- Paperback: 112 pages
- Publisher: Zondervan; Study Guide edition (October 21, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780310825494
- ISBN-13: 978-0310825494
- ASIN: 0310825490
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 426 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #541,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Vanishing Grace Study Guide: Whatever Happened to the Good News? Paperback – October 21, 2014
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About the Author
Philip Yancey serves as editor-at-large for Christianity Today magazine. He has written thirteen Gold Medallion Award-winning books and won two ECPA Book of the Year awards for What's So Amazing About Grace? and The Jesus I Never Knew. Four of his books have sold over one million copies. Yancey lives with his wife in Colorado. Learn more at philipyancey.com
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About one year ago I had a little meltdown. After reading the bible for many years and going to church frequently, I felt lost. I had been attending church to learn how to live as a faithful Christian, but I was not becoming a better follower of Jesus. In fact, when I noticed the effects of church on me and my children, I started rejecting what I had absorbed. My church did a great job with its church family and we learned a lot about doctrine, but when I read the NT, I saw Jesus serving the oppressed and poor and hanging out with all kinds of people who would probably not be welcome at my church. The more I thought about it, the sadder I became. We were not hearing the Good News and passing it on, but we did pass judgment, we did keep company with people just like us and we did identify sin as a problem that comes with a hierarchy.
During that meltdown, I remembered that there are only two greatest commandments so I looked them up again and I was overwhelmed with hope. These two commandments are so simple and clear. Then sadly, I realized that our church was failing to demonstrate how to love our neighbors as ourselves. I was nearly convinced that the answer for me was outside the church walls.
I tell you this story because my experience, as it turns out, is similar to that of many, many people who have turned away from churches. Those of us who are leaving have not been hearing enough about grace. And we don't like it.
In reading Vanishing Grace, I felt like Yancey was sharing his wisdom directly with me. With his blend of optimism and realism, he was renewing my hope in his conversational, warm tone.
So, a week ago, as I was explaining my meltdown to a friend who is an elder, I told her we need more grace and that she could read about it in WSAAG. I Can't give up my copy, so promised to order a book for her. As I was ordering it, I saw that Yancey had just published this brand new book. With only one review I ordered it, and it is the wake-up call that we all needed to hear. I will now be buying this for a few elders who are interested in reviving our weary (long story) church.
In this book, Yancey tells us the bad news of declining church attendance in the US and Europe and cites many surveys and statistics on changes through the centuries. He also includes many real life examples and suggestions on how to build back up to having grace-filled lives and churches. The book has given me hope and renewed energy that I will pour into a church that will share God's grace in abundance.
***Mr. Yancey, you have my deepest gratitude and thanks. With your divinely inspired keystrokes you ARE an activist and an agent of change in the best sort of way. Without your words, I would feel too much like a rebel to tell the hard truth and to initiate some graceful conversations for change. Now I can use your research as evidence that we need to do much more to model Jesus, and because of your books, we will know what that looks like. God bless you!
Philip Yancey is one of my favorite authors. In fact, it was reading his books while in undergrad that spurred me to change my major to Theology. The way he writes is honest and relatable while being sensible and wise. Reading Vanishing Grace felt comforting, like a beautiful smell that brings you back to your innocent childhood days.
Grace is not a new topic for Yancey. In fact, most of his books cover God’s grace. However, in Vanishing Grace, Yancey focuses specifically on the grace we share. The world is thirsty grace. The world does not need another argument for Jesus or more detailed apologetics; the world needs grace.
Grace is probably the most attractive part of the Christian and probably the most appalling part of the Christian as well. Attractive because grace is not about who we are or what we do, grace is dispensed because who God is. God sheds His beautiful grace on me. This definition of grace is what makes Christianity different than other religions. Conversely, appalling because grace is not about who we are or what we do, grace is dispensed because who is. God sheds His beautiful grace on my enemies. This definition of grace is infuriating.
Everyone is allowed in because of God’s grace. Such a beautiful thing to the outsider and a frustrating thing to the insider (that’s what the parable of the Prodigal Son gets me every time).
This book is classic Yancey. It engages my brain. It opens my heart. A definite recommend.
Here are some quotes I loved :
“I doubt God keeps track of how many arguments we win; God may indeed keep track of how well we love.”
“The more we love, and the more unlikely people we love, the more we resemble God.”
“It makes all the difference in the world whether I view my neighbor as a potential convert or as someone whom God already loves.”
“Too easily we expect God to do something for us when instead God wants to do it through us.”
This is not a critique of Philip's writing--in fact, I love his books. But to omit in the description that this is the identical book previously released, even the same publisher, is so lame!! If you don't have the previous identical release, buy this one. If you have it, NO!