In, Vanishing Grace, Philip Yancey raises a lot of questions, but doesn’t always give satisfactory answers. This may not be a deficiency on his part, but rather a reflection on human nature. It’s difficult to understand why Christians are not more gracious. Some of the stories Yancey tells are disturbing. The stories don’t just display Christians’ lack of grace, sometimes they show blatant hostility towards those they disagree with. Yancey quotes four common complaints about Christians: “You don’t listen to me, you judge me, your faith confuses me and you talk about what’s wrong instead of making it right.” Christians are supposed to be known for their love, but often we are known for our judgmental attitude.
Yancey encourages his readers to be “Grace Dispensers” and suggests three ways to do this. As fellow pilgrims who don’t appear to have it altogether, as activists who are concerned for social justice, and as artists who presented their message in subtle ways.
Yancey’s central point is to urge Christians to realize that the gospel is “good news” and we are to be dispensers of grace. It requires that we carefully consider how to present our message to the world so that it comes across as good news.
Vanishing Grace is a well written, thought provoking book, and though it doesn’t provide easy answers, does direct Christians towards a more Christ-centred approach.
Overall, a good read.