(Review) Running from Mercy: Jonah and the Surprising Story of God’s Unstoppable Grace by Anthony J. Carter


Publisher and Publication Date: B&H Publishing Group. 2018.
Genre: Christian nonfiction. Story of Jonah.
Pages: 192.
Source: I received a complimentary copy, but was not required to leave a positive review.
Rating: Excellent.
Audience: Christian readers.


Amazon page for Anthony J. Carter.


The story of Jonah the prophet is familiar to us. It’s full of unforgettable images, ironic twists and turns, and dramatic encounters between humanity, nature, and God. Most importantly, it is a microcosm of the human story. Your story. My story. The story of Jonah.
In these pages, you will meet a prophet not so different from yourself. The prophet’s rebellious spirit is astounding, but more astounding still is the surprising grace of God. The same God who relentlessly pursued Jonah and who relentlessly pursued the Ninevites is pursuing you. May this story cause you to rest in his unstoppable grace.

My Thoughts:
As a child in Sunday school, the story of Jonah and the whale was popular. The fascination of a whale swallowing a man and the man surviving was shocking. As an adult, I don’t hear of the story of Jonah taught to adults. When I saw this book available for review I jumped at the chance to read and review.
In the introduction, Anthony J. Carter states Jonah was a real person, and Nineveh was a real place. The story of Jonah has at times been whisked away as possibly-surely not true. Jesus referred to the story of Jonah in Matthew 12:40-41. Carter ends the introduction by reminding the reader we are all runners like Jonah. We too are rebellious.
What I loved about this book:
•All four chapters of Jonah is taught chronologically.
•God’s attributes are taught. For example: Omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, and mercy.
•Jonah’s deep sleep is compared to our deep sleep in regards to ignoring God’s calling in our lives. This is a significant point. “This rebellious sleep illustrates Jonah’s spiritual numbness.” Page 25.
•Jonah’s sin is a teaching point: “You and I need to understand that our sin rarely, if ever, affects only us.” Further, God will reveal our sin eventually. “God reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with him.” Daniel 2:22.
•One of my favorite sections is on prayer. “The will of God will always get done-not yours, not mine, but God’s will. And what is God’s will? Part of God’s will is that men and women pray. God brought Jonah to his knees. And that is where God delights to bring all of us. Jonah prayed.” Page 67.
•Page 88 defines the attribute of God, mercy. “Mercy is the goodness and compassion of God in the midst of misery.” But people must willing confess their misery and sin in order to experience God’s mercy and grace.
•My favorite reason I loved this book: Jonah is not just a story for children who will sit in a chair and listen without knowing they can ask questions. Jonah is a story for grown-ups who ask questions, read and study God’s Word; and understand why the book is much more than a story about a big fish, it is the story of God’s patience, mercy, and grace.

All Scripture references are from Bible Gateway.





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