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!