An eclectic group of people influenced the faith development of popular Christian writer Philip Yancey, and in this book he introduces them to us. Some, such as Henri Nouwen, are well-known Christians while others, such as Mahatma Gandhi, rejected Christianity as farfetched since it is based one man, Christ Jesus. Yet all caused Yancey to pause and consider the claims of the faith.
For instance Martin Luther King Jr. impressed Yancey with his insistence on peaceful demonstrations to stand for what’s right. Dr. Paul Brand impressed Yancey by seeing pain as a symptom to be dealt with rather than something to be shunned and ignored. Robert Coles, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky are two more of a total of 13 whose stories are told on these pages.
I appreciated hearing the stories of these influential people since I had not read books on any of them. Yancey shares interesting details he discovered doing thorough research. And he shares just a bit of his own story of growing up in a legalistic church that stymied his Christian growth with a myriad of rules.
Some of the profiles included more details than I would have needed, but I’m glad I read the book. I came away enriched and encouraged by the stories of a dozen men and one woman, Annie Dillard.