Tim Keller on Nationalism, Race, and What Jonah Misunderstood About Grace

Editors’ note: 

Tim Keller will lead a workshop on “What a Minor Prophet Teaches Us About Nationalism and Race, Grace, and Mission” at our 2019 National Conference, April 1 to 3 in Indianapolis. Browse the complete list of 74 speakers and 58 talks. We hope you will join us.

You might think the story of Jonah—a man swallowed by a fish—is about as far removed from our current cultural moment as you can get. But you’d be wrong. We live in a world full of self-righteousness, nationalism, and ethnic rivalry not all that different from Jonah’s day.

In today’s podcast, Maina Mwaura asked TGC vice president Tim Keller why he wrote a book on Jonah and what modern-day attitudes are reflected in the prodigal prophet. Keller points out that Jonah didn’t recognize his own lack of merit before God, which made him reluctant to extend grace to pagan people. “Because he didn’t grasp the gospel of grace in his own life,” Keller says, “he was a terrible missionary.”

You can listen to the episode here.