Pride & Prejudice
Mission in mind
Pride & Prejudice
By Kieran Beville
ISPCK. 133 pages. £8.00
This new commentary on Jonah arrived just before my summer hols, so I read it each morning devotionally.
It is a very clear exposition of the minor prophet, and will add nothing new for those who have already studied Jonah in depth. However, this would be my top choice for those studying Jonah for the first time.
He gives helpful background information on Nineveh — they were merciless in their dealings with all who opposed them. No wonder Jonah was a reluctant prophet. But he exposes the deeper issue of Jonah’s heart-attitude towards Nineveh.
The author writes with warmth, constantly pointing us to the grace of God, as the focus of the book. He reminds us that every church and every Christian is called to mission. Towards the end (p.131) he writes: ‘Scripture is essentially a mission text. It reveals the missionary mind and heart of God. Mission is not so much what God says, rather mission is about who God is. So the ultimate reason for mission is established on the basis of God’s character’.
There are some themes that the author drives home throughout the book, such as the primacy of preaching in mission, and the need for compassion. He challenges us by asking (p.132): ‘Do we have compassion for the people who live in the great cities of the world where there is so much wickedness and so little witness?’
One line of application that challenged me personally was seeing afresh God’s love for the Ninevites: ‘And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city?’ It convicted me that God loves Ninevites and Palestinians, and we too are to love them enough to take the gospel to them, that many might yet be saved through the foolishness of preaching.