Sep 14, 2010

What Good is God? by Philip Yancey

Journalist and spiritual seeker Philip Yancey has always struggled with the most basic questions of the Christian faith. The question he tackles in WHAT GOOD IS GOD? concerns the practical value of belief in God. His search for the answer to this question took him to some amazing settings around the world: Mumbai, India when the firing started during the terrorist attacks; at the motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated; on the Virginia Tech campus soon after the massacre; an AA convention; and even to a conference for women in prostitution. At each of the 10 places he visited, his preparation for the visit and exactly what he said to the people he met each provided evidence that faith really does work when what we believe is severely tested. WHAT GOOD IS GOD? tells the story of Philips journey--the background, the preparation, the presentations themselves. Here is a story of grace for armchair travelers, spiritual seekers, and those in desperate need of assurance that their faith really matters.

What Good Is God?: In Search of a Faith That Matters
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: FaithWords (Oct 19 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446559857
ISBN-13: 978-0446559850

Check out an author Article here

Visit Philip Yancey's website at


I have read several books by Philip Yancey, but What Good is God? is my favourite so far. There are ten separate sections in this book, each covering a dramatic time in history or a distinct part of society.
  1. Virgina Tech: Campus Massacre
  2. China: Winds of Change
  3. Green Lake: Professional Sex Workers
  4. Cambridge: Remembering C.S. Lewis
  5. Bible College: Student Daze
  6. South Africa: Breaking Down the Walls
  7. Memphis: An Alternative Vision
  8. Middle East: Church at Risk
  9. Chicago: A Place for Misfits
  10. Mumbai: A Marathon of Horror
Each section is filled with a detailed overview including interviews, history, and recollections from individuals personally impacted, either currently or in the past.  This unusual approach gives a first hand, up close and personal look at events, lifestyles, and beliefs. For example, when Mr. Yancey researched the "Green Lake: Professional Sex Workers" topic, he went to their convention and personally interviewed several women with direct involvement in the sex trade.  He then spoke to them as a group, encouraging them in their journey of grace and healing.

Each section has two parts ... first the history, research and interviews.  The second part of each section includes the speech or presentation that was delivered to each of the groups individually.  This is a realistic and transparent look at different aspects of our society, both locally and around the world.  Mr. Yancey does it in a way that is enlightening yet almost overwhelming at times.

The title of this book asks an important question, "What Good is God?"  I believe that Mr. Yancey answers this question through the examples of ordinary people who had long-lasting and life-changing effects on others in their communities. This book challenges us to be the hands and feet of God by delivering hope to those around us.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of What Good is God? through Hachette Books, in exchange for my honest review.

No comments:

Post a Comment