Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News?Philip Yancey
Why does the church stir up such negative feelings? Philip Yancey has been asking this all his life as a journalist. His perennial question is more relevant now than ever: in a twenty-year span starting in the mid-nineties, research shows that favorable opinions of Christian... Read More
Yet while the opinions about Christianity are dropping, interest in spirituality is rising. Why the disconnect? Why are so many asking, What's so good about the Good News? How can Christians offer grace in a way that is compelling to a jaded society? And how can they make a difference in a world that cries out in need?
Yancey aims Vanishing Grace at Christian readers, showing them how Christians have lost respect, influence, and reputation in a newly post-Christian culture. "Why do they hate us so much?" mystified Americans ask about the rest of the world. A similar question applies to evangelicals in America.
Yancey explores what may have contributed to hostility toward Evangelicals, especially in their mixing of faith and politics instead of embracing more grace-filled ways of presenting the gospel. He offers illuminating stories of how faith can be expressed in ways that disarm even the most cynical critics. Then he explores what is Good News and what is worth preserving in a culture that thinks it has rejected Christian faith.
- Product type: Book
- Format: Hardcover
- Release Date: Oct 21, 2014
- UPC: 9780310339328
- Volumes/Discs: 1
- Pages: 298
- Publish Date: Oct 21, 2014
- Language: English
- Audience Age Maximum: 0
- Audience Age Minimum: 0
- BISAC: "REL012040"
- ISBN: 0310339324
Customer ReviewsWrite your own review
- Learn How You Can Relate to the Lost World by Vicki F on 1/21/2015
This book by author Philip Yancey is sort of a partner to a book he wrote several years ago called, “What’s So Amazing About Grace?”.
This book definitely stands alone, but if you want a much deeper understanding, you may want to consider reading Mr. Yancey’s first book about grace. Here’s the thing: if you’re a Christian, you have undoubtedly noticed that we have kind of a bad name these days. And you’ve probably wondered why. I know that I sure have. If you look back fifty years ago, it was a compliment, even from a non-Christian, for someone to say, “He’s a good Christian man.” or “She’s a good Christian lady.” Nowadays, we hear people almost spitting, “Those Christians.”
If I’m going to be totally honest and authentic, I have to say that it kind of makes me angry. I mean, Christians are responsible for the largest part of human aid in the world. So how did we get such a bad reputation?
This is the question that Philip Yancey answers. This book helps us to try to figure out what we have done to invite this attitude toward us from our culture and those who don’t believe as we do. Because we’re all asking, “What in the world happened?” “When did we become the bad guys?” Have you wondered if it’s because of something we, as Christians did? I believe that can partially be the case, but I also believe that Satan is alive and well and is doing everything in his power to make us seem delusional, heartless, judgmental, etc. And it’s evidently working. Has the church gone wrong? If so, where and how? Yancey tackles this tough question. And if the church has done something to invite this negative attitude, what do we do now? How can we change it?
The bottom line is that is just doesn’t matter where the fault lies. If people are not feeling loved by the church and its members, then we are charged to change that attitude. Yancey shows us how to show love and grace to those in our midst who need it the most.
I love that my church is one that is laser focused on ministry to those who need Jesus. We are a fairly new, fairly small church, but we have a huge ministry involvement in the community. We try to make everyone who walks through the doors feel welcome and loved. Our pastor is a young guy. He’s tatted. He’s a former drug dealer. He’s been in handcuffs in the back of a cop car. Dude is real. And he knows what it took to introduce him to Jesus. And that’s what we’re doing.
Yancey’s book really gives you food for thought. What can you (and your church) do to love people and show them that they matter?
- Excellent Eye Opening Book! by Charity on 12/1/2014
Do you ever feel like maybe what you are doing as a Christian just isn't enough? You talk to people who are unsaved and many times they look on "Christians" as being kooky, aggressive, confrontational and politically out there. I for one am tired of being looked at that way. So I was very glad to be able to review Philip Yancey's new book titled, Vanishing Grace. And let me just say, WOW! I found myself marking pages in here, taking notes and overall wanting to change the way I am around those who are lost.
I received this on the Kindle and I often have a hard time reading books on my tablet. I love my physical books:) But this time I opened it and slowly treasured each page, many times going back to re-read a sentence and allow it to sink in. Philip Yancey has a way with words that makes you comfortable and yet also makes you want to change. The whole point being developed throughout the book is that more and more Christians are not showing the grace and love that has been bestowed upon them. The grace that changed our lives and was freely given when we were thirsty is not as out there as it should be. And he is brutally honest in his descriptions.
One of the main things I liked was how he uses statistics so much. He backs everything up with how people perceive Christianity as a whole. He takes us across to other countries and shows how it is different from America. Even the difference in our country of north and south, which I have definitely noticed before. He makes the point that if we would look at people as hurting and lost, not just unsaved or wrong, then we will reply with kindness. How different our world would be if we responded with love to anyone, especially the people we see as enemies. All in all, this is an amazing book but no matter how many people read it over and over, it won't do any good if we don't take it to heart. People know what they should be doing, we just have to do it. Below is one of my favorite quotes from the whole book.
"In my lifelong study of the Bible I have looked for an overarching theme, a summary statement of what the whole sprawling book is about. I have settled on this: "God gets his family back." From the first book the the last the Bible tells of wayward children and the great lengths to which God will go to bring them home. Indeed, the entire biblical drama ends with a huge family reunion in the book of Revelation."
- Get Out of The Rut and Back In The Game! by "Doc" on 11/6/2014
Philip Yancey, obviously, is not afraid of a challenge. In VANISHING GRACE: WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE GOOD NEWS?, Yancey takes on the entire population of modern-day Pharisees . . . that populate the pews of the 21st Century mainstream denominational churches. People who are content, complacent, and contemptuous of those who don’t attend “their” church, or believe the way “they” believe. And he does so in a journalistic fashion; asking questions, searching for answers . . . and yes, reporting the truth as it is, not how we would like it to be.
It’s a difficult book to get into. I had to re-start it several times, before it started clicking for me. You see, I’m probably one of those modern-day Pharisees. I want the people to walk through the door, and sit down in the pew, and listen to me. Do I work hard at preparing messages from the Word of God? Absolutely – ask my family. After a 40-hour week job, and preparing for Sundays and Wednesday evenings, the only time they see me is in church.
But Yancey has shown me, through this book, that things need to change. Scripture calls us to be salt and light to a lost and dying world. We are to shine the light of the gospel – but in order for light to be effective, it has to reach the optical sensory receptors of another person. Light shown in a closet – read “church,” – isn’t going to do anybody else any good. Salt seasons the Word of God, but it also serves as a preservative – and it makes people thirsty for more. But the salt isn’t going to do any good if it doesn’t come in contact with the taste buds of another person.
A city set on a hill cannot be hid; unless it is draped in the camouflage of traditional programs and dry-as-dust presentations.
In another challenging book (the author is simply known as Fynn) entitled MISTER GOD, THIS IS ANNA, the precocious 6-year old engages Fynn in a simple, yet profound, conversation:
“Fynn . . . why do people go to church?”
“Fynn: Well, I suppose to learn about God.”
“Anna: Well then . . . WHY DO THEY KEEP GOING BACK? I think it’s because they didn’t get Him in the first place . . . or they’re just pretending.”
For Anna . . . and I feel, for Philip Yancey . . . once you get God, you’re supposed to spend the rest of your life giving Him away.
The good news isn’t good news . . . until someone gets the good news.
5 stars for a challenging book that will change your life for the better