by Philip Yancey
Reviewed December 31, 2001.
A Sonderbooks' Best Book
Doubleday. 2001. 320 pages.
In this book, Philip Yancey, a popular Christian
author, tells about the lives of twelve great people. Mr.
Yancey grew up in a “dysfunctional” church and saw many things
that might have pushed him away from Christianity forever.
However, the lives and writings of the people he presents showed
him what Christianity could be, and brought him back to the example
This is an outstanding book. I recommend it
for Christians to read, but also for people who have doubts or criticisms
of Christianity. I think it can be inspiring to anyone.
I was trying to articulate why I like Philip Yancey’s
writing so much. (I also found What’s So Amazing About
to be excellent.) I decided that I’ve always liked
pastors (like Pastor Doug Moore in LA) who don’t try to come across
as having all the answers, but as fellow seekers. Philip Yancey
does this, too.
Soon after I had decided this was what I liked about
him, I came to this statement: “When I began writing openly
about my faith, I concluded that I had only one thing to offer:
honesty. I had heard enough church propaganda growing up.
I would cling to the stance of a pilgrim, not a propagandist, describing
life with God as it actually plays out, not as it is supposed to play
out.” This honesty is refreshing and reaches deeper than books
that simply set out to give answers.
This book does seem long. For each of the twelve
people presented, he talks about how their life or work touched
his own life. At times, this seems a little repetitious.
However, I think it’s worth taking a little extra time to think
about these things.
Another book by Philip Yancey: The Jesus I Never Knew
Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.
All rights reserved.