I just finished reading "I Was Just Wondering" by Philip Yancey and parts of it really got me thinking. Yancey poses many common questions that we as Christians have as well as those who aren't yet believers. He describes this as "a book of many questions and a few answers." Yancey lists the questions and then just ruminates. You may find answers in this book, but I found it just made me think a lot!
In one chapter Philip Yancey addresses the issue of making God seem trivial and allowing other things to become idols to us. This is how he ends the chapter:
"A friend of mine was stopped dead in her tracks by a skeptic. After listening to her explain her faith, he said this: "But you don't act like you believe God is alive." I try to turn this accusation into a question: Do I act like God is alive? It is a good question, one that lies at the heart of all idolatry, and one that I must ask myself again every day."
Needless to say, this question also got me thinking a lot too. What does it look like to live and act like God is alive? I know I believe this to be true, but do I act like it? I think this has a lot to do with joy. If I know and believe that God is alive, I know He is everything He says He is, and I know that I am His child, loved, forgiven, and redeemed. I know that I am free! What could bring greater joy? What do you think it looks like to act like God is alive?
Another chapter that really stuck with me was one that discussed who has the right to scorn others. Yancey makes the point that we are all sinners and that no sin, no matter how horrible, is powerful enough to exclude a person from acceptance by God. He goes on to say, "only a refusal to repent stands between a sinner and God's free gift of forgiveness." He then poses another question: "What does a 'forgiven' person look like?'" This caused me to reflect on my own life. Do I look like a forgiven person? I know I've been forgiven, but do I live like it? What do you think a forgiven person looks like?
I just want to leave you with two more questions from this book that I loved when I read them. I would encourage anyone to check out this book.
"How can TV evangelists so buoyantly promote a health-and-wealth theology in a world as full of injustice and suffering as this one? Do any Iranian Christians believe in a health-and-wealth theology?"
"How can TV evangelists promise prosperity and security to the faithful even though Jesus promised them a cross, sent them out as lambs among wolves, and left most of his disciples to die martyrs' deaths?"
"Why do so many Christians feel more guilty than forgiven? What does feeling forgiven feel like? If the gospel consists of grace, acceptance, and forgiveness, why do counselors see so many Christian clients riddled with guilt, self-hatred, and a spirit of criticism?"
I was just wondering...