I know people really love to hate Rob Bell, but his post below on getting the point of the biblical narrative is dead on, regardless of where you stand on biblical literalism.
Just one problem. It’s possible to affirm the literal fact of a man being swallowed by a fish, making that the crux of the story in such a way that you defend that, believe that, argue about that-and in spending your energies on the defend-the-fish-part miss the point of the story, the point about allowing God’s redeeming love to flow through us with such power and grace that we are able to love and bless even our worst enemies.
For the people who first heard this story, it would have been intended to have a provocative, unsettling effect. The Assyrians? The Assyrians were like a huge, gaping, open wound for the Israelites. Bless the Assyrians?
The story is extremely subversive because it insists that
your enemy may be more open to God’s redeeming love than you are.
rob bell • What is the Bible? Part 4.