Thursday, February 12, 2009

Philip Yancey on Prayer During Financial Crisis

Christianity Today, January, 2009

A Surefire Investment

Historians will look at the year that just ended as a financial tsunami that left in its wake millions of foreclosed homes, bankruptcies, and lost jobs. As if competing to abandon the basic tenets of capitalism, governments threw money at banks, investment companies, and huge insurers in an attempt to restore trust and stanch the flow of capital.

During one of the most volatile periods, a week in which global stock markets declined by $7 trillion, I received a call from an editor at Time. "You wrote a book on prayer, right?" he said. "Tell me, how should a person pray during a crisis like this?" In the course of the conversation, we came up with a three-stage approach to prayer.

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  1. Hi Dr Tang - enjoy your diverse interests and intellectually stimulating postings - a refreshing change from unthinking fundamentalism.

    Yancey is one of my favorite bible commentator - god fearing, rational and real.

    Contrast this to the current crop of populist evangelical (fundamentalist), prosperity, gospel quoting personalities - a commentary on Alpha course whcih I attended 3 years ago but starting to question....

    "The wooing of people using the gospel message, only to later enslave them in ritualism, works salvation, and occult manifestations is one of the great deceptions of our time. One of the cleverest ploys of the enemy in our day is to allow "unprincipled" men to use the salvation message as an enticement to unsuspecting and untrained people, while they secretly introduce false doctrine, thereby giving "the devil a foothold" for fleshly manifestations and temptations in their lives. The men who designed this course are laying error alongside truth, introducing error secretly ("pareisaxousinin" in Greek) the result of which will ruin the faith of the believer in the end."

  2. Hi Journeyman,

    Thanks. Many 'blog gurus' have advised me that my blog is too diversified and I should narrow my focus so that my blog will attract more readers e.g. be theology blog or culture blog etc. So far I have failed to follow their advice. However to have readers like you is satisfying for me. Who needs numbers!

    I too like Yancey in his direct, honest struggle with his faith; not afraid to BBQ some sacred cows.