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Reaching for the Invisible God

by Philip Yancey

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1,55788,890 (4)4
How does a relationship with God really work? How do I relate to a God who is invisible, when I'm never quite sure he's there? How do I know him? How do I communicate with him? How do I live my life growing in my understanding of him, living more and more with a conscious awareness of him, doing more of those things he indicates are good for me--and others?Many have found the bright promises people make about God don't work. Others have seen God's promises work, but have stumbled, and want to believe again. Author Philip Yancey pointed out in Disappointment with God some of the false expectations people have in God and his workings. It's time now to turn the coin. In Reaching for the Invisible God Yancey answers the question What Can We Expect from God? with a surprising investigation of how the Christian life really does work.The average person often finds that what they hear in a sermon or read in a Bible corresponds to little of what they experience. Why? When others do experience great things from God, those who sense "business as usual" in their spiritual life ask, "What's wrong with me?" God doesn't do certain things he could--heal, mend, or change--but what does he do? How does God work, and how does he work with me?In taking on these questions Yancey continues his quest to help readers get close to the core of Christian truth and experience. Reaching for the Invisible God develops what we can expect from God by taking readers to six foundational areas: the thirst or hunger for God, God himself, the Spirit, faith, growth, and personal transformation in the spiritual life. Reaching for the Invisible God also explores the personality of God, the choice God made in limiting himself, and the great condescension he made as the Holy Spirit, choosing to live in human beings. Finally, Reaching for the Invisible God comes to an appropriate finish as Yancey writes about growth, about childlike living under God apart from unrealistic expectations, legalisms, and unhealthy dependence. The goal is mature childlikeness, with no preconceptions, an ability to accept gifts from God, and trust, which lead to the responses of love, sacrifice, the denial of self, and servant leadership.In Reaching for the Invisible God Philip Yancey writes with honesty about the Christian life, about how to get along with God, how to believe again, and about the Reaching for the Invisible God of faith, or the things people never told you about the Christian life. It's the real scoop and straight talk about the truth--like an operating manual for faith. It is for the reader seeking to be honest with God. And it will help anyone wanting to explain to friends what life as a Christian is all about.… (more)
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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Case 1 shelf 4
  semoffat | Jul 27, 2021 |
Fabulous. Another Yancey classic. ( )
  highlander6022 | Mar 16, 2016 |
Philip Yancey is one of my favourite modern Christian authors; he writes honestly, without being over-religious or assuming that everyone is the same. He addresses the kinds of questions that Christians (and others) have about God. How is it that we can 'have a relationship' with Someone who is invisible and intangible? What does it mean to relate anyway? Can we really know God?

Peppered with anecdotes, this book is refreshing and insightful. It's not something to read all in one sitting: there's too much to take in. Mostly I read a few pages every day or two, sometimes a whole chapter, sometimes nothing. I found it inspiring in a low-key, comfortable sort of way. I do like it when an author writes in the way I would like to write, expressing sentiments that have occurred to me... yet with his own slant, and circumstances quite different from my own.

Highly recommended to anyone who likes a thoughtful Christian book.

On second reading, five years after the first, I found it a bit slow-moving and less inspiring in the early sections, but much more thought-provoking in the second half. Still five stars overall. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
AMAZON.COM REVIEW:

In a sea of books that promise certainty, award-winning author Philip Yancey (What's So Amazing About Grace, The Jesus I Never Knew) is not afraid to write about the mystery of belief, about letting risk and faith go hand in hand. Reaching for the Invisible God: What Can We Expect to Find? is Yancey at his best--wrestling with difficult questions and refusing to give pat answers. In our quest to know God, he offers this caveat: "The more personal conception of God we have, the more unnerving are the questions about him."
Yancey quotes extensively from classic writers and sketches scenes of doubting biblical figures as he grapples with making sense of a God who is personal, yet sometimes so elusive. Six different aspects of the Christian life are explored: our longing for God, who God is, the Holy Spirit, our faith, growth, and spiritual transformation. In his explorations, he reassembles the difficult and perplexing events of life around an ability to trust in a loving God. Trust is pivotal. Admitting that God's style "often baffles me," Yancey leaves no doubt that his framework of faith is still in place, that he sees "evidence of (God's) long-suffering, mercy, and desire to woo rather than compel--I have learned to trust God."

Here is the clear, concise writing mixed with deeply personal and authentic insights that won Yancey nine Gold Medallion Awards for previous books. Expect a 10th. --Cindy Crosby
  OCMCCP | Jul 14, 2010 |
Substance: Basically a collection related essays on the nature of God and how we get to know It (Yancey, along with most modern Christians, subscribes to the non-corporeal theory). He offers a number of interesting anecdotes and observations, but nothing startlingly original. Comfortable inspirational reading.
Style: Casual without being chummy. ( )
  librisissimo | Jan 21, 2010 |
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How does a relationship with God really work? How do I relate to a God who is invisible, when I'm never quite sure he's there? How do I know him? How do I communicate with him? How do I live my life growing in my understanding of him, living more and more with a conscious awareness of him, doing more of those things he indicates are good for me--and others?Many have found the bright promises people make about God don't work. Others have seen God's promises work, but have stumbled, and want to believe again. Author Philip Yancey pointed out in Disappointment with God some of the false expectations people have in God and his workings. It's time now to turn the coin. In Reaching for the Invisible God Yancey answers the question What Can We Expect from God? with a surprising investigation of how the Christian life really does work.The average person often finds that what they hear in a sermon or read in a Bible corresponds to little of what they experience. Why? When others do experience great things from God, those who sense "business as usual" in their spiritual life ask, "What's wrong with me?" God doesn't do certain things he could--heal, mend, or change--but what does he do? How does God work, and how does he work with me?In taking on these questions Yancey continues his quest to help readers get close to the core of Christian truth and experience. Reaching for the Invisible God develops what we can expect from God by taking readers to six foundational areas: the thirst or hunger for God, God himself, the Spirit, faith, growth, and personal transformation in the spiritual life. Reaching for the Invisible God also explores the personality of God, the choice God made in limiting himself, and the great condescension he made as the Holy Spirit, choosing to live in human beings. Finally, Reaching for the Invisible God comes to an appropriate finish as Yancey writes about growth, about childlike living under God apart from unrealistic expectations, legalisms, and unhealthy dependence. The goal is mature childlikeness, with no preconceptions, an ability to accept gifts from God, and trust, which lead to the responses of love, sacrifice, the denial of self, and servant leadership.In Reaching for the Invisible God Philip Yancey writes with honesty about the Christian life, about how to get along with God, how to believe again, and about the Reaching for the Invisible God of faith, or the things people never told you about the Christian life. It's the real scoop and straight talk about the truth--like an operating manual for faith. It is for the reader seeking to be honest with God. And it will help anyone wanting to explain to friends what life as a Christian is all about.

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