Philip Yancey (born 1949) is an American Christian author. Fourteen million copies of his books have been sold worldwide, making him one of the best-selling evangelical Christian authors. Two of his books have won the ECPA's Christian Book of the Year Award: The Jesus I Never Knew in 1996, and What's So Amazing About Grace? in 1998. He is published by Zondervan Publishing, WaterBrook, and Hachette.Read about Philip Yancey in Wikipedia
Sociologists have a theory of the looking-glass self: You become what the most important person in your life (wife, father, boss, etc. ) thinks you are. How would my life change if I truly believed the Bible's astounding words about God's love for me, if I looked in the mirror and saw what God sees?
Individuals and societies are not helpless victims of heredity. We have the power to change - not by looking "down" to nature but "up" to God, who consistently calls us forward to become the people we were designed to be. A confused world urgently needs a model of what that looks like. If Christians fail to provide that model, who will?
Jesus is the best clue we have as to what God is like and He is consistently gracious and merciful, especially to those who are failures. He is harsh to uptight, judgmental people, but merciful and gracious to the failures. He seems to draw out the smallest kernel of faith in each person that He's with. So, I presume that that's the way God is going to judge humanity.
I once heard a theologian remark that in the Gospels people approached Jesus with a question 183 times whereas he replied with a direct answer only three times. Instead, he responded with a different question, a story, or some other indirection. Evidently Jesus wants us to work out answers on our own, using the principles that he taught and lived.
Why pray? Evidently, God likes to be asked. God certainly does not need our wisdom or our knowledge, nor even the information contained in our prayers ("your Father knows what you need before you ask him"). But by inviting us into the partnership of creation, God also invites us into relationship. God is love, said the apostle John. God does not merely have love or feel love. God is love and cannot not love. As such, God yearns for relationship with the creatures made in his image.
I am learning that mature faith, which encompasses both simple faith and fidelity, works the opposite of paranoia. It reassembles all the events of life around trust in a loving God. When good things happen, I accept them as gifts from God, worthy of thanksgiving. When bad things happen, I do not take them as necessarily sent by God -- I see evidence in the Bible to the contrary -- and I find in them no reason to divorce God. Rather, I trust that God can use even those bad things for my benefit.