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 megachurch, 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.
“A wonderfully written story that is as entertaining as it is thought provoking.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“. . . the consummate final tale. What they have created is the Ragamuffin at his best, full of hope, full of love, and finally, full of belief in the goodness of God.” —Phyllis Tickle, founding editor, Religion Department, Publishers Weekly
“Brennan Manning’s last work continues the powerful message of grace and forgiveness that has transformed so many lives. The Prodigal will transform you too.” —Mark Batterson, New York Times best-selling author of The Circle Maker
Cowritten by the late Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel) and Garrett (Free Bird), this novel is more than an updated version of a well-known Bible story. The authors take the essence of the prodigal son saga and put it in the context of a fresh fictional tale that is both relevant and realistic. The story's characters are human and given to failures, but also filled with compassion and a deep desire to do the right thing. Jack Chandler has been doing the right thing for a long time, but for all the wrong reasons. As senior pastor and founder of a Seattle megachurch, Jack's good deeds are headline-making news. When he flounders, his mistakes are equally visible. As he lands at the bottom of a bottle, the last person Jack expects to come to his rescue is his long-estranged father. Jack's road to recovery and restoration is not an easy, forgive-and-forget path, but a rollercoaster ride through others' misconceptions and trepidations. Many readers will relate to Jack's struggle to reconcile relationships and redeem himself. A wonderfully written story that is as entertaining as it is thought provoking.
I loved this book! This story about a pastor’s life after he returns home following his fall from grace is heartbreaking, then heartwarming. His effect on his childhood community is unexpected. His father’s love warmed my heart.
Could Not Put It Down
Awesome story! Well written and captivating!
Loved every second of the book, I could see the pages of "The Ragamuffin Gospel" as the story unfolded. The Love of God is Folly.