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Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News? by Philip Yancey (Zondervan, 2014)


Reading Yancey’s book, Vanishing Grace, took me back 20 years when I read his excellent volume, What’s So Amazing about Grace? At the time, the book held its place in my life as one of the best books I’d ever read.

As I read this new volume, it struck me as tackling a similar thrust: we live in a world thirsty for God’s grace and Christians often throw salt on the wound rather than live as dispensers of grace.

Yancey’s own words in chapter 10 summarize it well:

To the degree we live out the message we say we believe, treating everyone with dignity and worth and measuring success by the standards of Jesus and the not the broader culture, to that degree only we will succeed in serving up good news to a thirsty world.

Yancey isn’t heavy-handed or preachy, a wonderful aspect of this volume. Even still, the book feels lopsided. The book’s subtitle summarizes well most of the content: What Ever Happened to the Good News? The majority of the 13 chapters seem to sing the same song— fortissimo on the examples of Christians failing to dispense grace and pianissimo on the solution seen in examples of grace given.

The book strikes me as a sequel to What’s So Amazing about Grace, offering more of the same—although the same stuff is good stuff.