Jonah with a more modern attitude

badass jonah cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward
“Badass Jonah” (by nakedpastor David Hayward)

I have the utmost respect for the Jonah story. I love it. Why? Because it was the first biblical story that I came to believe wasn’t literal.

Karl Barth said, “I take the Bible too seriously to read it literally.”

The myth is a great vehicle for communicating what extreme measures grace will take to include people.

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  • When I looked at this cartoon…a krill went up my spine.

    Nice work, David.

  • Fantastic comic and theoldadam cracked me up. Thanks for the laugh, boys.
    And by your logic here, David, you may love Hinduism more than Christianity if you gave it a fair shake (and then could move to Toronto). What, with elephant-headed god-boys and more, you are never tempted to take their religious myths seriously — they are powerful stories right from the start. Not to mention that the Mahabharata offers lots more sermon material.

  • Carol

    The Flood and Noah’s ark is a bit of a stretch, too.

    A myth is an archtypal event. The details may differ, but all of the Great Religions have similar myths.
    “A myth is not something that never happened but something that happens all the time.”

    In the evolving global spirituality there will be much less sectarian triumphalism. Believers may be more attracted to the myths of a particular religious Tradition, but there will be more awareness that “all truth is God’s Truth. Until now there have been two theological categories of believers, the orthodox and the heterodox. We see a growing number of people of faith who are polydox, at home in a uniquely historical/cultural religious Tradition, but able to appreciate and respond to the insights from other Traditions that we share.

    “There is only one God and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic. We believe our work should be our example to people. We have among us 475 souls – 30 families are Catholics and the rest are all Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs—all different religions. But they all come to our prayers.”
    –Mother Teresa

    “There are so many religions and each one has its different ways of following God. I follow Christ:
    Jesus is my God,
    Jesus is my Spouse,
    Jesus is my Life,
    Jesus is my only Love,
    Jesus is my All in All;
    Jesus is my Everything.”
    ~ Mother Teresa

  • Adam Julians

    That is funny!
    In your opinon David the stoy about Johnah being swallowed by a fish ia a myth.

    I’ve heard of a report of a man being recovered alive fom rthe stomach of a whale. I’m open to the Jonah narrative either being a myth or reality.

    Whatever the turth or otherwise, I agree with what you say about the extremes of grace and inclusivity. We see that on the cross wiht Jeuss saying “father forgive them”. I think if someone put me on a cross I might have a few more choice words to say than that – probably with some profanitiy thrown in about my opressors. But then I’m not Jesus!

  • What kind of lights did Noah use on the arc?…


    Flood lights.

  • A whale is a mammal, not a fish. Hey! someone had to say it. 😉

    I love the cartoon and the jokes.

  • Carol

    Now that I have 7 rescue animals, 5 cats and 2 dogs, I am really appreciating the classic Bill Cosby “Noah and the Arc dialogue with God” skit: “Who’s gonna clean up after all these animals?!!!!”

  • @ Mimi,
    The ancient Israelis God had no more idea that a Whale wasn’t a fish than they did that the Earth was the center of the universe. 😉

  • @ Sabio, she didn’t know it was coming, did she? She didn’t know what was coming.

  • @ Mimi — huh?
    The ancient Israelis no better understood biology than they did astronomy, geology etc before they pretended to speak for a god.
    Did you call Yahweh a “she”? That is bolt of lightening material you know. 😉

  • @ Sabio. I’m okay so far. Have you considered that Yahweh may actually be feminine? Wisdom is a lady – so say the ancient Israelites.

  • Wisdom can’t be a lady. Oh, OK, tonight she can.

  • Carol

    Sabio, I realize that you are merely being playful with Mimi.

    It is revealed very explicitly in Scripture that the feminine is also an image of God (Genesis 1:27) and there are many feminine metaphors for God’s relationship with his people.

    Most Christians have been taught to read their bibles through a patriarchal lens. This blog post challenges that (small *t*) tradition:

  • Yeah, I am open to the Whale being a girl, Noah being a transvestite or Yahweh a woman. It is all the same to me — stories.

  • Carol

    It is unfortunate that we as a culture in the West have forgotten the power of stories to stimulate imagination empowering giving us a vision beyond what is to inspire us to reach out for what can be.

    Scripture says that “without a vision [not an ideal] the people perish.”

    “When I was a child, the stories of Jesus’ birth captured my imagination. But as a young man growing up in the Catholic faith, the mystery of Christmas was mostly lost on me. As I grew, the Nativity story seemed fixed in centuries long past and spoke to realities that I assumed were long gone from the face of the earth. When I began studying theology, I learned to categorize the infancy narratives as myths, imaginative stories written to convey hidden truths but easily dismissed by the intellect. The Incarnation, God’s love poured out “in the flesh” of Jesus, remained an abstraction, a doctrine that needed to be understood and explained, certainly, but hardly something one would live.” ~ Christopher Pramuk

    The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives. — Albert Einstein

  • @ Carol: I hope you realize that every you quote mine, and cut and paste quotes, I totally ignore that comment — in case you are the least bit interested. I never read your quotes.

  • Carol

    Well, that is certainly an effective way to eliminate an “irritation.” I have invoked St. Ignora myself in matters that I find irritating, but are basically harmless idiosyncrasies.

    I have also found that by lowering my unrealistic expectations, I can lower my frustration level. Amazing how much of our negativity is self-inflicted.

  • Was that a passive-aggressive way of calling me negative just because I said I didn’t enjoy your style of ‘communicating’? Or maybe just subtle name calling?

  • Carol

    No, that was my way of saying that I think (only my opinion) that you have a tendency to do too much self-referencing.

    Once again, when posting in a public venue, it’s not just about us. Even the “lurkers” among us are still participants even though they may remain silent.

    David remarked that membership was up, but participation was down. In my communitarian take on things membership is belonging whether one puts one’s two cents in or not. I may respond to an individual post, but it is always within the context of a larger community.

  • The podium is all yours.

  • Carol

    You may find this impossible to believe, but I really do prefer the round table to a podium.