Sunday, October 17, 2004

meet philip yancey.

last night, i went to go hear philip yancey speak at the university of california santa barbara (ucsb) in a kind of lecture session created on state college campuses from a group of christians who wanted open discussion in public circles about truth...and other life questions. the group began at harvard a long time ago and has been spreading everywhere since. so, i went to the ucsb version of this and it was wonderful. yancey spoke (my first time hearing him / seeing him in person) for almost an hour and then opened up the floor to any question on the brain of the audience. as i listened, it was comforting to know that there are other christians out there who struggle with american politics (i.e,. christians are republicans, non-christians are democrats), who appreciate beauty and classical music and truth wherever this may be in life, and who are still balanced enough and wise enough to believe in faith, hope and love as the means for christianity being able to redeem the world.

after he spoke, i wanted to go to talk to him, basically to thank him...for meeting me where i was at a year and a half ago through the book "reaching for the invisible god," (not a famous one of his---but still, a great book). it was a book that dealt with my doubt honestly and at that time, i needed someone to honestly tell me that doubting God was okay and that sometimes, thinking God was just an ideal i was reaching for or wanting to believe was okay too. i thanked him for being a voice not often voiced, and he received my comments as humbly as he humanly could. it's funny b/c usually, i don't like meeting famous people b/c they always end up disappointing the ideal of them you have in your head. most of the time, i would rather avoid meeting the person b/c i want to keep up that wonderful, beautiful view of them in my head...rather than meet the real them. however, i'm happy to report that the real philip yancey is what you get when you read him, and for this reason, i was refreshed after talking to him, rather than disappointed (as i usually am in these cases). it's nice to hear about grace again and again in a world so in love with the idea of gracelessness being the norm.

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