What Good is God by Philip Yancey
October 2010 by Faith Words
Hardcover, 304 Pages
Religion author Philip Yancey described his approach to his books this way: "I'm not a professor or academic or ordained pastor. I'm an ordinary pilgrim. When I tackle a project, I try to represent my readers." In What Good Is God?, he sets out on a spiritual pilgrimage that takes him to scenes of trauma and healing at several far-flung locales. His search for answers about the value of belief leads him to crowded Mumbai, India streets that were rocked by terrorist attacks; to the backstreet motel where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated; to the Virginia Tech campus still recovering from a student massacre; to an AA convention and to a conference for women attempting to survive in prostitution. A journey where every stop brings new answers.
This book seemed to spark almost the same reaction across the board- great thoughts but overall not presented well. Basically the novel reads like a series of speeches (ones that Yancey has personally used) so most of the novel was recycled material that he placed in one big book. While I found what he was doing and the conversations he was having with particular people who have suffered tragedy, hopelessness, prostitution, poverty and so on interesting I didn't find his book actually addressing the question. The writing itself was to choppy to connect to and unfortunately the reading felt like a chore rather than enjoyment or even enlightenment. I think the biggest factor that I can take away from this novel is my own freedom as an American to worship the God I believe in. Im amazed at the lengths people will go to in order to believe in God when they are a part of a country that doesn't allow freedom in religion. All in all while I wouldn't recommend this novel due to format issues, I would suggest trying Yancey's earlier works like The Jesus I Never Knew or Whats So Amazing About Grace.