5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This book is like a prayer.,
This review is from: Soul Survivor (Paperback)
I will first of all say I am a huge Philip Yancey fan after a friend very kindly bought me "What's so Amazing about Grace?". I find his no-saccarhine yet hopeful approach very inspiring. He loves God with a passion that infuses anyone reading the book.
There are many on the run from organised worship these days who feel perhaps that God has abandoned them because they haven't "played by the rules". All I can say is Philip Yancey is a great evangelist who does wonderful work to bring people back to the Lord's feet. This book puts power back into the hands of the individual if they choose to see it that way. The voice of Yancey is gently humourous, self-mocking, and deeply empathetic.
He writes as a "soul survivor" having come out of a very fundamentalist, bible-belt background, and each chapter explains a key figure who has been his inspiration - and why - as diverse as Martin Luther-King, John Donne, Solzenitzenn, and others. Yancey admits he was racist and over-zealous, and didn't get the true message of Christianity until later. He does not confuse but enlightens with a depth of scholarship which is utterly breathtaking. He does not patronise, he is a very humble writer, and very honest about his own shortcomings and formative experience.
Soul Survival, for Yancey, has been a lifelong quest, and his quest is so enlightening and brilliant for anyone who is trying to find God and spend more time in his presence.
Please humour me and let me quote from the book when he writes on the Japanese (Christian) Novelist, Endo:
"A Life of Jesus fills in the portrait of the mother-love of Jesus:
"He was thin; he wasn't much. One thing about him, however - he was never known to desert other people if they had trouble. When women were in tears, he stayed by their side. When old folks were lonely, he sat with them quietly. it was nothing miraculous, but the sunken eyes overflowed with love more profound than a miracle. And regarding those who deserted him, those who betrayed him, not a word of resentment came to his lips. No matter what happened, he was the man of sorrows, and he prayed for nothing but their salvation.
That's the whole life of Jesus. It stands out clean and simple, like a single Chinese ideograph brushed on a blank piece of paper".
(This really spoke to my heart. I saw Jesus's work as an emblem of love, a simple seal on the sacrifical point of his life.)
Yancey explains why some Japanese people have difficulty with Christianity - possibly because they cannot accept the "He-authority" figure. He is a seeker after truth, I would never have found "Endo" who wrote the passage above, and through him I found the wonderful passage above which really brought home to me what matters as a Christian.
I was going to give this book to a relative but find I just can't do the Christian thing and part with it, going to have to buy another copy! I find such comfort and understanding within his books, he's truly in touch with the important things in life.
If you are a soul survivor, I hope you find the God of your understanding.
He's just waiting to be asked. xxx