Sympathy for Jonah?

By
March 2017

Every now and again I read a book that makes me think out loud (actually there are quite a few…) and without doubt, this is one of them!

Sympathy for Jonah is written by David Benjamin Blower.  By digging deep into the familiar story of Jonah, we are reminded in compelling, disturbing and inspiring ways, just how challenging and necessary a call to follow Jesus really is.

This is a small book that packs a big punch with page after page of prophetic resonance for our times. It’s even got me seeking out and praying for those on a Jonah journey.  We need them or perhaps need to be them, now more than ever. 

I highly recommend this little book to you.  But don’t take my word for it, check out the following reviews: https://davidbenjaminblower.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/sympathy-for-jonah-is-available/ or even better, check it out for yourself!:

The new book Sympathy for Jonah is out now. It’s a book about meltdown, whale ingestion and Waitsian doom-musicals. It’s a book about living in a time of escalating imperialism and terror. And above all else it’s a about how ordinary people live radical lives in world of apparently threatening Others.

Here are some commendations…

“David Blower has written a marvelous reflection on what may be the Bible’s most subversive and misunderstood story. Not only are his insights incisive and needed, his writing is a delight to read.” —Brian D. McLaren, author/speaker/activist 

“I picked it up, started to read it and couldn’t stop. It’s the kind of book that I would love to have written myself, but have neither the insight, the imagination nor the sheer literary skill or flair to do so. Its an irresistible, fanciful, terrifying book: brilliant, beautiful and colourful, but brutal, awful and confronting. It is a book about Jonah that does a Jonah on us: calling us to engage the brutal realities of the world we live in; not letting us run from our call by sending a whale of a story along to swallow us up; forcing us to face that which we fear most in the belly of the beast; then throwing us up into the clear light of day, without any illusions, to love our imperialist and terrorist enemies, by addressing ourselves to them with the same unarmed honest naked vulnerability that Jonah – and later Jesus – displayed. This is The Gospel According To Jonah for today.”  —Dave Andrews, author of Plan Be, and Christi-Anarchy

“Elegaic in its writing and prophetic in its message, Blower’s study brings the ancient Biblical myth of Jonah back to life with fresh relevance for our times, especially so with Jonah’s city so much in the news, and for the same reasons as before: that to say, Nineveh, or Mosul in northern Iraq.” —Alastair McIntosh, Professor, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh, author of Soil and Soul and Spiritual Activism

“Identifying the empire—not the big fish—as the real beast in the book, this powerful and poetic re-telling of the Jonah story brings a familiar tale to life in fresh ways, and invites readers to face the challenge of engaging creatively and vulnerably with the powers that be.” —Stuart Murray Williams, author of The Naked Anabaptist, Multi-Voiced Church and Church After Christendom

“Here he is again, ready for round two. His latest is about as unsettling as it gets. I’ve been following David’s work for some time now. I know how he operates, but he still catches me off guard. So put down whatever you’re reading, pick up this book, and brace yourself!”  —Tim Nash, Nomad Podcast

“David Benjamin Blower brings us a renewed song of hope—in the shape of Jonah wrapped up in a whale. This is a work of imagination and erudition as well as an elegy that speaks of a way of being that for so long has eluded concerned Christians. At last God has given us a prophet who dares to tell us like it is. Listen up—let Jonah help us to see our task as Christians in troubled times. Read and listen to David Benjamin Blower if you dare—but with assurance that grace is so much in abundance our fretfulness will be transformed into passion.” —Ann Morisy, author of Beyond the Good Samaritan and Journeying Out


About the author

Kate Coleman

Kate Coleman

Director

Rev Dr Kate Coleman is founding director of Next Leadership. She has nearly 30 years of leadership experience in the church, charity and voluntary sectors and is a mentor and coach to leaders.

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Kate Coleman

Kate Coleman

Director

Rev Dr Kate Coleman is founding director of Next Leadership.  She has over 30 years of leadership experience in the church, charity and voluntary sectors and is a mentor and coach to leaders.

Kate recently completed a term as Chair of the Evangelical Alliance Council (2012-2014), is a former president of the Baptist Union of Great Britain (2006-2007), and a Baptist Minister.

A popular speaker and lecturer, Kate has gained a reputation as a visionary and an inspiration to many. She is a strategic advisor who mentors, coaches and supports leaders and organisations locally, nationally and internationally. Recognised as one of the 20 most influential black Christian women leaders in the UK (https://issuu.com/keepthefaith/docs/keep_the_faith_issue_100), her network extends across all sectors and church denominations. Kate is author of 7 Deadly Sins of Women in Leadership.

Her media contributions include the mainstream press, radio and TV.

Kate is a Certified Stakeholder Centered Coach and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)

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