book review: Running From Mercy

Anthony Carter is an established author and pastor. His newest book Running from Mercy is an analysis and commentary on Jonah. It is well written and developed, and there is a brief study guide and footnotes at the end. It is reformed in theology, where he brings out Christ and the gospel from Jonah, and he touches on larger themes such as grace and redemption, the sovereignty of God, suffering, and as the title indicates, mercy. It is easy reading and worthy of the time to read.

However, there is no shortage of books about Jonah on the market. What “new” does Anthony Carter bring to the table? As a preacher, Carter adds his life’s insights, illustrations from songs and history that speak to him, and applications, which gives the book his personal touch. He seamlessly weaves the story of Jonah with hymns and songs that impacted him and experiences of his youth. He tells the story of his own “running from mercy.”

Carter concludes, “If the prophecy of Jonah teaches us anything, it teaches us mercy doesn’t run after the righteous, but like Jesus, mercy comes running to sinners. Like it did with John Newton, mercy runs after the blasphemers, mockers, arrogant, lustful, and idolatrous. It pursues the poor, the helpless, the needy, the captive, the rejected, the shameful, and the despised. Mercy met the woman at the well. Mercy called out to Zaccheus. Mercy rescued the woman caught in adultery. Mercy sought out Peter, and the other disciples, after Peter’s betrayal. Mercy ran down Paul on the road to Damascus. And even now mercy comes running after you and me. It is mercy we need and, therefore, mercy we receive – undeserved, unearned, life-changing mercy.”

If you don’t already own a book about Jonah, this is a solid one to buy. If you do already own other books on Jonah, certainly get this one, but maybe it’s not so high on your priority. While not a technical commentary on Jonah, it does give Carter’s understanding.

I received this book free from the publisher for the purpose of review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.