FREE delivery: Thursday, Dec 8 on orders over $25.00 shipped by Amazon.
Ships from: Amazon.com Sold by: Amazon.com
Other Sellers on Amazon
Follow the Author
The Prodigal Prophet: Jonah and the Mystery of God's Mercy Hardcover – October 2, 2018
Explore your book, then jump right back to where you left off with Page Flip.
View high quality images that let you zoom in to take a closer look.
Enjoy features only possible in digital – start reading right away, carry your library with you, adjust the font, create shareable notes and highlights, and more.
Discover additional details about the events, people, and places in your book, with Wikipedia integration.
Enhance your purchase
The story of Jonah is one of the most well-known parables in the Bible. It is also the most misunderstood. Many people, even those who are nonreligious, are familiar with Jonah: A rebellious prophet who defies God and is swallowed by a whale. But there's much more to Jonah's story than most of us realize.
In The Prodigal Prophet, pastor and New York Times bestselling author Timothy Keller reveals the hidden depths within the book of Jonah. Keller makes the case that Jonah was one of the worst prophets in the entire Bible. And yet there are unmistakably clear connections between Jonah, the prodigal son, and Jesus. Jesus in fact saw himself in Jonah. How could one of the most defiant and disobedient prophets in the Bible be compared to Jesus?
Jonah's journey also doesn't end when he is freed from the belly of the fish. There is an entire second half to his story--but it is left unresolved within the text of the Bible. Why does the book of Jonah end on what is essentially a cliffhanger? In these pages, Timothy Keller provides an answer to the extraordinary conclusion of this biblical parable--and shares the powerful Christian message at the heart of Jonah's story.
“Superb . . . we should be grateful to Keller for his wisdom, scholarship, and humility.”
—The Gospel Coalition
“Tim Keller’s ministry in New York City is leading a generation of seekers and skeptics toward belief in God. I thank God for him.”
“Unlike most suburban megachurches, much of Redeemer is remarkably traditional. What is not traditional is Dr. Keller’s skill in speaking the language of his urbane audience. . . . Observing Dr. Keller’s professorial pose on stage, it is easy to understand his appeal.”
—The New York Times
“Fifty years from now, if evangelical Christians are widely known for their love of cities, their commitment to mercy and justice, and their love of their neighbors, Tim Keller will be remembered as a pioneer of the new urban Christians.”
“Timothy Keller puts a contemporary spin on the familiar story of the prophet who disobeyed God and was swallowed by a whale.”
About the Author
- Publisher : Viking; 1st edition (October 2, 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0735222061
- ISBN-13 : 978-0735222069
- Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.24 x 0.99 x 7.52 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #60,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on November 27, 2019
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Author: Timothy Keller
Topic: The Book of Jonah
Scope: A biblical exposition of the book of Jonah for application contemporary life.
Purpose: To encourage Christians to understand grace more fully and apply it more deeply to their lives.
Structure: This book contains an introduction, 12 chapters, and an epilogue. Although the book is not explicitly broken up this way, I'd argue the chapters make up two different sections. The first 9 chapters dive deep into the book of Jonah and make a lot of theological and statements. Every verse of the short book if covered at least a little. Chapters 10-12 switch gears by taking some of the major themes and applying them in deep and impactful ways to contemporary society (specifically Western Americanized Christian).
What it does well: *Keller is a translator. He takes deep and often complicated subjects from the Bible or more scholarly authors and translates them for more popular audiences. He is a master of reaching the heart and head of his reader.
*Any reader that has not truly immersed herself in the biblical book of Jonah will come away with a much deeper knowledge of the book. Keller covers the entire book in ways that will make many people go, "Oh."
*The last three chapters are worth the price of the book, IMO (although I enjoyed the rest of the book as well.) Keller's scalpel on some of the idols of the current Western church (both liberal and conservative) is exacting and incisive. There were quite a few times when I would catch myself thinking, "Yeah, that's just like [insert person or church here]" only to realize in just a couple sentences that he has described me as well.
*Keller knows the human heart. He is very helpful at describing how we rebel against God and the antidote.
*Although there is much more done well, my favorite part of this book (as is my favorite part of Keller as an author) is how well it describes grace and what Jesus has done for us. This book, although about Jonah, is really about Jesus and his work to see us come to him.
What it lacks: *This is not a commentary. It is not meant to be. This is not a criticism, but instead informative.
*One thing I was a little disappointed about was the lack of mention of abortion in a section entitled "Christians and Politics" (163-170). As I mentioned above, Keller attacks many sacred cows of both liberals and conservatives (we are not only to be for the poor but also to contend that sex is only for marriage). His biggest attack is to say that Christians cannot abstain from politics, nor can they buy wholesale into any particular party's platform. He says we must contend for those who are most vulnerable and alludes to many disenfranchised groups. This would have been a particularly good time to mention abortion which attacks our most vulnerable. He seems to mention some other important things but shies away here. To be fair to him, it seems as though many of the points he makes will logically lead to the belief that we should contend against abortion when followed to the end. So, as much as I was a little disappointed, the implications of these points will be clear to those who listen.
Some quick highlights: "Jonah concluded that because he could not see any good reasons for God's command, there could be any. Jonah doubted the goodness, wisdom, and justice of God."-15
"God shows him here that he is the God of all people and Jonah needs to see himself as being part of the whole human community, not only a member of a faith community."-37
"To deny God's wrath upon sin not only robs us of a full view of God's holiness and justice but also can diminish our wonder, love, and praise at what it was that Jesus bore for us."-65
"To work against social injustice and to call people to repentance before God interlock theologically."-94
"Then God says, in essence, "You weep over plants, but my compassion is for people."-118
"Sin always begins with the character assassination of God."-138
"We sneer at people more liberal than us as social justice warriors; we disdain those more conservative than us as hateful bigots."-171
"Religious people often invite nonbelievers to convert by calling them to adopt new sets of behaviors and new ritual practices, and the while redoubling their efforts to live a virtuous life. That, however, is to load more burdens on people.... While the gospel must lead to a changed life, is is not those changes that save you."-207
Recommendation: This is a good book. It is easy and accessible. I recommend it for anyone who wants to go deeper into the book of Jonah or anyone who may be teaching this little book. I would also highly recommend it to anyone who is seeking to understand some of the nuances of Christianity. I found my heart moved multiple times.
“How can we be freed from our idols, self-salvations, and self-justifications, which are so fragile and subject to circumstances? Only through the grace of God, which cuts us to the quick (Acts 2: 37) but lifts us higher than the heavens (Ephesians 1: 3–10), grounding our happiness and identity in the unchanging love of the Father. The gospel holds out to us the prospect of a self-worth not achieved but received. While we maintain all our identifications with our race, nationality, gender, family, community, and other connections, the most fundamental thing about us is that we are sinners saved by grace. In ourselves we are lost, flawed, and undeserving, but in Christ we are completely accepted and delighted in by the one in the universe we adore the most.”
Keller has also read the best of them (he quotes the extensively) and weaves them together well. His own insights on Jonah are generally helpful and, in a few spots, really superb.
His perspective is not mine - lots of emphasis on racial inequality, the “us vs. them narrative,” as well as a more radical view than mine of what it takes for God to save an individual. Sometimes these perspectives are annoying but reasonable to the text. Sometimes they’re quite a stretch, in my opinion. But in all cases, it’s good for someone like me to be challenged to consider them, since I wouldn’t have done that without his prompting.
Sinclair Ferguson’s “Man Overboard” will still be my go-to Jonah recommendation for laymen, but this volume was worth the (short) read.
Top reviews from other countries
Never have I heard this explained in such depth and clarity.
The Mercy of God truly past finding out.
It's a reassurance that God does care for humanity.