I have been away from this discussion at a conference, and so I am just
catching up on it now.
I think, as I wrote earlier, that the major point of the story of Jonah was
to remind the Jews that God loves others besides them, that they are called
to witness of God's love to those outside the Jewish nation, and that they,
like Jonah, are running way from that obligation.
That point will be lost if we turn Jonah solely into a theological
discussion, without applying the book to ourselves, as individuals, as
families, as a church, and as a nation, to wit, to ask ourselves, what are we
running away from? I ask myself that question. One place to look, for
example, is in Matthew 18, where we are told that if we have something
against a brother or sister, or if they have something against us, we should
go to them, and make it right. We are called to do that. What are we
avoiding in family, church, and nation that we should be doing?
I don't want to be preachy, but neither do I want the lesson in Jonah to be
lost in the theological discussion, good and important as that discussion may
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