The Common Good
December 2004

What I'm Reading

by Phillip Yancey | December 2004

What I'

What I’m Reading

by Philip Yancey

Country of My Skull: Guilt, Sorrow, and the Limits of Forgiveness in the New South Africa, by Antjie Krog. The author reported daily for South African radio on the two-year process of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the nation’s bold attempt at confronting its violent past without furthering a cycle of revenge and retribution. This award-winning book contains actual transcripts from the hearings, as well as Krog’s personal reactions to the horror stories heard by the commission. Questions of forgiveness, justice, and reparations hover constantly overhead.

True Resurrection, by H. A. Williams. I found this book, a reprint from 30 years ago, stimulating and inspiring. Williams, for many years the dean of Trinity College, Cambridge, believes that Christ’s resurrection involved far more than a body rising from a tomb. Resurrection power can bring life to dying marriages, dying dreams, as well as dying people. How is my life different because of Christ’s resurrection? This book provokes that question in me, and suggests some answers.

Why the Rest Hates the West: Understanding the Roots of Global Rage, by Meic Pearse, explores the clash of civilizations first described by Samuel Huntington. Why do Third World countries wink at bribes? Why do they mistreat women? Why don’t they welcome the ideal of tolerance so precious to the West? As one reviewer said, "This is no ‘fundamentalist’ altar-call harangue, however, but possibly the best, most intelligent, most humane brief argument that the West, rather than the Rest, needs reform." Someone should have given a copy to George W. Bush.

Morning Light: The Spiritual Journal of Jean Sulivan, by Jean Sulivan. A French priest who struggled to relate his faith to a secular and alien culture, Sulivan left this remarkable meditation on true spirituality. He’s a subversive in the best sense of the word, and no one I’ve persuaded to read this book has ever regretted it.

Philip Yancey, editor at large for Christianity Today, is the author of numerous books, including Soul Survivor and Rumors of Another World.

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