Disappointment with God
|by Philip Yancey|
|Disappointment with God by Philip Yancey is a book I have reread several times. Yancey says disappointment is what occurs when “the actual experience something falls far short of what we anticipate”. Disappointment can arise from dramatic situations such as silence in the midst of financial crisis, struggle with sin, or emotional pain. Then again, disappointment can simply color the mundane experiences of our life such as getting stranded. The more we’re exposed to disappointment, the more we can begin to wonder: Where is God?
Yancey initially avoided writing on the topic, because he didn’t want to hurt anyone’s faith, which could potentially happen by focusing on the negative. While pondering the issue, Yancey met a graduate student, who helped drive and shape the focus of his book. The student had written his thesis on Job and asked Yancey to read it, but then later recanted his beliefs out of a feeling of disappointment with God.
Their discussions led Yancey to come up with three questions, which Christians often don’t voice: Is God unfair? Is God silent? Is God hidden? It also led Yancey on his own search, one that didn’t involve other Christians or even religious books. It simply involved reading through the entire Bible.
As a result of his reading, Yancey began to look at the disappointment issue in a different way. He started to wonder instead: What does it feel like to be God? The bulk of Disappointment with God addresses this question by looking at how God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit interact with mankind.
Finally, Yancey revisits his initial three questions to ask: What happened when God was fair? When God wasn’t silent? When God showed himself? His answers might surprise you.
After reading this book, and a companion volume Where is God When it Hurts?, I became an ardent fan of Yancey. When I used to subscribe to Christianity Today, I read every article of his that appeared there. I also own pretty much every full-length book he has written. How does an author who has written on the controversial issue of theodicy become my favorite author? The reality of life is that God may just as often say NO to our prayers as YES, which causes me at least some struggle in my walk. Among other Christian authors, Yancey helps me work through my doubts and into a stronger faith.
|Sunday, September 07, 2014 10:34:01 PM ahunter|