Last night, my friend Ryan and I drove together to have dinner at Steak n Shake with Suncrest’s St. John student pastor Brendon Foulke (because we are three very classy individuals haha) and on my way back home with Ryan, we had a great conversation, talking about books and teachers that had helped to shape our faith in really positive ways. And during that conversation, I shared about a great Christian writer who I think has done more to shape thought and conversation about Christianity over the past 15-20 years than anyone, and that is Phillip Yancey.
In my opinion, next to the writings of C.S. Lewis, Yancey did more to shape Christian thought through his writing more than any other person who wrote in the 20th century. And I would not be surprised if at the end of the 21st century we are still talking about how Yancey’s writings have helped to shape the thought of evangelical Christianity. He wrote some excellent books and resources, like “Disappointment with God,” “The Jesus I Never Knew,” and “What’s So Amazing About Grace?” which are all instant classics. If you haven’t read them, I’d highly recommend taking a look at all three. Really, anything with Phillip Yancey’s name on it is generally a book that is worth your time to read.
I think what I appreciate the most about Yancey is his honesty. He is very forthright about his struggles in understanding God, dealing with his misconceptions about Jesus, and in his trials and difficult experiences that he has faced making him ask questions like, “Does God even care?” or “Does God even notice?” His books and ideas are always very well thought-out and are going to contain points and ideas that will challenge you to think differently and to re-evaluate your ideas about Jesus, prayer, God the Father, and a whole host of other topics. If nothing else, Yancey’s books create an opportunity for a great dialogue to talk and think about issues that every follower of Christ will face at one point or another.
In short, here on the Cultivate Blog, we like to provide some resources that are going to challenge and enhance your faith. So next time you’re at Borders, Barnes and Noble, Family Christian, or some other bookstore, pick up a book by Phillip Yancey. You will not be sorry.