Philip Yancey, (2010), What Good is God? (New York, NY: Faith Works)
Philip Yancey, journalist turned best seller author, is not one who is afraid to ask hard questions about the question of evil, why God allows suffering and why the church is failing its members. It is noticable that Yancey has matured in his thinking and beliefs since the days when he first wrote about Dr Paul Brand and then begins to ask searching questions about suffering, and describe his recovery from the trauma of his early church experiences.
In this, his latest book, Yancey not only ask questions but begins to provide some answers. “What Good is God” may also be rephrased as what “God is good for” as he searched for this God in a series of ten different scenerios. Each scenerios is followed by a talk which he gave to the people involved in these respective scenerios. Essentially this is a book about redemption. Redemption in the way people seek to redeem themselves out of bad situations, and redemption as a work of God. This may be found in his interviews and observations about victims of random violence in Columbine, sex workers in Wisconsin, the underground church in China, and reconciliation in South Africa.
I cannot help but feel that there is a sense of calmness and self acceptance in Yancey that is not so obvious in his earlier books. Whether it is due to his accident and near death experience or other reasons, only the author will know and I hope one day he will descibe his own faith journey.
This is a good book to read for those of us who dare to ask difficult questions about God and His Church, dare to admit our doubts, and question our sufferings.