Vanishing grace : what ever happened to the good news?

by Philip Yancey

Paper Book, 2015



Call number



London : Hodder, 2015.


"'Why does the church stir up such negative feelings?' Philip Yancey has been asking this all his life as a journalist. His perennial question is more relevant now than ever: in a twenty-year span starting in the mid-nineties, research shows that favorable opinions of Christianity have plummeted drastically--and opinions of evangelicals have taken even deeper dives ... Yet while the opinions about Christianity are dropping, interest in spirituality is rising. Why the disconnect?"

User reviews

LibraryThing member thornton37814
In this book, Yancey takes a look at the way Christianity interacts with culture, specifically Evangelical Christianity. He makes a number of good points that will make Evangelicals consider the way they have been reacting to moral issues. He draws from the Bible and from church history to show how
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some of the greatest moments of the church were in times when Christians were not in political authority. The book will make a great discussion starter for small group discussions, Christian university courses dealing with society, and for Christian book clubs. While I may not agree with every point the author made, his work will make me consider why I think the way I do. I am not a fan of the hidden end note style which appears to be what this book will have, but since this was an advance e-galley provided by the publisher for review through NetGalley, that may have changed before it reached the final printing.
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LibraryThing member hjvanderklis
In Vanishing Grace – What Ever Happened to the Good News?, journalist, storyteller and renowned author Philip Yancey, explores the effects of lost appeal of U.S. Evangelicals. Yancey, himself Evangelical and unwilling to give up, had a deep dive in the American post-Christian culture and compared
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it to the cultural relevance and impact of Christians on other continents. The author puts a huge mirror to his readers. “Why does the church stir up such negative feelings?” What’s so good about the Good News (that’s what Evangelism should be about)? What’s the effect of watering down, mixing Christianity with politics, shouting loud harsh positions on abortion, homosexuality, death penalty, God’s curses through natural disasters, and Islam while being silent on gun proliferation, unpaid leave, voluntary work and nonviolent resistance.
Yancey gathered numerous examples from history, ranging from stopping arena fights in the first centuries after Christianity’s start, Martin Luther King Jr.’s inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi‘s marches throughout India, silent churches and outspoken people like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, etc. Yancey’s What’s So Amazing about Grace? (2002) landmark book is still valid, where genuine believers share not only words, but also practice what they preach. The author himself often is ashamed to have only words to shere, where others go the extra mile for others, spreading the Good News.
In societies fed up with superficial Christians, and religious outlets from New Age, Hinduism and Buddhism to Islam, as well as agnosticism and modern mixes of all of the above, respect, influence, and reputation in a newly post-Christian culture is something difficult to regain. Vanishing Grace makes you think on your faith and its relevance to neighbors, friends and family.
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LibraryThing member SABC
What ever happened to the good news? Why do Christians continue to lose respect, influence, and reputation in our modern culture? Why do people dislike Christians today? How can Christians communicate their faith in an appealing way to future generations? Study Guide and DVD are also available.
LibraryThing member SueinCyprus
This was a somewhat heavy book at times - hence over a month to read it, in short chunks! - but quite thought-provoking too. The premise of the book is that evangelicals (in the US, anyway) are seen in a negative light, usually defined by what they are against. Yancey wants to reclaim the word,
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with its original idea of offering good news to the poor, the hungry and the thirsty.

Divided into four main sections, there's plenty that's positive in this book. I hope it will make many re-think their aims. The author suggests that those outside the church are likely to take note of three broad categories of believers who show grace: the pilgrims who walk aside them, the activists who do something about their problems, and the artists who explain through metaphors and stories.

Recommended, though the book would probably not be of much interest to anyone who is not a believer.
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LibraryThing member oataker
Very much for an American audience, it bemoans the steady loss of influence of the Christian voice in the US. He feels they are just perceived as obnoxious and intolerant. He has lots of instructive stories from history and around the world to point to, and a very interesting final couple of
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chapters on what to do. Don't use power politics, rather be a pilgrim, an activist and an artists.
I think he fails to accept that there are aspects of the faith which are never going to be popular in society, in particular 'the offence of the cross'.
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Physical description

20 inches


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