Strange encounters with mainstream evangelicalism 4 : Yancey

My thoughts on reading Philip Yancey’s Reaching for the invisible God

I’ve been avoiding Yancey for years. He’s so popular I thought he’d be insipid. I was wrong. I repent of being so dismissive. In one way I’m surprised he’s so popular; in another way I understand and think it’s great. He reads so widely and has an open, inquiring mind. This book made me feel like I was in the company of an honest and thoughtful seeker who had passion and only some tentative answers.

Maybe that’s where I find the key weakness in this book as well. Because as beautifully as Yancey explains the problem of trying to relate to a God who is invisible, hidden, often seemingly absent, I came away without knowing much new.

Instead, I drifted through well written chapters which only seemed to have loose connections with each other and even within themselves. Along the way, I heard a lot of wonderful stories, wise sayings and profound thoughts. But what did it all add up to? Probably this: that someone who has thought deeply about this problem and read widely on it has shared his findings.

I like Yancey for his honesty and I think he’s good for evangelicalism.


One thought on “Strange encounters with mainstream evangelicalism 4 : Yancey

  1. Hi Nathan, I read the same book last month. I enjoyed the book but did sense as I went along that once the last page was read Iwould be left with nothing to “hang my hat on”. And it was the case! Great ride while it lasts. I had another Yancey book in my hands last week but thought against buying it because I got the feeling it would be a similar experience. The trend towards books being a collection of other people’s stories strung together with some comments wears thin after a while. Still, being an ex-druggie, maybe I will return to Yancey for a quick fix!

    bye Nathan and God bless you!….

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