. The repentant sinner, having been forgiven and having been taken back like the Prodigal Son, learns a lesson of love that the righteous do not know. On his return the Prodigal knows the power of the father’s love much better than he did before he left. This curious and alarming spiritual fact, that a forgiven sinner has experienced a measure of God’s love he did not know…

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