I’ve read many books by Philip Yancey, and he is an excellent writer. This one also did not disappoint, but it is a little different. It’s Yancey’s personal memoir of his childhood, youth, and how he came to faith, and after reading it you will understand why so much of his writing is focused on the themes of suffering, pain and grace.
Philip and his brother were raised by their mother after their father died of polio. His parents had hoped to be missionaries, and his mother remained devout. She told her sons that she had “dedicated” them to God, just as Hannah in the Bible gave her child Samuel to the Lord. She wanted them to become missionaries, fulfilling the desire she had been unable to accomplish in her own life. As a consequence, when they failed to measure up to her expectations, she was disappointed and behaved in ways that left them feeling angry and rejected.
Although Philip attended a Bible college, he saw himself as a rebel and outsider. He could not embrace his mother’s extremely legalistic approach to God, and comes close to rejecting Christianity altogether. However, eventually, he has his own conversion experience and comes to know Christ in a whole new way. Even as he rejects his mother’s viewpoint, he tries to understand, forgive, and encourage her to reconcile with his brother.
VERDICT: 4 STARS. It bogged down in places, but overall is a very honest, vulnerable and well-written spiritual autobiography.
The Lutheran Ladies received a free e-copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CPR 255.
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