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The Prodigal

A Ragamuffin Story
Narrated by: Daniel Butler
Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

From the inspirational author of The Ragamuffin Gospel comes a powerful contemporary retelling of the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Jack Chisholm is 'the people's pastor.' He leads a devoted and growing mega church, has several best-selling books, and a memorable slogan, 'We have got to do better.' Jack knows how to preach, and he understands how to chastise people into performing. What he doesn't know is anything about grace. This year, when it comes time for the Christmas sermon, the congregation at Grace Cathedral will look to the pulpit, and Jack will not be there. Of course, they will have seen plenty of him already - on the news.

After an evening of debauchery that leads to an affair with his beautiful assistant, Jack Chisholm finds himself deserted with chilling swiftness. The church elders remove him from his own pulpit. His publisher withholds the royalties from his books. Worst of all, his wife disappears with their eight-year-old daughter. But just as Jack is hitting bottom, hopeless and penniless, drinking his way to oblivion, who should appear but his long-estranged father, imploring his prodigal son: 'Come home.'

A true companion piece to The Ragamuffin Gospel, The Prodigal illustrates the power of grace through the story of a broken man who finally saw Jesus not because he preached his greatest sermon or wrote his most powerful book, but because he failed miserably. Jack Chisholm lost everything - his church, his family, his respect, and his old way of believing - but he found grace. It's the same grace that Brennan Manning devoted his life to sharing: profound in nature and coming from a God who loves us just as we are, and not as we should be.

©2013 Zondervan (P)2013 Zondervan

Critic reviews

"A wonderfully written story that is as entertaining as it is thought provoking." ( Publishers Weekly)

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Profile Image for D House
  • D House
  • 17-05-17

Excellent!

I wasn't sure I was going to like this book, but the story is so beautiful, & comforting, I couldn't stop listening. It teaches us how much God loves us..not because we are perfect, but because we are imperfect, & need his grace.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Lisa
  • 21-08-15

Lovingly real

This book really hits home about how messy life can truly be and how wonderfully GOD can lean things up for us when we create messes. Really good read from the narrator.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Carrie
  • 16-01-16

fantastic!

I loved every minute of this book. i could not put it down! the reader dod a phenomenal job, and I listened for hours straight.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark McClain
  • 28-06-15

Worth a listen...

A wonderful story about God's grace, and forgiveness, in a re-telling of the Prodigal Son story. Certainly provides some perspective on our modern fascination with celebrity, even in the Church. I could listen to the narrator's voice all day long...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-10-16

beautiful

relationship. what life is. no "my life is my fault" there is no "my" or "fault" relationship and loving forgiveness. the love of "let us make man in OUR image" life is relationship...allelse is fiction created by ego. nothing else truly exists. no my. ty brennan

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Charles
  • 10-03-16

Worst narrator ever

Would you try another book from Brennan Manning and Greg Garrett and/or Daniel Butler?

No

What was most disappointing about Brennan Manning and Greg Garrett ’s story?

The narrator was the worst I've ever heard from Audible titles. Terribly distracting.

Would you be willing to try another one of Daniel Butler’s performances?

Never.

Any additional comments?

Not Brennan Manning's best work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Insideoverneath
  • 29-02-16

Well written, well presented.

I loved this story. Listened to the audible version and I didn't want to ever stop it. The Prodigal isn't flashy or too deep. Actually it is a simple story, but it is a much needed message. It is a real, relevant, and relational story of forgiveness, love, renewal, and a quintessential picture of God's grace.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Geoff
  • 13-02-16

Brennan Manning is amazing as a writer.

What disappointed you about The Prodigal?

The narrator.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Haven't even made it through chapter two the narration is so bad.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

His fluxuations were off. He'd emphasis the wrong parts of the sentences. His voice would pitch at weird places. His voice is awesome but his reading is lacking.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Yeah it Brennan Manning. It's awesome. It's just the narration is no good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Numbnuttynuts
  • 01-08-15

Excellent

Good message and worth a listen. Grace and mercy are needed and it is a story for my life

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Jonathan
  • Jonathan
  • 05-02-19

Emphasizes grace - excuses destructive behavior

I enjoy reading about the grace of God and how we should enjoy our lives within that context. One of the most life altering books I ever read was "Lifetime Guarantee". That book introduced me to living by grace--as opposed to merely being "saved from hell" by grace, which for whatever reason is a much easier concept for Christians to grasp. In any case, I was looking forward to this novel. It is a very good story about our 100% perfect acceptance before God, not because of what we've done or failed to do, but because He has chosen to cover us completely by grace--as long as we accept that gift. I have no problems with the theology or the gist of the story. The performance was very enjoyable as well. But, the author seemed to excuse and even encourage certain destructive behaviors. Specifically, drinking a lot of alcohol, putting yourself in unwise male/female situations, and not moving mountains to fix a broken relationship.
For example, Jack (the prodigal protagonist) gets in trouble in the first place in large part because he got crazy drunk with his secretary. Ok, that happened. But, later on, he continues to drink like it was nothing. The author goes overboard (Bible study in a bar, drinking at home, drinking by the lake/river, etc) to incorporate drinking into every aspect of the story-line almost to make the point that it’s no big deal. At the same time, he highlights how destructive alcohol has been (for Jack, Father Frank, and others). Why not make the point, that while it might not be an out and out sin, it is still a very destructive behavior--especially at the level of drinking Jack gets involved in AFTER his major sin with his secretary. Also, 1 Tim 3 teaches that pastors should not be drinkers, but I guess the author doesn't really buy into that part of scripture either.
The second destructive behavior Jack participates in, is to be alone with women other than his wife. It's never addressed how foolish it was for Jack to be on a beach in Mexico with his secretary in the first place, but again, even AFTER his major sin, he still hangs out with Cathy at night, on a riverbank (or lake) while drinking! Really Jack? That's how you plan to convince your wife that you are now trustworthy and want to reconcile? I think not.
And that brings me to the final issue with this book. Jack makes virtually ZERO effort to reconcile with his wife. No flowers, no apology letter, no grand gesture, no groveling at her front door, no nothing...except a few voicemails, and a strong, "I want you back" (like it's all about him) at their first and only meeting. The book makes Tracy (Jack's wife) out to be an unforgiving witch, but let's be honest, Jack makes less effort to get her back than you'd see in a B romcom. It's like the author thinks it's fine for families to break up like this without every possible attempt to restore the relationship being made. Nope, in this book, Tracy won't return Jack’s calls and simply forgive him, so that's that. A few weeks into this mess, Cathy flirts with Jack calling him "so wonderful"...and suddenly, he's over his wife and on to the next girl.
Anyway, I guess I'd offer this final point. Even those destructive and possibly sinful behaviors are covered under grace. God accepts us as we are. But, it does please God to at least try and live up to an iota of the principles He's laid out for us in Scripture. Be careful about promoting this book to young Christians without discussing some of the flaws here.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful