Phillip Yancey – Vanishing Grace

23307619And I have a lot of catching up to do…There is a lot I want to write about, a lot of things have been being processed in my mind. A lot of good stimuli, and not a lot of time to put them into blog form. So I’ve got an hour or so to clear some of the backlog.

Vanishing Grace – Well thanks Tim Fawsett for recommending this book to me, when we did our pre-marriage counselling with you over 3 years ago. It’s not marriage related, but I bought it, and 3 years later read it. And what a mistake to leave it so long, but what good timing. As we enter a year of evangelism being our focus for the student ministry – such good insights.

What’s it about? Yancey is acknowledging that Christianity just doesn’t seem like good news for a lot of people. And why is that and what we can do about it.

What’s stuck with me and struck me? Glad you asked. Aside from a lot that was fantastic in this book, one of the sections was devoted to how we can effectively and attractively communicate the good news to people. Vanishing Grace offers 3 really great pathways to do this – to a post-christian culture/society.

  1. As Pilgrims – if we as Christians were honest about our own shortcomings, and that we are also pilgrims on a journey – this would be much better. A lot of the time we try to present to the world, that we are “sorted” people, with it all together. Not only is this a lie, but its also unattractive. However if we are prepared to say that we don’t have all the answers, we still make mistakes, but that we do have a hope and that hope keeps us moving.
  2. As Activists – One of the biggest objections to Christianity is that the Christians don’t practice what they preach. They say they care about such and such but what do they do. Yancey encourages us to care for the marginalized, the down trodden, lonely. Etc.
  3. As Artists – Using creativity, in art, drama, poetry, writing (books, blogging, letters), to convey. He uses a powerful illustration that our art should both be ‘wise like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails’. That art has responsibility to tease and challenge and ‘prod to action’, but also to lodge itself in us and make us really think.

I can’t really do justice to the book, other than recommending it. But I would say that if you feel called to art as a means of witness do read that chapter, or this article I found by the author on the topic.

Short and simple, sorry no flare, I have a few more to write now.

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