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God's Not Mad at You
“Is there more to the prodigal son story?”

“Is there more to the prodigal son story?”

JUNE 11, 2021

/ Programs / Key Life / “Is there more to the prodigal son story?”

Steve Brown:
Is there more to the prodigal son story? The answer to that, and other questions on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
This is Key Life, dedicated to the message that the only people who get any better are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them, anyway. That teaching raises a lot of questions. So here’s author and seminary professor Steve Brown, along with Pete Alwinson from ForgeBibleStudy.com with answers to the Bible, that’ll make you free.

Steve Brown:
Hey Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey man, you’re looking good. You preaching this week-end?

Steve Brown:
No.

Pete Alwinson:
No.

Steve Brown:
You know, I, it’s been kinda nice. You know, I’m not all in favor of the pandemic and the lockdown and stuff. But you know how much I like to travel.

Pete Alwinson:
I know.

Steve Brown:
I don’t want to go to the drug store, much less to St. Louis. And, so my preaching schedule has been cut way back and I’ve had some time to write a book, and to work.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. When’s that coming out?

Steve Brown:
Probably, I just finished the manuscript, so it’ll be probably 8 or 10 years from now, if the past experience is anything that happens in the present, I don’t know.

Pete Alwinson:
And the name of it?

Steve Brown:
Well it’s, and they’ll try to change it and that’s going to be a part of the battle. I’m going to try not to let them, but it’s called Laughter and Lament: The Touchstones of Radical Freedom.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright.

Steve Brown:
And I think, you know, I was going to say touchstones of radical Christian freedom. But I want pagans to see it too, because they’ll hear the gospel in it. If they’ll get it. So you tweak the title a little bit, so a pagan might see it and say, I’d like that.

Pete Alwinson:
That sounds good.

Steve Brown:
And then he finds Jesus in reading the book when he said, you know, I didn’t know what was about this.

Pete Alwinson:
There you go.

Steve Brown:
It’s one of the truly great works. It will go down as the classic of Christendom.

Pete Alwinson:
Right next to the institutes, come on.

Steve Brown:
And right close to Like Father, Like Son, of course. That’s Pete Alwinson, and then he comes in on Fridays. We love to get your questions. You can send them to

Key Life Network

P.O. Box 5000

Maitland, Florida 32794

In Canada, it’s

Key Life Canada
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Or you can e-mail us at Steve@keylife.org. You can also call us 1-800-KEY-LIFE. And they’ll give you instructions. And one is, if you have a question, hit this button and you hit it, then you record your question. And sometimes we put your voice on the air, and as I said, you can e-mail too. And that would be good. And all of those places, including, you can do it on your phone. You can text Key Life at 28950 and follow instructions. If God moves you to help us financially. And about 10% of the people who are ministered to by this ministry are able to help us financially. So when you do, you help a lot of other people and become a champion. So if you can help us, be as generous as you can, if you can’t, we understand, boy, the bills have always been paid. I mean, God will scare the spit out of you, but he’s always faithful. And as long as he wants Key Life here, it’ll be here. And, so if you can help us financially, if you can’t, we understand. Pete lead us in prayer and we’ll get to some of these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright. Our great God, we come to you right now on this Friday, and just pause for a moment, grateful that we belong to you. We honor you and praise you for who you are. Thank you, that you were in charge all week, even though maybe we forgot that, that you were in the trials that we faced, in the mistakes that we made in terms of forgiving us and helping us to learn and grow for them. Thank you, that we can honestly say all things do work together for good to those who love God and are called according to your purpose. So we thank you that you did call us according to your purpose. We give you honor and praise glory. And we ask Lord with all the questions that we do have that you would continue to shape us and develop us as your people. So we commit to you this time of Q&A, we ask that you would answer our questions, disciple us, may grace sink into our hearts, give us joy and freedom, as we look forward to coming home one day to be with you. So we commit this time to you now in Jesus’ strong name. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Amen. This is an e-mail, I’ve heard you preach on the Prodigal Son, great story. But what if there were a chapter two and three and so on to the story? What if every single chapter, the younger son goes back to the pigs? That’s exactly what I feel like.

Pete Alwinson:
Whoa. I mean, I haven’t, I haven’t heard anybody say that.

Steve Brown:
Listen, I do in a sermon that I did on the prodigal son, I had an interview with him. And during the break, during his party and the band was taking a break and we were out on the front porch talking, and I said to him, son, you, you know, tomorrow, you got to go back in the field. That’s not going to be any fun. And he said, I know that. And not only that you’re going to live again. And he said, I am not. I said, yeah, you are, my experience is anything, and I’m an old guy and I’ve watched this. You’re probably going to go back to the pigs, but you won’t stay there as long as you did before and you’ll come running quicker to the father. And eventually when you get too old to sin, you’ll stay home. And, you know, the point I was making is simply, you know, if you let the prodigal son story stand by itself, without the rest of Scripture. And the rest of Scripture teaches that Christians do sin. So yeah, your experience, the experience of this person is pretty much that.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. I like how you put that. I think, you know, maybe, maybe we don’t all go as radically far back.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. Right. That’s good.

Pete Alwinson:
Go to a foreign country. And just, you know,

Steve Brown:
Or maybe we just

Pete Alwinson:
Get rid of our father.

Steve Brown:
think about it. You know, it probably won’t be as radical as the first time.

Pete Alwinson:
I love how it has a very real sense in which every one of us goes back to the pigs. Yeah. Yeah. I appreciate that, Steve. That’s good.

Steve Brown:
So, anyway, that was a good question.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah.

Steve Brown:
Now, I’m going to pose a question, that I actually have in my hands, but I’ve gotten a lot of questions and I’m going to bring it up, cause you’ve really been my teacher in this area and I’m learning things quickly, that I need to know. The question is this, what about critical race theory? You, you really have been helpful to me in that area, because you’ve been reading and catching up and talking a lot about it in ways that I can understand. And I’m getting the books and beginning to read and beginning to get caught up. So I have some strong views, which are the same as yours. But talk to us a little bit about that.

Pete Alwinson:
Well, you know, you’ve been writing a book too, so you’ve been doing along and you speak a lot, so there is a lot to catch up. And I think we all, as Bible believing Christians need to kind of get a feel for what’s going on. It’s been gone on a long time. Critical race theory is really developed out of, or critical theory has really developed out of Columbia University years ago. But even before that, as you think of Karl Marx in the 1850s, you know, writing the Communist Manifesto and all of Marxism. And there was a real feel that from his Hegelian roots, that there was a destiny to history and that the proletariat would rise up against the Bourgeoisie. Well, did that happen? Yes and no, it didn’t happen across the board, though we see the Russian revolution in the early 1900’s, 1917.

Steve Brown:
And the results.

Pete Alwinson:
And the results. And so, but even then, it really, as you read, you know, Paul Johnson’s book, Modern Times, you see that the communism, that came there was really instituted, that it wasn’t a natural historical process, per se. It was foisted on the people. It was a civil war, anyway, so there was a whole group of people, Antonio Gramsci was an Italian Marxist, who came along later and said, you know, the reason why Marx missed one point, and the point that he missed, I’ll do this as quick as I can. The point that he missed was that the proletariat won’t rise up, because there are people in power. They’re the hegemonic powers. They’re the robes. They’re the people, that are the educators. They’re the, the priests, the pastors, they’re the lawyers and the judiciary. If you conquer the hegemonic power, the hegemone, and you take them, then there will be the uprising. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to get rid of those who are in power. And so this whole school of people in the 1930s, moved to Switzerland from Germany called the Frankfurt School. And then they came to the United States and they begin to keep working through these theories. And it became, really what it is, is it’s the practical outworking of Antonio Gramsci’s ideas of how Marxism needs to be achieved in modern times, through getting rid of the hegemonic powers.

Steve Brown:
And we’re seeing that.

Pete Alwinson:
And we’re seeing that. Yeah, we’ve seen it in America.

Steve Brown:
Now that does not mean that we don’t think justice is important or that racial reconciliation shouldn’t be a priority. Or that bad things haven’t been done.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. No, from a Christian perspective, we know that justice is a big theme in Scripture. Huge theme in Scripture. And so in a very real sense, we believe that justice doesn’t need an adjective. You know, we believe that social justice is justice, that God is about justice. And there has been a lot of injustice perpetrated through the church. Having said that, what we have to be careful with is this, is that what develops out of critical race theory is a class warfare mentality. And so those who are in a particular class are now the ones who are under attack. So who is the hegemonic power? Well in America, it’s the white, native born cisgendered, business class who are in power and you’ve got to go after them and get rid of them out of power is the thinking.

Steve Brown:
You know what’s at the heart of the, it’s the thing that Fred Smith taught. You know, we’re assuming that if we replace these bad people, with good people, then everything will be fine, but you underestimate what power does to sinners.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That’s right.

Steve Brown:
I mean, you just replaced one group of oppressors with another group of oppressors. If you buy into that theory.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right. That’s right. That’s really true. And the Christian perspective, as they want to call me because I’m white, native born, cisgendered, and they want to call me a racist. Well, have I, I mean, I’m a mutt in one sense, and I’m not a racist, but have I ever had racist thoughts, perhaps, but we’re all sinners. And I was raised in a red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight.

Steve Brown:
We’ll talk about this again, this is an important subject, because we’re getting a lot of questions on that. We’ll bring it up. Meanwhile, you think about it too. And we’ll have our conversation. Got to go. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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