Wednesday, July 26, 2006

What the World Needs Now

Tonight I just finished Philip Yancey's excellent book, What's So Amazing About Grace? I really enjoyed the work, even though it appeared aimed more at Christians & politics than Christianity in general. He makes some excellent points, though, that speak to the perspective of the "Evangelical Right" today. Often, it seems that the Christian Right seeks to affect change through legislation. It's as if we could pass enough laws, we could clean this country up. To that perspective, Yancey says this:
A state government can shut down stores and theaters on Sunday, but it cannot compel worship. It can arrest and punish KKK murderers but cannot cure their hatred, much less teach them love. It can pass laws making divorce more difficult but cannot force husbands to love their wives and wives their husbands. It can give subsidies to the poor but cannot force the rich to show them compassion and justice. It can ban adultery but not lust, theft but not covetousness, cheating but not pride. It can encourage virtue but not holiness.

The point is that Christians should not look to government to affect change. Churches and Christians should be agents of positive change, one community and person at a time. And Yancey argues that our primary weapon in that process of change isn't power, or even truth. It's grace.

I give Yancey's book 4 stars out of 5. Well worth your time to read. Give it a shot.

I picked up some new books today. You'll be hearing about them soon.

1 comment:

Matt said...

I picked up this book by your suggestion and nearly have it finished. It is a book that would benefit any Christian. While there was some material in the book that was political in nature, I think his point is that we live under systems/structures of ungrace. Ungrace is all around us and it can almost become normal and expected. I thought this book was just as challenging as Resident Aliens by Stanley Hauerwas and Will Williman.