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The Prodigal Prophet: Jonah and the Mystery of God's Mercy

de Timothy Keller

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I want to recommend a new book to those who seek to learn from the Scriptures. The Prodigal Prophet by Tim Keller is about Jonah. The refreshing story is not about the great fish. It is about Jonah believing that he knows more about true justice than God does. It speaks to our being unsettled with the question of how do bad things happen to good people. (covid, slaughter of Christians, unjust lawsuits, and other disturbing issues). Some Christians teach that if we are good enough, nothing bad will happen to us. Jonah's recorded story has two parts. The first is that he pushed back hard against what God had called him to do. He knew better than God what was important. The end result of that was being thrown overboard and being swallowed up by a great fish. What looked like a disaster was actually a blessing. It was a lesson in humility that he needed in the worse way. His rejection of God's calling was not only affecting him, but also those others around him on the boat.

After being ejected from the great fish, he agrees to go to the city where sin abounded. God had promised to destroy the city. As he preached the message of God's justice, he did not grasp that God has great mercy. When the people repented and turned to God, Jonah became angry. God extended mercy to the city while Jonah again thought that the city should be destroyed. As he left the city, he was watching and hoping that God would destroy the city. After all, Jonah again knew better than God what was best. The record does not end with a tidy closure, not unlike many of the circumstances that we face that seem unjust or unfair. Jonah's arrogance is much like ours at times. God is fully just, and merciful, but he defines both terms. We do not. ( )
  larrydellis | May 18, 2020 |
Excellent - just excellent. Keller does not disappoint in his furthering understanding and interpretation of the bible. He helps understand Jonah himself and how Jonah's actions relate to our world today. Highly recommended as a group discussion, although reading it individually is also OK. But a group discussion will greatly enrich the book's material. ( )
  highlander6022 | Jun 22, 2019 |
Reading Timothy Keller is like having a conversation with a wise friend. Thanks for the stories, lessons, and making an old story make sense in my everyday life. ( )
  deldevries | Jan 30, 2019 |
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