Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Vanishing Grace by Philip Yancey

The church is failing in its mission to dispense grace, Yancey writes. He was concerned about grace when he wrote about it nearly twenty years ago and he still is. Grace is vanishing, he claims. What can we do about it?

He covers three aspects of the issue in his book: models of how it can be done better, how Christianity stands up to the alternatives offered by other beliefs, and the role of Christians in a diverse world.

He advocates that Christians show humility, try to find common ground with others and look for natural opportunities to show grace. He explores how we can be grace dispensers as pilgrims, activists, and artists, giving examples in each area. He shows how the Christian faith has really been a benefit to the world, how Christianity relates to science and answers the questions science cannot (like why we are here). He addresses the moral confusion of today and the Christian response. He looks at the effect the relationship of faith and politics has had and suggests ways to live out convictions while still conveying grace.

This book is a good wake up call to Christians. Yancey's section on the Christian and culture is inspiring. “Every Christian can be an activist,” he writes, “whether full- or part-time.” We can act out our beliefs subversively. When we witness disrespect, we can counter by showing respect. When we see prejudice, we can respond with acceptance. When we view repulsive art, we can create God honoring alternatives. We can impact our community one person at a time. Each of us can be a dispenser of grace where it is so desperately needed.

Food for thought: 
   “Perhaps the most powerful thing Christians can do to communicate to a skeptical world is to live fulfilled lives, exhibiting proof that Jesus' way truly leads to a life most abundant and most thirst-satisfying.”
   “The church is, above all, a place to receive grace...”

Philip Yancey explores the basic questions and deep mysteries of the Christian faith. He is the author of many award-winning books with over 15 million in print. He and his wife live in the foothills of Colorado. Find out more at

Zondervan, 304 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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