The Prodigal Prophet by Timothy Keller

I was stunned by the depth of this little book that covers one of the smallest books in the Bible.  The Book of Jonah is only 4 chapters and 4 pages long in the Old Testament, but it packs a powerful punch!  Keller has done a fabulous job of delving into the many themes and lessons in Jonah and pulling out wisdom for the ages.  His research is both documented and very well done.  

Part of my surprise and delight over this read is the fact that although I would classify Keller as conservative, he allows for a radically liberal interpretation of this scripture.  Keller goes so far as to admit that the Book of Jonah is radical in all ways.  The book is not about a disobedient prophet who runs from God and ends up swallowed by a big fish that then vomits him out on the beach. Instead, it is a call to all humankind that there is one God who unconditionally loves all humans.  It is unfortunate that we still exist in a world that is divided by us and them.  The “others” are usually considered to be our enemies.  Keller makes it clear that in the Book of Jonah, God calls Jonah to love our enemies.  There is no more important message for us to know right now than the call for enemy love.

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