Disappointment With God: Three Questions No One Asks Aloud

by Philip Yancey

Paperback, 1997

Status

Available

Description

Philip Yancey has a gift for articulating the knotty issues of faith. In Disappointment with God, he poses three questions that Christians wonder but seldom ask aloud: Is God unfair? Is he silent? Is he hidden? This insightful and deeply personal book points to the odd disparity between our concept of God and the realities of life. Why, if God is so hungry for relationship with us, does he seem so distant? Why, if he cares for us, do bad things happen? What can we expect from him after all? Yancey answers these questions with clarity, richness, and biblical assurance. He takes us beyond the things that make for disillusionment to a deeper faith, a certitude of God's love, and a thirst to reach not just for what God gives, but for who he is.

Publication

Zondervan (1997), Edition: New edition, 336 pages

Awards

Christian Book Award (Winner — Inspirational — 1989)

Rating

(157 ratings; 4)

User reviews

LibraryThing member jmcdbooks
Rated: A-

I love Philip Yancy and his theology and journalism. In this book, he answers three questions: Is God unfair? (no, life's unfair, not God). Is God silent? Is God hidden? He provides a practical perspective for believers and doubters. Plus, the book is offers a unique commentary on the Book
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of Job.

"They had doubted him once, but after the Resurrection they would not doubt him again."

"In his book 'Wishful Thinking', Fredrick Buechner sums up God's speech. 'God doesn't explain. He explodes. He asks Job who he thinks he is anyway. He says that to try to explain the kind of things Job wants explained would be like trying to explain Einstein to a little-neck clam....God doesn't reveal his grand design. He reveals himself.' The message behind the splendid poetry boils down to this: Until you know a little more about running the physical universe, Job, don't tell me how to run the moral universe."

"The same urgent questions torment almost every suffering person: Why? Why me? What is God trying to tell me? In the Book of Job, God deflects those questions of cause, and focuses instead on our response of faith"

"Knowledge is passive, intellectual; suffering is active, personal. No intellectual answer will solve suffering. Perhaps this is why God sent his own Son as one response to human pain, to experience it and absorb it into himself. The Incarnation did not "solve" human suffering, but at least it was an active and personal response in the truest sense, no words can speak more loudly than the Word."

"Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse....trusting God when there is no apparent evidence of him."

"As Rabbi Abraham Heschel observed, 'Faith like Job's cannot be shaken because it si the result of having been shaken.'"
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LibraryThing member Tmtrvlr
Yancy begins his book with examples of circumstances from several Christians who have suffered greatly and feel disappointed with or abandoned by God. The author chooses the situation of Richard, the person suffering the least of the examples (but a fellow author), to follow throughout the
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book.

Using OT scriptures, Mr. Yancy tries to explain the mind of God. His attempt actually turns eerie (downright creepy) when Yancy imagines himself as God questioning in his mind whether or not man would obey when created.

It is my opinion that Mr. Yancy conveys the message that those who are disappointed in God are pretenders. They are people who never had “real” faith so they never were true believers. Instead of helping a friend out of a spiritual depression, Mr. Yancy slapped him down and decided he just did not have enough faith.

There was no compassion in the book for the suffering Christian. Mr. Yancy has his own experience being a pretender as he explains in the book that he deliberately pretended to be a Christian in college until one day he began praying out loud and “had a vision of Jesus”. It is also my opinion that Mr. Yancy’s answers in this book are no better than the callous conversations the friends of Job had for his sufferings.

Mr. Yancy’s questions in the book were:
1. Is God unfair?
2. Is God silent?
3. Is God hidden?

My questions for Mr. Yancy are:
1. Are you trying to prove the old adage “Christians shoot their wounded”?
2. Do you have no compassion for a suffering Christian?
3. Did a tree have to die for this book?

I have suffered the worst thing a parent can suffer and I would never recommend this book to a Christian who is going through trials.
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LibraryThing member Fellowshipwc
Philip Yancey has a gift for articulating the knotty issues of faith. In Disappointment with God, he poses three questions that Christians wonder but seldom ask aloud: Is God unfair? Is he silent? Is he hidden? This insightful and deeply personal book points to the odd disparity between our concept
Show More
of God and the realities of life. Why, if God is so hungry for relationship with us, does he seem so distant? Why, if he cares for us, do bad things happen? What can we expect from him after all? Yancey answers these questions with clarity, richness, and biblical assurance. He takes us beyond the things that make for disillusionment to a deeper faith, a certitude of God's love, and a thirst to reach not just for what God gives, but for who he is.
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LibraryThing member misskate
Well done. I highy recommend this to anyone struggling with doubts
LibraryThing member kapibara
This is probably one of the most thought provoking books I have ever read. I found it exceptionally good. This is NOT a superficial treatment of suffering and is not intended as an afternoon read. It dares to delve where other authors haven't.
LibraryThing member booklad
Is God hidden, fair, visible? The best treatment I have ever come across on this subject. No matter how much you have studied, this book is guaranteed to cause you to have new directions of thought.
LibraryThing member Amzzz
Is God silent? Is He unfair? Why doesn't He intervene? These are some of the questions that Yancey attempts to answer in this book, that is both biblical and personal. Very interesting and helpful to read, not sure I agree with all of it but excellent food for thought.
LibraryThing member cewilliams3674
Thoughtful and uncompromising work dealing with difficult issues. Yancy works hard and helping us understand the seeming silence and absence of God, especially in times of profound distress. I would like to see Yancy include more of how this issue has been dealt with over they years rather than
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write as if these were all original ideas. I would also like to see more discipline in his references. And excellent book all around.
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LibraryThing member jothebookgirl
I really enjoyed this book, even though the readability was a bit tedious. It deals with the topic of how sometimes (or most times) we feel like God isn't near us. We go through tough times and wonder where God is in all of that, but really, another way to view it is where are we in all of this?
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What is our response to God when we endure heartache or disease?

Many people want to see God, to have miracles happen all the time, to have every prayer answered. Philip Yancey gives some good arguments as to why God doesn't do this. It's not because he doesn't care or he's not powerful. It's because back in the day, when he did those things with the Israelites, they turned away from Him. A really interesting way of thinking about things, though.
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