The psalm in Jonah 2:2-9 (2:3-10 in Hebrew) is a fine example of a thanksgiving psalm, and everything in its expression and theology would sound fine in the book of Psalms. However, on Jonah’s lips after we have heard the narrative of chapter one, it takes a different flavour. Read in its place in the flow of this book it is ironic.  Read More →

In this short series (of two podcasts) I’ll describe two things I think I know, two stakes in the ground when I come to think about the topic of “universalism” that has been much discussed (and even more an excuse for slanging matches) recently around the Bible-focused blogs. Let’s start by admitting there are many many things on this topic that we simply do not know. I list a few of the many things that I am firmly agnostic about in a blog post OK, till now I’ve held my peace, and avoided discussing that Bell fella and universalism. But….In this podcast and the nextRead More →

I has been too long since I added to my (very) slowly growing series on Jonah. So, when I saw that this magnificent little book was among the ones otherwise missing from the April carnival I could not resist. We like our stories (fairly) simple, we want to know who the goodies and the baddies are. Neither life nor the Bible are like that.  And if we think we have Jonah “pegged”, neatly boxed and labeled, then the narrator of the book has a surprise in store for us. Enjoy 🙂  Read More →

The prophet Jonah (at least as his story is told in the book that bears his name) is perhaps the most orthodox if perhaps the most heteropractic 1 The prefix “ortho-” straight or right and “hetero-” different or wrong are used as opposites. The endings “-dox” to do with worship or theology and “-praxis” to do with action. So orthodox is right-thinking and heteropractic is wrong-doing. prophet in the Bible! Yet this book perhaps better than any other in the Old Testament encapsulates the essential truths of Scripture. [For more on the “Perspicuity of Scripture” see The Perspicuity of Scripture or see the podcasts listedRead More →