In his landmark book What’s So Amazing about Grace he issued a call for Christians to be as grace-filled in their behavior as they are in declaring their beliefs. But people inside and outside the church are still thirsty for grace. What the church lacked in its heyday is now exactly what it needs to recover to thrive. Grace can bring together Christianity and our post-Christian culture, inviting outsiders as well as insiders to take a deep second look at why our faith matters and about what could reignite its appeal to future generations.
I was provided this book by Family Christian in exchange for my honest review. I leaned that Philip Yancey’s new book, Vanishing Grace – What Ever Happened To The Good News, is a follow-up book to his title, What’s so Amazing about Grace?.
Vanishing Grace is a four-part book: A World Athirst, Grace Dispensers, Is It Really Good News?, and Faith and Culture.
In the first part, A World Athirst, the author directs believers to listen and love with grace and humility. He showed that Christians are viewed as judgmental and confusing, and that we are guilt dispensers. He reminds us that we must dispense living water because people are thirsty for more in life. As a Christian, this section was right on point and that we have a chance to show nonbelievers the truth. We are called to love like Jesus loved us.
In the second part, Grace Dispensers, the author challenges us to become instead dispensers of grace as pilgrims, activist, or artists. As pilgrims, we Christians can take the journey together instead of placing ourselves in a position where we can often look down on others in self righteous indignation. He calls us to share our faith walk process with others on their journeys and to show the world the beauty of Christ, while making it clear that we don’t have all the answers. Activists are those who are probably more extroverted and that they are more likely to wade into the fray engaging in politics, doing missions work, engaging in international relief activities, handing out hot meals to the homeless and hanging out with friends. The author goes on to say that artists are most likely more on the introverted side – those who tend to be a more subdued in their evangelizing. Instead of gathering crowds, the artists tend to share faith quietly with one or two at a time. He defines the artists as writers, teachers, hospice workers, bloggers, painters, sculptors, musicians, and behind-the-scenes workers.
The third part, Is It Really Good News?, Mr. Yancey lays out a practical and personal theology of sorts, addressing the God question, the human question, and the social question. He explores the influences that Christians have had on human flourishing and the culture at large and he provides tools and reasoning to show that faith does matter, that God is there and He cares, and that the purpose of holiness is to lift us up to our full potential.
The last part is Faith and Culture, where Mr. Yancey discusses how to live out faith in culture. He offers ideas about how Christians may engage with politics and other cultural influences. He does offer five suggestions for safely engaging politically, which we all know is a very sensitive area.
This book was very well written, very intelligent and had a great flow. At some points it really caused me to do some self-analysis and thinking about who I am as a Christian. I think this book is timely for the world we find ourselves in today. In this book Yancey does a great job of taking a step back from the pew and seeing more of the world. The main theme of this book is about how and why the world needs grace and what we can actually do about it. I will definitely be reading Mr. Yancey’s first book, What’s So Amazing About Grace?, because I had heard of it but never read it and now that I’ve read this book, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Philip Yancey worked for 10 years as an Editor and then Publisher for Campus Life magazine. In 1980, he and his wife, Janet moved to downtown Chicago where Mr. Yancey began a career as a freelance writer. They lived there until 1992, when they moved to the foothills of Colorado. Mr Yancey has written around 20 books, most of them still in print. Mr. Yancey defines himself – “I’m a pilgrim, still ‘in recovery’ from a bad church upbringing, searching for a faith that makes its followers larger and not smaller. I feel overwhelming gratitude that I can make a living writing about the questions that interest me.”
In conjunction with providing me with this book to review, Family Christian has provided me with a $25 Appreciation Certificate to provide as a giveaway! Maybe if you win, you can pick up a couple copies of this book for you and someone you love♥
(***Appreciation Certificates*** When using, enter them as a coupon and not a gift card. If that does not work, call 1.888.319.0319. There are reps there til 10 pm EST. They may only be used one per transaction and have no cash value so you should use the whole certificate.)