Philip Yancey has spoken on grace before. In a book that touched lives throughout the world, Philip began a journey of discovering why Christians seem to have a hard time showing grace to those around them. What’s So Amazing About Grace? very quickly became a challenging call to Christians everywhere to revamp their understanding of grace and delve deep into their own lives; to show God’s grace to everyone they encounter.
Philip returns now with the sequel to his award-winning book: Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News? Seeing the changes happening rapidly throughout the country, Philip once again raises the question of grace. Where is it, and why do we have to search it out? He takes it a step further, tackling the topic of how to live out grace in a world that is hostile to Christianity. Seeing and anticipating the major changes our society is undergoing, Philip jumps ahead and says, “hey, this is what we can do about it.”
Here is a blog he wrote for one of our tour friends, FaithLife (formerly Logos):
A writer’s life is a strange combination of isolation and busyness.
The act of writing itself requires quiet, reflective time. I can’t write if someone walks into the room. I block out distractions by listening to music through my headphones, and by shutting off my cell phone and email program.
Eventually, though I have to pay for the isolation. Right now I’m sitting on an airplane frantically trying to catch up on the accumulated emails and scheduling details that I put off while writing. A new book is being released—Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News?—which I’ll be presenting to a group of pastors in Boston. While flying east for that event, I’m reviewing notes and fine-tuning a PowerPoint file. Soon I’ll take that presentation on a seven-city book tour.
When I’m writing, I focus on one thing only. When I’m catching up, I flit from place to place like a hummingbird. Flying across Ohio, suddenly I remember a strange and confusing passage I read in the Bible this morning. It appears in the latter part of Ezekiel, a series of very detailed instructions on the building of the temple and the resumption of animal sacrifices. Many of the rules described echo those in Leviticus, but some have changed. Why is so much space devoted to these details? I ask myself. And what does this passage have to do with us today? I wonder how modern Jews, who have nothing resembling the temple described, interpret these chapters with their architectural specificity. Are the blueprints symbolic or literal?
When a line of questioning starts bugging me, I have great difficulty getting back to other tasks. Magically, because I have Logos Bible Software, I can look up the answers right now, sitting in a chair in the sky zooming across the American heartland. I have access to hundreds of Bible resources on my laptop computer, and in a few minutes I can survey a variety of opinions from scholars who have addressed my very questions.
Last weekend I spent hours moving hundreds of books and reference works out of danger from a basement flood. Thinking back, I have to smile at the contrast between those books, which take up so much space in my office, and a software program I can carry in my coat pocket. In some ways I’m old-fashioned. I still listen to classical music, I stubbornly cling to my flip-style “dumb phone,” and I don’t use Twitter. I must tell you, though, that I am forever grateful to live in an age that makes it possible for me to carry the wisdom of the ages with me, wherever I go.
Don’t miss out on hearing this message in person! Join Philip as he travels with Anthony Evans, participant of The Voice, on his 7-city tour this fall — details available here!