Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Sharing A Little Yancey

Certain authors just resonate with me better than others. Donald Miller challenges me to rethink my comfortable paradigms, and he does it in such a way that convicts me of how obviously off-base I have been. But Philip Yancey pulls me in because he seems to struggle with faith and issues the way I do. I relate so much to him. Many things he says I have thought about, but just hadn't put them into words. If I had, I guess I could be a best-selling author, too.

I have just begun reading Searching for the Invisible God. It's not a new book (2000), but I just hadn't read it before. Wow! It is loaded with stuff I really need right now.

Let me just share two WOW's with you today.

He quotes George Everett Ross:
I have served in the ministry thirty years, almost thirty-one. I have come to understand that there are two kinds of faith. One says if and the other says though. One says: "If everything goes well, if my life is prosperous, if I'm happy, if no one I love dies, if I'm successful, then I will believe in God and say my prayers and go to the church and give what I can afford." The other says though: though the cause of evil prosper, though I sweat in Gethsemane, though I must drink my cup at Calvary -- nevertheless, precisely then, I will trust the Lord who made me. So Job cries: "Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him."

Wow! I can so relate.

The second quote is one that addresses a trend in evangelical churches (us included) today:
"I asked the Lord..." "The Lord told me..." "God is whispering to me right now..." The wording implies a kind of voice-to-voice conversation that did not take place, and the fudged report has the effect of creating a spiritual caste that downgrades others' experiences.

Later he adds: "I have friends who see a demon behind every bush and an angel behind every vacant parking place, and I sometimes marvel at what their simple faith accomplishes. When there is no miracle, however, when they need something closer to long-term fidelity than short-term wonder, I note that they turn to people with a more cautious and longsuffering faith."

Yancey! You da' man!


steve said...

It is good to be reminded often that our faith should be more of the though philosophy, because or own self pity pushes us to an if type of faith (i.e. I would be a better christian if God would have blessed me with more time and money)

Josh Ross said...

You have mentioned two of my favorite authors. They have helped form my faith. Thanks for sharing.