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It Takes a Village: Rethinking the Prodigal Son with Ken Baugh

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Trish and I visited Capo Beach Church in San Clemente yesterday to hear our ex-pastor, Ken Baugh, speak on the topic of the prodigal son. I say ex-pastor when I should say real pastor, since I feel like a step-child who absolutely refuses to acknowledge the new dad in mom's life. At any rate, our real pastor set the prodigal son story into a fresh framework regarding how village life took place in the time of Christ.

The gist of the message is that it makes all the difference in the world to see the prodigal son and his father as living in the center of a small village surrounded by a protective wall. This, of course, is in contrast to my usual vision of the father as living on a large hacienda in the middle of a ranch in the middle of nowhere. As far as I can tell, Baugh's fresh perspective is inspired, in part, by Kenneth Bailey's book, Finding the Lost Cultural Keys to Luke 15, (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 1992).  A later version of this bookThe Cross &…