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phlox

Philip Yancey's new book

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Yancey’s latest book is The Question that Never Goes Away (July 2013), written after his visit to Newtown last December. The author (and publisher Zondervan)  made his new book available for free on kindle –over 100,000 downloads in 2 weeks—as well as making his previous books free to the people of Newtown. A generous act of ministry…you sense that he needed to do something, could not remain silent or totally helpless. From the chapters on the Sandy Hook slaughter--

 

 “the easy availability of guns, particularly assault weapons, plays a definite role …yet other gun cultures (for example Switzerland and Canada) don’t experience the same kind of mass shootings. Should we then blame inattention to mental health? The killers at Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, and Newtown gave off disturbing signals that should have raised alarms. Others point the finger at video games and a steady diet of Hollywood violence. Some fault the media for the exposure it brings to killers. Few, however, name such acts as evil, which they surely are….What’s wrong with us? What kind of society are we, to spawn such acts of violence?”

 

The book also focuses on genocide in Sarajevo, and the tsunami in Japan. I've found much to admire in Yancey’s work, he appeals to a wide range of Christians. He’s planning to do a memoir next year --Dispensing Grace: How to Communicate Faith to a Culture Running Away From It.  

Edited by phlox

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I started reading this yesterday...at a wedding. Yea, I'm strange.

 

I like that he emphasizes our response to suffering, but I still think it's a legitimate question to struggle with the question of suffering and not just say "we don't know." Yes, we probably won't fully know the answer in this life, but we should still strive towards some answer because, as he's quick to point out, "Christian" messages on suffering can often make things worse.

 

I'm going to keep reading and maybe he'll address my issue later in the book. I haven't read its predecessor, so maybe he talks about those issues in that title.

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I appreciated that Yancey's book makes a clear distinction between natural disasters and murder. He says “Newtown, Boston, and similar tragedies we can blame on mental illness or bad gun laws…”   I admired his calling attention to the epidemic of gun violence in the US, even in the mildest terms. Those who demand unchecked access to handguns and assault weapons, take away the freedom of everyone else to feel safe in public places, they take away others’ freedom simply to live.

Edited by phlox

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