The story of Jonah is perhaps among the most familiar in the whole Bible.
Jonah, a zealous, religious Israelite, who loves his people and his country, receives a calling from God to go and preach a message of repentance to a nation living in sin- to Israel’s very enemies.
We all know the ending: instead of obeying, he runs in the other direction and ends up being swallowed by a big fish, before repenting and finally obeying God’s call to go to Nineveh. The people listen and repent, but Jonah, meanwhile, gets angry at God for allowing his plant to die.
So is there anything more to the book than this? Does it have anything to say to us on the matter of mission? What about our own attitudes towards God’s grace and love for sinners?
With candor and clarity, Keller peels back the layers of this well-known Bible story, to reveal a deeper layer that many of us have never encountered or considered. An insightful and thought-provoking analysis of Jonah’s attitudes and actions reveals that, as religious as he is, Jonah totally misunderstands God’s grace and mercy towards the people he has created in His image.
Keller takes us on an exciting and profound journey, drawing out themes such as nationalism, loving our neighbours, substitution, compassion, grace, justice, and world mission. With simplicity and yet rich depth, he invites us to evaluate our own attitude towards those who are different from us.
Reminding us that every believer is called to go, the author states that ‘this may not entail leaving physical and social locations, but it always means risk and vulnerability’. Easy to read, practical and applicable, ‘The Prodigal Prophet’ is a must-read for every Christian, and particularly for those with a heart for world mission.
Author: Timothy Keller
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton