I was talking with a guy behind the counter at a surf shop in Hermosa Beach one Sunday morning after church, and he asked me about the difference between the church that was across the street and the one that was further down the block. I told him how they were similar and how they were different, and we ended up in a conversation about God. He said he wasn’t sure if he believed in God or not, that he was kind of spiritual but didn’t like organized religion, which basically meant he wanted to sleep with his girlfriend and party that weekend. At one point in the conversation, he asked me about Jonah and the whale. “What do you mean Jonah got swallowed by a fish?” he said.
“Don’t have a problem with God because of Jonah and the whale,” I said. “Start with God. The Bible said God has always existed. And then He spoke the universe into existence and made everything. And that’s how all of this came to be. Or take Jesus. The Bible said He is God and has always been God, and He was sent to become a man, and was born as a helpless infant to poor parents in a tiny town in a conquered country, and he lived a sinless life, and was crucified for our sins, and rose from the grave, and ascended back into heaven, where He exists in a glorified body, reigning over the universe, ready to come back again one day. Start with those things, and ask yourself if you believe them, because if you do, you’ll have no issue with Jonah and the whale.”
“I see your point,” he said.