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Summary

Best-selling author Philip Yancey tackles questions Christians often wonder but seldom ask aloud. In his illuminating exploration, he uncovers true, real, and lasting hope in the midst of your darkness that will produce an even stronger faith than you had before.

Do you feel like you've been let down by God? Abandoned by the one who was supposed to come to your rescue when you needed it most?

You've come to the right place. Philip Yancey has a gift for articulating and answering some of the most honest, complex issues of faith. In Disappointment with God, Yancey poses three questions that Christians wonder, but rarely feel permission to voice:

  • If God is so hungry for relationship with us, why does he seem so distant?
  • If God cares for us, why do bad things happen?
  • If God's promises are true, why do they feel so far off from personal experience?

With clarity, honesty, and biblical assurance, this insightful and deeply personal book shows you the light in the midst of darkness - the hope that God offers right in the middle of life's disappointments. Yancey points you beyond the cynicism that is often bred in hardship to a stronger, wiser faith, a confidence in God's deep love, and a thirst to reach not just for what God gives, but for who God is.

Spanish edition also available.

©1988 Philip Yancey (P)2008 Zondervan

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for cynthia
  • cynthia
  • 01-04-11

On the defensive

The premise of this book is that Richard, young acquaintance of Yancey's, lost his faith in the process of completing a degree at a Christian college-- prompting Yancey to embark on a two-week silent retreat in which he reads the Bible from cover to cover, attempting to find a response to Richard's questions.

What results is a fairly traditional set of theodicies (attempts to explain the apparent co-existence of God and of evil). There are many such theodices floating around. In Disappointment With God, Yancey posits three of them:

1. If God were more inclined to intervence in the world and to perform miracles, we would actually be less inclined toward faith-- we would gripe and be dissatisfied, as were the ancient Hebrews wandering in the desert with their pillar-of-fire God.

2. Things may SEEM to be going horribly for us, but God has a greater plan, just as was the case for Job. Everything will eventually work out for the best.

3. It may seem possible to explain the events of the world without God, but such a view is reductionistic, somewhat like characterizing a symphony in terms of its sound waves. (This discussion moves somewhat away from the Problem of Pain)

That these (or any) theodices are problematic has been discussed at length elsewhere, and there is no space to do so here. To Yancey's credit, he at least writes with empathy and with a reluctance to blame either the victim, or anyone else, for the existence of pain. I also sense that he is opening these questions to a community for whom they are taboo.


However, I dare say that Yancey ultimately fails to answer Richard's questions. His explanations for the Problem of Pain lead us to some rather terrible conclusions, in short, that for God, the end justifies the means and also the idea that to have faith un-bolstered by miracles is "worth" the sacrifice of human lives.

For a more interesting consideration of "God's point of view", I would recommend "God: A Biography" by Jack Miles.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Be
  • 01-04-13

Good content

What did you love best about Disappointment with God?

The book is honest and tries to deal with this very hard question truthfully. It's given me some answers and I'm satisfied with them.

What other book might you compare Disappointment with God to and why?

I haven't read any other books on this topic but what I liked about it is that Yancey did not try to 'convince' people about the reality of God, but dealt with this question honestly, giving his own 'doubtful' experience.

What does Jay Charles bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He is a good reader but I guess his accent is difficult for me sometimes.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No.

Any additional comments?

Good book overall. I was inspired by it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Manie
  • 09-04-12

Yancey at his best. Extremely upliftting.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. You will reconsider your times of doubt.

What other book might you compare Disappointment with God to and why?

Lee Strobel's

Have you listened to any of Jay Charles’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but this was very good.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It changed me and took many doubts in God away.

Any additional comments?

For any Christian who experienced disappointments and sometimes feel that God is silent in times of his/her crisis. This is highly recommended.

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  • Isaiah
  • 09-01-12

Classic Book Excellently Read

This is a great narration of this classic book. For anyone who has ever wondered, "Why doesn't God just..." or "Where was God when..." this is a must-listen. The reader conveys the book's meaning well.

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  • DJ in Nashville
  • 12-09-21

Hard to Follow

narration was excellent.
Very extensive Biblical text reading, recitation. Not what I expected. Was hoping for more interpretation to practical application.

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  • Joel Moutray
  • 31-10-20

Spoke to my Soul

This book spoke to me in the midst of a season of silence from God. It helped grow and shape my perspective in a loving God who truly is concerned with me and in me despite my seasons of questions.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-08-20

Guess who moved?

Philip Yancey writes with so much dedication and love and brings God to life as our eternal friend desiring a relationship. I encourage everyone struggling with faith to listen, register and listen again to this book. You will surely be changed!

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  • Eric
  • 01-10-19

Encouraging and insightful

Perspective is everything, and Yancy gives a Biblically based argument for where our perspective should come from, as well as insight and a much needed reminder of how valuable our faith is to God.

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  • Becky Kreider
  • 20-02-19

wonderful book.

This is a wonderful book. Definitely should be required reading everywhere!! It answers the question everyone feels.

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  • Anne and Tom Fisher
  • 17-01-19

So powerful...

this is my first Philip Yancey book much to my shame. I personally do not struggle with disappointment with God but the book was suggested to me by a counselor. I'm actually very truly glad I read it. As someone who's aging father is struggling with disappointment with God and life at this point I feel that this book is going to better equip me to understand his struggles and love him more compassionately. Yancey does an amazing job of avoiding the easy low-hanging fruit answers that so often get thrown about by people trying hard to convince people that life and God are completely fair. instead he faces down the unfairness of life and brings us face-to-face with the loving God who knows exactly how unfair things can be and who brings us through those things. in the end one finds hope, healing, and help in the midst of trouble.