Sunday, November 16

Vanishing Grace by Philip Yancey

More and more often Christians are known for what they stand against. While Christians used to be thought of favorably, that has drastically changed, especially when it concerns evangelical Christians. What has changed? Philip Yancey believes that it is because Christians are not showing grace to those around them. Instead they offer condemnation and judgmental attitudes.

This is not the first time that Yancey has tackled the subject of grace. In 1997 he released one of his most well-known books, What’s So Amazing About Grace?. It also happened to be the first book by Yancey I ever read. He looks at what grace means, and what grace should look like. However, Yancey is worried that grace is even more difficult to find, and he is convicted by the words of Hebrews 12:15: “See to it that no one misses the grace of God…”


He starts by looking at how the Church is failing to show grace and love to the world. Then he shows examples of how people are showing grace better than the Church as a whole. His third section steps back to re-examine some questions that most take for granted. Is the gospel truly the good news? How does it compare to what the world offers? To close his book, he looks at the role of Christians in today’s world, and how sometimes the actions of Christians drown out the message they which to spread.

Yancey is a strong writer, and he does not mince words. While all four sections of this book are strong, it was the final section that was the most convicting. In Chapter 12, Yancey looks at the relationship between Christianity and politics. While many seem to think political power will lead to change, it is often that same political power that people see, overpowering anything about positive about faith. This can be seen in many people still believing President Obama is a Muslim as well as politicians and well known pastors proclaiming disasters to be the judgment of God.

Perhaps the most important lesson I found is that too often Christians blur the lines between immoral and illegal activities. As Yancey writes on page 251, “Although Christians have an obligation to obey God’s commands, it does not necessarily follow that we should enact those moral commands into law.” He further points out, that only two of the ten commands have also been put into law (regarding stealing and murder).

This may not be an easy book for everyone to read, but I think it is an important one.

5/5 Stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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