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Disappointment with God: Three Questions No One Asks Aloud

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  5,440 ratings  ·  342 reviews
"Is God listening? and Can He be trusted?" In this book, Yancey tackles the questions caused by a God who doesn't always do what we think he's supposed to do.

Philip Yancey has a gift for articulating the knotty issues of faith. In Disappointment with God, he poses three questions that Christians wonder but seldom ask aloud: Is God unfair? Is he silent? Is he hidden? This i
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 31st 1992 by Zondervan (first published 1988)
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Duncan Ndegwa Yes i have and i was humbled after being so mad with God

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Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith
Phillip Yancey writes with such honesty and compassion. You get the feeling that there is nothing about the hard life of faith that could shock him or make him think poorly of you. In this book he tackles three questions he says aren't admitted or discussed enough among Christians. Is God unfair? Is he silent? Is he hidden?

Even though this isn't one of his better books, Yancey still wrestles with these questions well. He makes some points so well that although I had considered them before, it w
Ti-Leigh Telford
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this many years ago for someone else's benefit. You know, when you saw what they're problem was and bought a book to help them. It didn't really mean anything to me then. Of course, I was only 19 years old. Now at 42, I find myself disappointed. Actually, disappointed is too gracious of a word. Jaded, cynical at times. Sad, tired mostly. Waiting for this period of my life to be done and for things to return to normal with God. This book, I hope, was a small step in that direction. ...more
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The major part I most admired about this book is the author's honesty. There are no shallow Christian cliches or well-intended remedies for those walking through grief. Disappointment with God is real and even the most mature of Christians come to experience the great well of anger or sorrow when stripped by the harshness of life. I truly appreciate the approach Yancey took to wrestling with this disappointment with God. He takes the reader through the history of mankind, from the OT when God w ...more
Linda B
Jun 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
Yancy begins his book with examples of circumstances from several Christians who have suffered greatly and feel disappointed with or abandoned by God. The author chooses the situation of Richard, the person suffering the least of the examples (but a fellow author), to follow throughout the book.

Using OT scriptures, Mr. Yancy tries to explain the mind of God. His attempt actually turns eerie (downright creepy) when Yancy imagines himself as God questioning in his mind whether or not man would obe
Pat Roseman
Apr 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
pg. 236 - From Job, we can learn that much more is going on out there than we may suspect. Job felt the weight of God's absence; but a look behind the curtain reveals that in one sense God had never been more present.

pg. 245 - The Bible never belittles human disappointment (remember the proportion in Job - one chapter of restoration follows forty-one chapters of anguish), but it does add one key word: temporary. What we feel now, we will not always feel. Our disappointment is itself a sign, an a
David Sarkies
Nov 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
A difficult topic tackled with empathy and skill
19 November 2014

The topic of 'if God is good and all powerful then why does he allow suffering' is a difficult topic at best and when you need to tackle it emphatically it becomes almost impossible. Actually, anything to do with Christianity, where you are trying to balance the esoteric truth of the faith with people's feelings is, once again, a very difficult task. Mind you, if you want to write a Christian book that explains Christianity without
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This--everybody who has ever even tangentially been connected to Christianity should read this. Yancey does a phenomenal job in this two-part book (one book but really two halves: how we are disappointed and a case study of disappointment via Job) of never glossing the real anger and pain we can feel toward God. He says he's not going to be an apologist for God, but he kinda is--and that's okay, because he does it in such a way that it's not "buck up because God's God and that's that." He acknow ...more
Dora Okeyo
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Is God unfair? Silent? Hidden?
Where is God when you need Him?

I know every Christian has fought this battle when things go wrong and evil seems to reign in the form of disasters beyond our means, but as I was reading this book- Phillip took me through the Bible and shed light on God, people and His hope and dreams for us as His children.

I did get to understand better- and have a new perspective on the Bible and the stories told in there, and this has prompted me to read the Bible again, by going
Apr 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It deals with the topic of how sometimes (or most times) we feel like God isn't near us. We go through tough times and wonder where God is in all of that, but really, another way to view it is where are we in all of this? What is our response to God when we endure heartache or disease?

Many people want to see God, to have miracles happen all the time, to have every prayer answered. Philip Yancey gives some good arguments as to why God doesn't do this. It's not because
Karen Wingate
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a classic treatment of a generations long issue. Why me? Why doesn't God answer me? Phillip Yancey is incredibility honest and thorough in his look at a question most of us have wondered but been afraid to ask. I read this book many years ago but I was at a point in my life that I needed to read it again. I had just finished reading the Biblical book of Job so that was fresh in my mind and Yancey gives a different perspective on the theme of Job. Disappoint With God gets rather heavy and di ...more
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A book worth multiple readings. I went back to it because the emotion has come up several times in recent conversations and I have known it in my own life. The other day in Sunday school one of my 6th grade students asked, “Why doesn’t God do stuff today like he did in the Bible?” Having spent much of my adult life as a missionary in the developing world, I am aware that God intervenes supernaturally much more in contexts where he is just beginning to be known than he does in places like North A ...more
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Philip Yancey tackles three problems a lot of people have with God when they're in pain: God's apparent silence, hiddenness, and unfairness.

While his eventual conclusion is kind of the same as what one reaches at the end of the Book of Job--that sometimes we just don't know why suffering occurs, from a human perspective--I appreciated his respect for people who struggle and his honesty that even his exploration of this topic yields no satisfying answers for some.

As to God's apparent silence or h
Theunis Snyman
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Actually six stars. I have never read a book which goes so deep in the questions of pain and suffering as this book by Philip Yancy and I have read quite a few. He poses three questions which many unbelievers and suffering Christians ask. Is God unfair? Is God hidden? Is God silent? To answer these questions he gives an amazing overview of the Old Testament and ends with an examination of the book Job. He plainly shows that the Bible does not teach the prosperity gospel, namely that all sufferin ...more
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yancey does what I can only feebly describe as weaving hard-hitting stories of pain and suffering gathered (notably, none of which magically morph into a happy fairytale ending) and a systematic yet accessible theological/philosophical treatment of the difficult subject into a brilliant tapestry of a book. The relatively short treatise (300 odd pages), borne out of approximately half a decade of study and many more years of experiencing the subject for himself, is also accompanied by a linguisti ...more
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: in-my-library
It took me a while to get through this book, but I thought it was really good. If I had to describe it in one word it would be “honest”. Yancy talks about doubt and disappointment everyone faces at one point or another in a way that sounds like you’re talking with a friend over coffee. He puts words to questions that most of us have either asked or not dared to ask. It’s definitely one of the best books on theology I have read to date.
Fee Anyau
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've learnt so much from this book. There was a time in my life when I felt that it's not OK to feel disappointed with God, especially after hearing that other people around me say "have more faith" or "pray harder" or "stop complaining" or things happen because I'm not good enough, not Christian enough, not praying hard enough, not having a bigger faith, got giving my best to God. All these while I remain sceptical about how people around me define faith and prayer, as if those who are broken a ...more
Nov 08, 2018 rated it liked it
When you wonder why bad things happen to good people, why children die, why bad people seem to succeed... you may become disappointed with God. There have been times when I have cried out, prayed for years, begged God to help and these all seem to have fallen on deaf ears. Well- that is my perspective, and that's what this book explains. It begins in the Old Testament and shows the relationship between God, his actions and the faith people had in him. It helps you understand God is BIG BIG BIG a ...more
I read this book (my first by this author) after a friend had questions about it. Somewhat in the same vein as Charles Swindoll's "The Mystery of God's Will" and James Dobson's "When God Doesn't Make Sense", Yancey discusses questions all Christians eventually wrestle with, such as "Why are some prayers answered and others not"?, "What is the meaning/purpose of undeserved suffering"?, and "Why does God seem far away at times"?. A lot of the discussion centers around the book of Job, with many qu ...more
Igor Putina
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Philip Yancey is a great writer. As the title reveals this book tackles questions many Christians are not comfortable with, for the most part because there are no simple answers to them. Disappointment with God tackles the problem of pain in a powerful way. It looks frankly at the ways in which our relationship with God is different from human relationships. It asks questions like "Why do bad things happen to good people?".

I take away much from this book and hope you will pick it up and give it
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Highly enjoyable book but I do not think it will offer much comfort to the doubters and those who have given up on believing in a merciful God. Best suited to those who either fully believe, no matter what, or at least those who always believed and are now struggled due to a serious crisis.
One of my favorite authors. He is honest.
Lara Karam
We human beings instinctively regard the seen world as the “real” world and the unseen world as
the “unreal” world, but the Bible calls for almost the opposite. Through faith, the unseen world
increasingly takes shape as the real world and sets the course for how we live in the seen world. Live
for God, who is invisible, and not for other people, said Jesus in his words about the unseen world,
or “the kingdom of heaven.”
Once the apostle Paul directly addressed the question of disappointment with God
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Philip Yancey is a great storyteller, and his willingness to be open and honest about things that he struggles with really resonate with me. The three God hidden, silent, and unfair...are looked at in depth through personal experience and stories from Scripture. Job is the primary book Yancey goes to in the latter half of the book, but he certainly does not limit himself to Job's struggles the entire novel. If you've ever asked these three questions of God, and, let's be honest, w ...more
Nate Perrin
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Decent book. I think that Yancey's greater works such as "Where is God When it Hurts?" and "The Jesus I Never Knew" cover these same types of questions though. I appreciate his honesty and his willingness to dive into these topics though. I liked it overall and I would even go as far as to recommend it. ...more
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book has helped me settle some things I have struggled with. Yancey is honest and addresses some subjects that a lot of Christians are afraid to bring up or honestly talk about.
Dickie Brown
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal read.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
This book was recommended to me to read to help give me perspective on coping with grief. The big question of why do bad things happen to good people arose. If bad things continue to happen to good people then how can there be a God? If God is supposed to be full of love then how can he let bad things happen time and time again?

It took me a very long time to read this book as I found everything I read I had to absorb. After finally finishing the book though I can't say my feelings towards God ha
Jeffrey Weir
May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I can't make enough compliments about Philip Yancey. I always enjoy the feeling while I'm reading that I'm right next to him on his journey struggling with the tough questions. I can't say that I feel better after having read this book or that my problems have been solved, but, from an apologetics perspective, I now have a lot more to think about and can draw on a lot of his points as I discuss trials and tribulations with my peers.

The foundation for all of his points comes from the book of Jon
Kristin Nicole
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I feel odd about giving this book 4 stars instead of 5. It's marked 4 because I struggled with some of the suggested "answers" and even at times struggled with some of the questions presented ( not the main three). I also struggled with some of the content-- deciding that a few could have been left out (I found myself getting impatient). But there is no doubt that there are incredible truths in this book. The problem with pain is that it will always be a problem-- something that will always make ...more
Michael Murphy
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phillip Yancey discusses in great detail about many aspects of our disappointment with God. But is it true disappointment or just our inability to understand God and what the Bible teaches us? I would lean toward the absolute belief that we have a tough time understanding the teachings from the Heavenly because we are so worldly. Colossians 3:2 says "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." Yet, even with such a caveat, we still lean toward the world in which we live. He spend ...more
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A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Philip Yancey earned graduate degrees in Communications and English from Wheaton College Graduate School and the University of Chicago. He joined the staff of Campus Life Magazine in 1971, and worked there as Editor and then Publisher. He looks on those years with gratitude, because teenagers are demanding readers, and writing for them taught him a lasting principle: ...more

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“We tend to think, 'Life should be fair because God is fair.' But God is not life. And if I confuse God with the physical reality of life- by expecting constant good health for example- then I set myself up for crashing disappointment.” 62 likes
“Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.” 52 likes
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