In this lecture, Philip Yancey shares the principles he has come to learn through years of writing about God and suffering. These principles include the following: 1) We are called to represent a way of redeeming what has been broken or spoiled, 2) God is on the side of those who suffer, and the evidence is in his Son, Jesus Christ who responds to us with empathy, love, and redemption, 3) The Bible emphasizes what suffering produces, not the cause, encouraging us to look forward past the pain and ask, “Can anything good come from this?”, 4) Pain that has been redeemed is more remarkable than pain removed. Yancey expounded that God’s works are manifested in and through us. We can be a channel of God’s peace and victory for others.
Throughout the lecture, Yancey also speaks about his relationship with Dr. Paul Brand, a prominent physician who worked with leprosy patients at Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, and how that relationship influenced his perception of pain. He quotes Dr. Brand, saying “a healthy body is not a body that feels no pain, but a body that feels the pain of the weakest part.” As members of the body of Christ, Yancey explains that we should be looking for the weakest part and highlights CMC as an example – an institution that understands God is the great physician, and as faithful followers will heal all people and bring the comfort that God brings.
Philip Yancey is one of the best-selling American Contemporary Christian authors. His books (including “What’s so Amazing about Grace”) have sold more than fifteen million copies in English and have been translated into 40 languages.