Thursday, May 18, 2006

I'm Curious About "A Note from Philip Yancey" (from Zondervan's Author Blog)

I read this from Zondervan's author blog, and it left me wondering.

I'm not the best with historical politics, particularly overseas, so I was just thinking that some astute reader might chime in and tell me if Yancey's recounting of South Africa's history is mainly accurate or mostly something else. Anyone (*cough* William Dicks) is welcome to respond.


DJP said...

Oh, please don't make me read Yancey!

William Dicks said...

I could hear that *cough* right across the Atlantic. How else did I know to visit your blog?

I agree with most of what Yancey said. Their has been much in terms of reconciliation, but to think of us as a country that is reconciled is a great stretch of the imagination. There is still a lot of animosity between whites and blacks, and it is still drawn along the same lines as before (Afrikaans/Black). It has dissipated greatly, but it stil exists a lot. However, it has become common place to see people of all colours eating together and going out somewhere together. That has grown a lot!

The difference today however, is the reverse apartheid. It has become increasingly more difficult for white males to find jobs in South Africa. Even if they are well qualified. They are the ones that leave mostly, since they cannot find jobs here.

I live very close the the "Willow Creek-style" Dutch Reformed church he speaks of in this article. I personally think that he misquotes the minister of the church on the homosexual issue. Less than a year ago they asked their organist (or, music director. Can't remember what he was there) to resign when they discovered he was a homosexual. So, this minister was ready to moral pronouncements, which I commend him for.

What Yancey was doing at Ray McCauley's church I don't know. Then, on the other hand, I don't know Yancey's thelogical background. McCauley is an out-and-out word-of-faith preacher who divorced his wife not so long ago, had her ostracised and then married this sexy blonde that used to sit in the front row of his church! If that is not disgustingly immoral, please enlighten me someone!

His comment on the 14,000 people that died in violence since Mandela's release in 1990 and the elections in 1994 is misleading, if not because of his own ignorance. The way in that it is misleading is that sure, 14,000 killed in violence in that period is a lot. Yet, when we consider the period since 1994, we have a murder rate that is one of the highest in the world. We have between 21,000 and 24,000 murders a year. The highest amount of murders in one year since 1994 was 26,000. That makes our murder rate close to 10 more than that in the USA! So, what is the big deal? Before 1994 we had less than half the murders than after 1994. Maybe there was no bloodbath with the 1994 elections. Yet, it certainly ensued after the elections and is still continuing.

Crime certainly is the hottest topic amongst South Africans. Just to give you an example, and this is from experience in my own family and friends. 2 of my nieces have had their cars hijacked at gunpoint. Another niece was raped. One uncle and one cousin were murdered at different occassions. My in-laws house has been broken into twice already and there was an armed attempt at hijacking their car. One of my cars was broken into, another stolen and my house was burgled on January 31, 2006. A friend of mine was stabbed several times at a funeral (luckily he survived) and the man that worked in my garden was stabbed to death for R7 ($1.10). The circumstances I just described here are the rule in South Africa and not the exception.

The infrastructure he speaks of must have been on some back roads somewhere. Our main roads are first world. Pot holes to appear in our rainy season, however, they are covered very quickly. We do however, have problems with electricity these days. The current government made some real stupid decisions in the past and it is now costing the rate payers to sit in darkness at times. Yet, where I live in the capital city of Pretoria, we haven't seen much of that.

So, I hope I didn't write too much. But, then again, you did as for it. *cough, cough*

Gummby said...

Not at all. That's really excellent. It's hard to read with discernment when you have so little knowledge of an area, so I thought I'd ask an expert. Thank you.

Oh, and sorry I coughed so loud! :)

Douglas said...

"Last night in Durban the host asked how many in the crowd of several thousand had read What’s So Amazing About Grace? and about two-thirds raised their hands. The message of grace and forgiveness hits people here like nowhere else I travel."

My wife and I are watching the DVD of "What's So Amazing About Grace" by Philip Yancey and from what we have seen so far and from the review of his book below, I would say Mr. Yancey does NOT truly and fully understand the "amazing grace of God." His ideas of "amazing grace" are all far too human in my opinion.

Review: What's So Amazing About Grace?

The DVD is full of secular humanistic psychology and philosophy and hardly any teaching from Scripture.

As R. C. Sproul says, all theological errors stem from a misconception of the nature and character of God.

Phillip Yancey has a misconception of the awesome grace of God.

Kim said...


I read What's So Amazing About Grace? four years ago after receiving rave reviews from friends. I was very uneasy after I read it, because I suspected that I did not agree with Mr. Yancy. Yet everyone said it was such a great book.

I'm glad I wasn't the only one who wasn't sure about it.

Douglas said...

Hi Kim,

you are one of only a few who recognize what Yancey has done and is still doing.

After watching the DVD, I wouldn't bother with anything else Yancey has to say. Unless the fear of God comes upon him that is.