In 'What God is God?" Yancey travels to ten very different regions of the world - from Cambridge (in the UK) to Mumbai (in India); from China to South Africa. He visits a conference for former prostitutes in Wisconsin (in the USA) and a Bible college (also in the USA). In each of these diverse places, he describes why he is there, writes about what he observes, and also mentions how he hopes to be able to reach out in some way to the people concerned. The second part of each of the ten chapters is a transcript of the talk he gave in each of the situations described.
The writing, of course, is very good. The subject matter was all interesting from a general sociological point of view, helping me to realise afresh just how diverse humanity is, and yet how every person in the world has the same need to be loved and accepted. Yancey's aim in writing this book is to see how God works in each of these situations - whether the message of Jesus' love is relevant to people considered lowest of the low; and, indeed, whether it remains relevant to academics, or even, ironically, those who are training to be professional Christians.
I don't think Philip Yancey is capable of writing a bad book. This one is not his greatest, most powerful work, in my view, but still an excellent read. Recommended to everyone. The theology is fairly low key, and I think it would probably be non-threatening to anyone interested in knowing what real Christians do around the world, whether or not the reader has any faith.
Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 26th April 2012