Soul Survivor: How Thirteen Unlikely Mentors Helped My Faith Survive the Church
Philip Yancey, one of America's leading Christian thinkers and author of more than a dozen books with sales of more than five million copies, returns for his most profound and soul-searching books yet. Soul Survivor is the story of his own struggle to reclaim his belief, interwoven with inspiring portraits of notable people from all walks of life who have succeeded in the pursuit of an authentic faith.
"I became a writer, I now believe, to sort out and reclaim words used and misused by the Christians of my youth," says Philip Yancey, whose explorations of Christian faith have made him a guide for millions of readers. In Soul Survivor, he charts his spiritual pilgrimage through the influence of key individuals: "These are the people who ushered me into the Kingdom. In many ways, they are why I remain a Christian today, and I want to introduce them to other spiritual seekers."
Yancey interweaves his own journey with fascinating stories of those who modeled for him a life-enhancing rather than a life-constricting faith: Dr. Paul Brand, G. K. Chesterton, Annie Dillard, Frederick Buechner, C. Everett Koop, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Henri Nouwen, John Donne, Mahatma Gandi, Shusaku Endo, Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert COles.
Readers will find these inspiring portraits both nurture and challenge for their own understanding of authentic faith. Yancey fans will devour these new glimpses of how he has held onto faith while acknowledging with utter honesty its inherent difficulties. New Yancey readers will be drawn in by the theme of faith versus religion and drawn along a compelling narrative of signposts on a spiritual journey.
Soul Survivor offers illuminating and critically important insights into true Christianity, which will enrich the lives of veteran believers and cautious seekers alike.
From the Hardcover edition.
Like many Christians, Philip Yancey has often felt kicked around, abused, and damaged by the institutional church. And like many Christians, he has found solace in reading about and getting to know some extraordinary individual believers. He profiles 13 of those believers in Soul Survivor: How My Faith Survived the Church. "I became a writer, I now believe, to sort out words used and misused by the church of my youth," Yancey writes in the book's first chapter. The church of his youth, which described itself as "New Testament, Blood-bought, Born-again, Premillennial, Dispensational, fundamental," Yancey now describes as a frightening place where racism and bigotry were regularly preached from the pulpit. After graduating from Bible college, Yancey became a writer and chose to direct his attention to "people I could learn from, people I might want to emulate," such as C. Everett Koop and Robert Coles. He also read widely and passionately--Leo Tolstoy, Martin Luther King Jr., G.K. Chesterton, and Annie Dillard, to name a few. Soul Survivor offers probing, honest profiles of 13 individuals who have "helped restore to me the mislaid treasures of God." For most readers, these profiles will serve as starting points to explore the lives and minds of the individuals who have inspired Yancey. --Michael Joseph Gross