Skip to content
Paperback Soul Survivor : How Thirteen Unlikely Mentors Helped My Faith Survive the Church Book

ISBN: 0385502753

ISBN13: 9780385502757

Soul Survivor : How Thirteen Unlikely Mentors Helped My Faith Survive the Church

Select Format

Select Condition ThriftBooks Help Icon


Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good


3 Available

Book Overview

Philip Yancey's best-selling books have made him a trusted guide for millions of readers. In "Soul Survivor, now available in trade paperback, he charts his own spiritual pilgrimage through the influence of key men and women who modeled for him a life-enhancing faith--people such as G. K. Chesterton, Frederick Buechner, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Annie Dillard. What he has learned from these people has propelled his own search for authentic...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Renewed Hope!

Yancey, once again does tremendous work in this book. He is open about his own failings resulting from growing up in a racist southern church. He sites the influence of the church on his early views of Christianity and how much he has grown over the years. He continually brings the Christian life into perspective as he goes through other lives of people who have had an impact on his own journey as a Christian.I would highly recommend this book to folks who 1) want a great book to read 2) need to hear an open and honest perspective on the church in the life of a Christian and 3) for those who need to see that "going to church doesn't make you a Christian anymore than going to Mac Donald's makes you a hamburger," as Keith Green used to say. Yancey does an excellent job of bringing the lives of Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Paul Brand, Dr. Robert Coles, Gandhi, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky into focus such that one can get a good view of what it means to be a Christian or live a Christian life based on the principles Jesus espoused while here on earth. It's an excellent book for a discussion class and has lots of tough questions along with examples of lives that went beyond the Pollyanna or cliché phrases you hear from many so called Christians. Read it, absorb it, and let its affect cover your whole being. I think you'll grow from it, I know I did.

A Great Starting Point For Further Study

Mr. Yancy, an excellent wordsmith and essayist, writes chapters about 13 people (Martin Luther King, G.K. Chesterton, Paul Brand, Robert Coles, Leo Tolstoy & Feodor Dostoevsky, Gandhi (a non-Christian), Everett Koop, John Donne, Annie Dillard, Frederick Buechner, Shusaku Endo and Henri Nouwen). Each of these people, none of whom are "professional Christians", exemplifies by their lives and achievements an application of Christian faith and principles that allowed them to make a difference in the world. All of them did so as individuals working outside the organized structure of the church. Their lives and comments provide inspiration to any Christian who would go beyond the faith as only a road to their personal salvation in the next world and toward applying their faith to creating a better life for people in this world.Soul Survivor is good starting point for further study because Yancy concludes each chapter with specific recommendations for further reading in the lives and writings of each subject.I highly recommend this book.

A Powerful Personal Journey

SOUL SURVIVOR is a big departure from Philip Yancey's usual style of book. It reads more like a pseudo-biography -- both for him and for the thirteen people who have most influenced him in his walk of faith. Much of the territory here will be familiar to long-time readers of Yancey's, but it works because of the different way it is presented.Each chapter is devoted to an individual. Always readable, SOUL SURVIVOR reaches beyond that into more powerful air when the subject becomes more weighty (read: controversial). Chapters on Martin Luther King Jr., Paul Brandt, Mahatma Gandhi, and C. Everett Koop, in particular, I found the most enjoyable and enlightening. Yancey tells their tales in an honest manner, recognizing their shortcomings, and in doing so makes their examples all the more powerful. As I read his (and their) story, I had to marvel at the grace of God, because Yancey has come a long way. No other person, outside of my parents, has had a greater influence on my Christian walk than Philip Yancey. Realizing that this same man was once a blatant racist (among other flaws which he is open about) amazes me. It also gives me hope, as it should his other readers, for if God can take a man and change him this much (using the influence of various authors and historical figures) it should help us to see the possibilities of what God can do in our own lives, as well as recognize the effect that our lives can have upon others.SOUL SURVIVOR is not my favorite Philip Yancey book, nor is it his best (that title still belongs to WHAT'S SO AMAZING ABOUT GRACE). But it is a fantastic, personal journey that I am so pleased to have been allowed to be a part of. If you are disillusioned by the institution of the church here is a book that will help you to see past those flaws to recognize how God really works through individual men and women. And that is what the church is really all about. FOUR 1/2 STARS.

Another stellar offering from Philip Yancey

I've come to realize that, while preachers and priests may do a lot of good for God's Kingdom while they are on this earth, it's the writers who really have lasting influence for generations to come. (Let's face it, C.S. Lewis has done infinitely more to shape Christian thinking than, say, Jerry Falwell). Philip Yancey is one of the great writers on the Christian scene today who I am sure will live on through his books for a long time after he's gone, and it has a lot to do with the fact that writing is his life, not just a sideline to some other career. It is significant that, while Yancey was becoming disillusioned with the institutional church (especially the racist Southern fundamentalist church he grew up in) there were people, both past and present, who were instrumental in keeping his faith alive, and many (though not all) of them were writers. Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Donne, Dillard, Buechner, the list goes on. Yancey writes about these individuals and others who shaped his life through their writings and their lives.The first individual profiled is Martin Luther King Jr. Yancey paints an almost unbelievable but unflinchingly true protrait of the extreme racism of his Atlanta upbringing in the early '60s and the ungodly mistreatment of King and his followers during that time. While not glossing over deep flaws in King's character he portrays King as a deeply spiritual man of faith and edurance who never compromised his belief in nonviolent resistance, even when many of his kindred strayed from the standard of non-retaliation King preached and practiced. Yancey writes about thirteen individuals in all, and space does not permit a summary of each one here. The one thing they each have in common is that they had a profound effect on Yancey's life and faith. There are some interesting choices here, including one person, Mahatma Gandhi, who expressly declined to embrace the Christian faith even as he was following the teachings of Jesus more closely and seriously than perhaps 98% of all the Christians who ever lived. Some of the people profiled are fairly well known, like former Surgeon General C. Everaett Koop, and some are more obscure, at least to me, like Japanese author Shusaku Endo, but they are all worth getting to know, flaws and all. Who would make your list of thirteen influential people who have had a positive effect on your faith? Philip Yancey would certainly be a strong candidate to make my list.

If only we had more people like Phil Yancey...

I love the honesty of Yancey's work. Soul Survivor is possibly his most personal, most effective book yet. Phil Yancey tries to approach life without blinders. Soul Survivor is a wonderful retelling of his journey so far.Yancey does not pull any punches in recounting his past. From being raised in a narrow, racist, legalistic church, to the influences that changed him into the man he now is all told here in Yancey's interesting, engaging manner.I would give my left arm for more honesty in our nonfiction writers. Yancey achieves meaningfulness by confessing his past and present shortcomings in this book. It is a shame that we don't see such openness in more authors. Honesty is probably my favorite thing about Yancey as an writer.I really enjoy Yancey's descriptions of those who have influenced his life. It was great to read about how Yancey's old writing partner Dr. Brand affected his life. I think my favorite part of the book is his profile of Annie Dillard. I have recently started reading Dillard myself, and I am blown away by her.I recommend this book. I encourage you to get a copy today.
Copyright © 2020 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell My Personal Information | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured