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What Good Is God?: In Search of a Faith That Matters

Average Rating 4
( 27 )
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  • Posted November 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    a perspective on just how great is our God and truly answers the question of what good God can do in our lives...

    Reviewed by Lori M for Readers Favorite

    This was my first audio book in 15 years. I had tried a fiction audio book years ago but couldn't drive and keep up with the plot at the same time. Thankfully, this book was a subject that I could listen to like a conversation and I did indeed listen to it while I was driving, this time without any difficulty.

    At first I was a little disappointed with Philip Yancey's narration of the book because it was often droning and monotonous, but I tried to concentrate instead on the message that was being delivered and pretend that I was reading the words he was saying.

    While I thought that Yancey may have inserted himself too much into the stories, talking about his automobile accident and such, I did very much enjoy his interviews with the lay ministers in China and with the professional sex workers in Wisconsin. These interviews and Yancy's journalistic approach were the best aspects of this audio book for me. They were real. They were gritty. They clearly reflected the hope that these people found in Christ and how they've in turn helped other people find a relationship with Christ. How inspiring! I wanted to cry when I heard how the girl who was shot in the Columbine High School shooting reached out to the people in the Virginia Tech shooting.

    This is a good audio book to listen to in order to gain a perspective on just how great is our God and truly answers the question of what good God can do in our lives.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Soujorns of Journalist a Metaphor for Spiritual Journey of Believer

    Phillip Yancey is one of the most influential writers in the Evangelical world today. "I write books for myself," he says on his blog, "searching for a loving, gracious God." Yancey writes about God's grace instead of the God he feared because of the hell and brimstone preaching he received from what he calls a "toxic church." Yancey brings us a new format in his book, What Good is God. He takes us on a global trek to ten distinct groups of people to determine if the faith he writes about holds up through the tough issues he encounters in the "refiner's fire of oppression, violence, and plague." We see underground Christians in China, the horrific lives of those thrown into prostitution, recovering alcoholics in Chicago and life on campus in a 1960s Bible College. The idea for the book came to him while on an airplane. After his book tour in India was bumped because of the terror in Mumbai in 2008, Yancey instead spoke to a small group in an Indian church. His theme: How do we find comfort in the midst of disaster and suffering? During his quest, Yancey, the journalist observed with a practiced eye while Yancey, the believer, probed his soul for answers. His sojourns through the dark places of our planet and its broken people are metaphors for his own spiritual journey. Yancey's answer to What Good is God? Echoes that of a pastor preaching from a passage in Romans following the Virginia Tech campus massacre. "Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good." The design of the book was refreshing. Effective illustrations precede each chapter. The poignant cover shows a small lantern perched high above an unnamed modern city. Faith in God makes a difference-not just in a small 18th century church, but in the indescribable suffering of today's world. Compassion may have been the only gift Phillip Yancey felt he could give to the broken and injured he met on his travels. The message of What Good is God, however, is clear. Good exists in this flawed planet because God is here. By encouraging believers to allow the light of Christ to illuminate the darkest places of our experiences, we are reassured that our vigilant God is present, no matter what tragedy we stumble upon.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 19, 2010

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    Insight for tough times

    In this book, Philip Yancey presents his ideas about spirituality in an extremely realistic and practical way. He examines the concept of God's goodness and the value of faith in the troubled times we live in and does not mince words or give pithy pat answers. He honestly looks at some disturbing issues with a view to discovering if God is actually good in that specific situation. He is comfortable enough with ambiguity to avoid generalizing and giving advice not based on truth. As a committed Christian, there are doubts and concerns that are ever-present in my mind that a simple, "Christian" answer doesn't quite satisfy, and this book does address some of them. I love that Yancey challenges the way Christians think about the world without discounting the value of faith.


    The format of the book follows some tough places that Yancey has been asked to give a talk. As he goes along, Yancey paints a picture of the place or event the difficulties it might present for someone looking for evidences of the goodness of God. He then includes the actual speech given at each place. It's powerful to think about Yancey having to address the various groups of people in each location - for example addressing students at Virginia Tech shortly after the shooting, a group of sex workers in various stages of getting out of the business, recovering alcoholics, and groups offering aid to the destitute in Africa (to name a few issues).


    This book is a must-read for Christians looking for insight, spiritual seekers, or even individuals who are curious about the the tenets of the Christian faith. Yancey's style makes everything very understandable without being condescending or trite.


    Thanks to the publisher for providing this book for a fair review. I was not required to write a positive review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2010

    A Matter of Faith

    Does Faith really matter when you are struggling with an addiction, when you get laid off from your job, when your home is in foreclosure? In his latest book What Good is God? Philip Yancey asks just that question, ultimately proving that to most of us it really matters! Giving excellent examples of how Faith works in our lives, he describes ten memorable events whose aftermath he personally attended throughout the world. As the book unfolds, he gives us the story behind the story with events taking place from the US with the heartbreaking tragedy of Virginia Tech to the underground Church of China. With each story Philip Yancey gives us a glimpse of true Faith as he interviews Students, Pastors, Alcoholics as well as Prostitutes from all over the world thus recording amazing details of love and compassion amongst survivors and participants of world shattering events! This is truly an interesting book, emotional at times as well as factual and I give it 4 stars. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Hachette Publishers as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2011

    Yancey does it again!

    Philip Yancey is one of my favorite authors because he tackles the questions most others are afraid to even talk about - and he does it in a raw and honest way. Yancey pulls no punches in his struggles and is not afraid to answer with "I don't know" if that's really the case. What Good is God? In Search of a Faith that Matters takes no detours from this style, and it does not disappoint. Yancey asks some big questions and offers some great answers.

    The book chronicles 10 trips Yancey has taken over the years to address and interact with people going through terrible trials: victims of the Virgina Tech massacre, a trip to post-apartheid South Africa, and a trip to Mumbai, India during the terrorist attacks there in 2008. Most people look at tragedies such as these and ask, "Where is God in all of this?" Yancey asks the same question - and then answers it. He finds the good in what appears to be evil. Scripture tells us that "My ways are not your ways", and that God is in control, yet at chaotic times in this world it is hard to believe. Yancey doesn't try to explain away these evil events with simplistic answers - instead, he acknowledges the evil and then searches for good that comes out of it: the churches and Christians who minister to those in need. God is present in our world, as is evil, and we need to remember that this world is still under the realm of the evil one. Yancey never tries to explain away the hurt or disappointment of the people in the situations he chronicles. Instead, he looks for others who are meeting their needs in the name of Jesus.

    And in so doing, he challenges us to do the same. This is by far one of the most convicting books I've read in a long time - and it has re-opened my eyes to the hurt around me as well as how God can use me to minister to the needs of the hurting. If you are looking for a book to encourage your faith by helping you see God working in the lives of people across the world then this book is for you. If you pick the book up thinking Yancey will answer the question "Where is God in all of this" by trying to explain away the evil around you, you will not find it here. Evil is present - and Yancey admits that; what he does is look for (and find) God in spite of (or perhaps because of) that evil. This is a definite 5/5 stars.

    Note: I received this book free from the publisher as part of their blogger review program. I was not required to write a positive review of it. I am disclosing this to comply with FTC regulations.

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  • Posted January 25, 2011

    recommended

    A good Philip Yancey read...in typical Yancey style. He makes it seem so easy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2010

    What Good Is God? Phillip Will Tell You.

    I don't think my words can do this book justice. All I can say is that it will open your eyes to so many things. I'd also like to suggest "When God Stopped Keeping Score," an intimate look at the power of forgiveness and yet, it's about so much more. I loved every minute of it. Given the chance, it could change your life.

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