Philip Yancey on “What Good is God?”
Philip Yancey is on the organizing committee of the Theology of Celebration series of BioLogos Workshops that have taken place in New York City the past three years. Yancey reflects briefly on his experience at one of the workshops here.
In this video “Conversation,” Philip Yancey, Christian journalist and author, discusses the inspiration behind his book What Good is God?
Yancey explains that his book arose from the many interesting circumstances he’s found himself in throughout his travels as a writer. On the way home from a trip to Mumbai, India, during which terrorists attacked the city, he began to form a list of the challenging situations he has experienced. This list morphed into the ten chapters of the book, each of which addresses an example of faith stretched to the extreme. Some of these situations involve suffering and trauma while others are simply difficult experiences like speaking to a crowd of prostitutes. Two themes, however, tie all of these different chapters together: the complexities of suffering and grace.
Many Christians respond to suffering in problematic ways. They either lecture the suffering individual or offer philosophical explanations for their pain. Yancey argues that the correct response to suffering is not found in these things but instead can be seen in the face of Jesus. Looking at Jesus’ life, says Yancey, it is obvious that he is on the side of suffering people. He always responds to people in pain with compassion and healing. While some questions about suffering, Yancey admits, can never be answered, the author starts with “his brightest glue being the face of Jesus who responds to people who are going through suffering and difficulties.”
Philip Yancey's book What Good is God? is available here
Commentary written by the BioLogos editorial team.
Philip Yancey is a best-selling author of evangelical Christian literature and editor-at-large of Christianity Today. He received master’s degrees in communications and English from Wheaton College in Illinois and the University of Chicago. His publications include The Jesus I Never Knew and Where is God When It Hurts? Yancey is a member of the editorial board of Books & Culture, and his books have sold more than 14 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 35 languages. He has received two Christian Book of the Year awards and 13 Gold Medallion awards.