Merciful Propositions by Patrick Henry Reardon

Merciful Propositions

There are two stories in Holy Scripture that end with an unanswered proposition: the Book of Jonah, and the parable of the Prodigal Son. The drama in both these stories builds to the propositions with which they end. That is to say, it is the intended point of the stories themselves. In each case, moreover, this proposition, which is directly put to a character in the story, is implicitly addressed to the reader as well.

This correspondence between the two narratives invites their further comparison. In fact, they are similar in other respects.

First, they have the same theme: Both are stories of the divine mercy bestowed on the unworthy—the Ninevites and the younger son, both of whom are described as sinners. Of the younger son we are told that he “wasted his possessions with prodigal living,” the inheritance acquired by his father’s lifetime of hard work (Luke 15:13). As for Nineveh, the story of Jonah begins by mentioning the wickedness of the place (Jonah 1:2).

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).

Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!

Online
Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.


more from the online archives

30.5—Sept/Oct 2017

Passions' Republic

The Christian Cure for What Ails Modern Politics by David Bradshaw

25.6—Nov/Dec 2012

Clashing Symbols

The Loss of Aristotelian Logic & the Social, Moral & Sexual Consequences by Peter Kreeft

10.4—Fall 1997

Lessons from the Nursery

The Catholic Imagination Encounters Bambi by James L. Sauer

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

00