This is a review on Phillip Yancey’s Vanishing Grace. While I don’t usually state this outright in a review on my blog, but if you are a believer in the word and work of Jesus, buy this book!
In 1997, Zondervan published a book by author Phillip Yancey on the subject of Grace. That book, which I was introduced to two years ago, quickly became my favorite book on the subject, surpassing my love for a book written by Jay Bakker or one by Brennan Manning on the topic. Seventeen years later, Yancey wrote what I would consider the sequel to the first book. His newest, Vanishing Grace, picks up where What’s So Amazing About Grace? left off.
What’s So Amazing About Grace? introduced his readers to the idea of what is “Grace?” Building on the first book, Yancey takes readers from the what of Grace and leads them in to the hows of it. Yancey’s book, which divides into four major sections which he states are miniature books, each addresses an aspect of Grace in modern society: a world thirsting for Grace, modern examples of who are the voices of Grace, why Grace matters, and how Grace has an unreplaceable position in modern culture.
As I was reading Vanishing Grace, there were moments -many more than I would like to admit- where I felt like in a gracious, loving way, Yancey was chastising me for my lack of Grace as a Christian. The reader who chooses to engage with this book should be prepared to ask him or herself questions such as: How am I making Grace evident? How am I not? Where do I see Grace being extended to me?
One can tell that Yancey is a seasoned writer; he presents both sides of the conversation on Grace so that the book does not come across as one-sided. In the section on why Grace matters especially, Yancey provides counter-arguments for his point and then responses to them.
It should be obvious to the reader of this book that Phillip Yancey is a man who has an inkling as to what Grace is. The reader can also discern in reading Vanishing Grace that Yancey’s approach to encouraging the reader to be an activist to grace does not involve guilt, shame, or manipulation but instead Grace abounding as he explains why the world needs Grace and Grace more abundantly. This book serves best when read in conjunction with Yancey’s first book on the topic, and it would be my hope that one day Zondervan combines the two into an omnibus with both books in one cover.
This book was provided for through the Book Look Bloggers program in exchange for writing a review on the book. I was not obligated to post a positive review; the opinions expressed are mine.