We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What to do About Philip Yancey

Philip Yancey is a well-known Christian author of books and magazine articles.  He writes on various subjects, but often not with a lot of theological “meat.”  But there have been things about Yancey which have disturbed me over the years to the point that I decided to do some research to see if what snippets I’ve read about him are actually indicative of his belief system.  I have to report that the snippets were indeed indicative of Yancey’s often dangerous beliefs.
The first place I looked was Yancey’s web sitewhere I read his responses to various questions.  Here are a few of these for your review:
In regards to a question about trends in the U.S. churches, Yancey had this to say:
“I take hope in the fact that the Spirit always finds a new way of breaking out in the church.  Remember the Jesus movement, in which hippies, the least likely group, led the way to Christ.  And the charismatic movement, which has spread worldwide.  Now the emergent church has emerged, which brings new forms to an old institution.  Jesus promised that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church, and that gives me hope.  God will always find a way; all God needs is willing hearts.”
Notice Yancey speaks with approval of these movements, which I find problematic because I don’t think the Holy Spirit was behind all this, especially the emergent movement!  But the follow-up question was also disheartening:
Where do you think the Church will go in the next 10 years?
Sorry, I’m a freelance writer and not a prophet.  You should talk to someone like Leonard Sweet or Phillip Jenkins. 
I don’t know who Phillip Jenkins is, but that Yancey would direct anyone to Sweet, who is known for his New Age and Emergent leanings, says a lot about Yancey’s lack of discernment.
One subject which I find very disconcerting is Yancey’s stance on homosexuality:
Do I agree with gay Christians’ interpretations of the six passages in the Bible that may or may not relate to their behavior?  No. They may be right, but so far I’m unconvinced.  I also disapprove of sexual promiscuity, whether of the hetero- or homo- variety.  I agree that the temptation and the homosexual orientation are not sin.  Beyond that, I stubbornly refuse to answer.  I’ll let others debate the morality and the biblical exegesis, and plenty of people seem willing to do so.
Yancey says these passages “may or may not” relate to homosexual behavior!  And he refuses to take a stance to say homosexual behavior is wrong, which is something I came across often in my research.  

Here is another example from his site:
What do you think about gay churches?
I’ve attended a few gay and lesbian churches, and it saddens me that the evangelical church by and large finds no place for homosexuals.  I’ve met wonderful, committed Christians who attend Metropolitan Community Churches, and I wish that the larger church had the benefit of their faith.  At the same time, I think it’s unhealthy to have an entire denomination formed around this one particular issue—those people need exposure to and inclusion in the wider Body of Christ. When it gets to particular matters of policy, like ordaining gay and lesbian ministers, I’m confused, like a lot of people.  There are a few—not many, but a few—passages of Scripture that bring me up short.  Frankly, I don’t know the answer to those questions.  I’m a freelancer, not an official church representative, and I have the luxury of saying simply, “Here’s what I think, but I really don’t know,” rather than trying to set church policy.
Should the Church “find a place” for homosexuals?  Yes - the same place they find for all other sexual sinners; fornicators, adulterers, etc.  The place is at the foot of the cross as they repent of their sexual sins. What sort of “faith” do Yancey’s “gay” friends have if they think God approves of their sexual behavior? And he approvingly cites the Metropolitan Community Churches, bastions of apostasy that they are!  He finds the subject of ordaining “gays and lesbians” as ministers to be confusing; has he ever really studied what the Bible says on this matter?  It isn’t confusing at all! 
Yancey gives tacit approval to the homosexual community as long as they claim to be Christian.  Apprising Ministries has a good article about Yancey’s involvement with “Gay Christian Network”.  And "DefendingContending" discusses the problems with Yancey being a keynote speaker at the 2011 “Gay Christian Network’s” conference.
Leanne Payne has an excellent article [link gone by 12/14/16] about the problem of using grace to excuse homosexuality, as she reviews Yancey’s book What’s So Amazing About Grace?  Here is an excerpt:
Far more subtle is the influence of White upon Philip Yancey. The prolific writer featured White in his book What’s So Amazing About Grace?, showcasing White and his friendship with him as a powerful example of God’s grace. Though the author does not embrace all of White’s choices, Yancey highlights a man who has become the most influential gay Christian of our day. Inadvertently, the author provides an ungodly bridge between a false prophet (White) and thousands of readers seeking clarity in the area of homosexuality. Perhaps Yancey’s inclusion of White in his book is an example of one who has “secretly slipped in among” us in order to “change the grace of our God into a license for immorality” (Jude 4).
Grace without truth is deadly. It plays upon our sentiments. “I want to be a nice guy. I do not want to give a hurting person any more trouble. Didn’t Jesus include the outcasts?” Our desire to be merciful is understandable but uninformed. Sentimentalism distorts the essence of the homosexual conflict; it promotes a dramatic view of the self, which only distances the struggler from his cure.
And it distances one from the real good news of the Gospel. To be sure, Jesus first called the religious hypocrites to repentance. But He then called His followers to deal forthrightly with their sin (Luke 7:36-50; John 8:1-12). To ignore the latter is to scramble the witness of Christ and to set up vulnerable ones for deception.
Men and women facing profound same-sex vulnerabilities require the fullness of grace and truth. Without that fullness, we can readily mislead God’s people into powerful deception. What if I had gone to a Manning or a White at the onset of my healing journey? Perhaps we as Christians are far too naïve in what and who we take in.
Another review of What’s So Amazing About Grace can be found here.  Notice the author not only mentions the problem of Yancey’s beliefs about homosexuality, but he also discusses Yancey’s problems with ecumenicism as well as his problems of associating with false teachers (e.g. Tony Campolo) and psychology.
Speaking of Yancey’s ecumenical stance, here is another response to a question on his site, in reference to politics:
What hopes do you hold for inter-faith communication in a world of political and spiritual division?
The three faiths of Abraham (Islam, Judaism, Christianity) have so much in common, including the entire Old Testament, shared stories, and a similar morality.  For one thing, I wish moderate Muslims would speak out more openly against the extremists who are giving their religion a bad name (we Christians have had our turn, of course).  And I wish Christians would be more humble in letting God pick out the weeds from the crops, to borrow a metaphor from Jesus.  I don’t see Jesus twisting arms and imposing beliefs on people.  He won their hearts in a different way.
His favorable support of Islam is unconscionable, and his ignorance of the teachings of Islam is blatant in his belief that there is such thing as a “moderate” Muslim.  
Another example of this ignorance comes from an article in Christianity Today, where he again is calling an ecumenical movement void of doctrine:
Perhaps our day calls for a new kind of ecumenical movement: not of doctrine, nor even of religious unity, but one that builds on what Jews, Christians, and Muslims hold in common, for the sake of mutual survival. ...
As Heschel pointed out, Jews and Christians (and I would add Muslims) share the belief that this world with its history belongs not to us but to God. We disagree over important doctrines, but are united "in our being accountable to God, our being objects of God's concern, precious in his eyes."  Indeed, Jews, Christians, and Muslims have much in common: They honor the authority of Moses and the Hebrew prophets; they believe in the Creator, the God of Abraham; they want to fulfill God's commands of justice and mercy; they see life as sacred. All three acknowledge that we must oppose evil with a holiness that begins with a proper humility before a sovereign God.
Tim Challies reviewed Yancey’s book, Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?  Challies discusses Yancey’s propensity to respect false teachers and dubious mystics:
A further disturbing theme in the book is Yancey’s respect for all manner of perceived spiritual authorities. He affirms Mother Teresa and Martin Luther as equal authorities on prayer, even in the same sentence (and I don’t think he quotes anyone with greater respect or frequency than Mother Teresa). He often quotes Jewish rabbis as if their theology of prayer should be taken as equal to those who love Jesus Christ and who have submitted their lives and their beliefs to the New Testament. A vast quantity of the answers Yancey provides are based on the writing of people whose beliefs would not align with historic Protestantism and hence with Scripture. And, while this book is not a “how-to” guide, it does include an appendix that lists a wide variety of recommended resources. Among these are a great number of books that promote mysticism, contemplative prayer, lectio divina, Roman Catholic prayer guides and the like. There is a recommendation to a book that “gives guidance to different personalities, following the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test” (something Jesus surely overlooked when teaching us to pray). In fact, the good resources are by far outweighed by the dubious or those that are just plain bad. For example, a section dealing with collections of prayers points readers to the Roman Catholic collection Christian Prayer: Liturgy of the Hours (which, as we might expect includes prayers to Mary) while overlooking classics like The Valley of Vision.
Further evidence of Yancey’s support for secular psychology and mysticism is the fact that he is friends with, and promotes, mystic Brennan Manning,[Yancey's site, link gone by 12/14/16]  as well as being part of the Recovery movement.  Yancey is also part of the Renovare group, which promotes contemplative prayer.  And finally, more from Yancey’s own words about his support of mystics comes from The Berean Call,  from which I draw this excerpt:
Now, Religion in the News, a report and comment on religious trends and events being covered by the media. This week’s item is from Publisher’s Weekly, August 28, 2006, with a headline: PW talks with Philip Yancey. The following are excerpts: Publisher’s Weekly: Many of your books have been about how Christians feel the burden of spiritual practice. Which writers most influenced your thinking about prayer? Philip Yancey: No Protestants come to mind, to be honest, so, much I have learned about prayer is from the Catholics. One book I discovered was by Mark Phibido, called, Arm Chair Mystic. Of course, if you want to go deeper, there’s Thomas Merton.
When Yancey has had questions brought to him about his association with mysticism, he has been against correction, even denouncing those who would dare suggest that he is promoting false doctrine.  Again, The Berean Call has a report about this:
Unfortunately, Christianity Today seems to defend error instead of expose it. In a recent editorial, Philip Yancey rejects all correction as "Christian McCarthyism," the title of his article. Numerous leaders are defended for their false doctrine and not by dealing with the serious issues their critics raise, but by a dishonest whitewash.  For example, Yancey says, "Richard Foster dares to use words like meditation ...which puts him under suspicion as a New Ager." In fact, Foster gave detailed instructions on how to practice Eastern meditation to the extent that the visualized image of Jesus comes to life: "you can actually encounter the living Christ in the event, be addressed by His voice and be touched by His healing power....Jesus Christ will actually come to you.” Numerous Christian leaders around the world have joined Foster in his Renovaré movement for reviving Eastern mysticism in the church.  There is a similar exoneration of Karen Mains, who Yancey says has merely "written about her dream life." He fails even to mention the occultic delusion she promotes in her book Lonely No More.
The last evidence against Philip Yancey as a Christian teacher is an article from Biblical Discernment Ministries. [link gone by 5/14/18]  It is a quite thorough article about Yancey’s false teachings and beliefs, which goes much beyond the few things I’ve itemized in this article.  I think a major problem is exposed in this paragraph discussing apologist Gary Gilley’s review of What’s So Amazing About Grace?
In a report written by Pastor Gary Gilley of Southern View Chapel, Gilley writes: "Yancey has a fundamental flaw that runs throughout all of his writings -- he doesn't always draw his thoughts and principles from Scripture … this serious flaw of not basing his concepts squarely upon the Scriptures eventually leads Yancey astray. Yancey does not know the difference between tolerance and arrogance; between grace and license; between boldness and harshness. By Yancey's definitions John the Baptist and Elijah would be men of "ungrace"; but God did not seem to think so … Certainly Jesus loved and spent time with prostitutes, but He did so to call them to repentance, not to accept their way of living. Yancey's method of dealing with a homosexual, who is also a church leader, may seem like "grace" to him, it may seem like what Jesus would do, but it is clearly out of sync with the teachings and examples of Scripture.
My case against Philip Yancey has demonstrated him to be a follower and promoter of New Age mysticism in its many permutations, a teacher of unbiblical secular psychological theories, a teacher of varieties of ecumenicism; that he often fails to base his beliefs and teachings on the clear Word of God, that he defends homosexuality, approves of the Emergent movement, and has demonstrated ignorance of the Islamic faith.  To top it all off, he rejects correction, denigrating those who would dare point out error.
So what do we do about Philip Yancey?  Avoid him like the plague!


Yvonne said...

Excellent coverage of Yancy's positions, Glenn.

When RBC's 'Our Daily Bread' devotional started including Yancy's writings, it became apparent to me that they were going down hill fast. It was not difficult to tell the difference in what/how he wrote compared to the other contributors. Too bad they do not take the time to do the research on this fellow as you have.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the thorough research! I used to think he was OK, then a bit iffy, now I see how bad he is.

Anonymous said...

Here and there I hear his name being brought up and I wondered who he was. I heard about the book What's So Amazing About Grace and thought that sounded like it might be interesting...not any more!

Anonymous said...

I too, noticed the ODB devotionals had Philip Yancey as a contributor. I had emailed them my concern and never heard back from them. I attempted to read one of his books (to give him the benefit of the doubt over what I've been hearing about him), but couldn't get past 2 chapters. All the quotes he used from RCC mystics was just too much for me to bear. It's a shame so many endorse him when he's so misleading and spiritually dangerous.

Anonymous said...

My former female pastor loved his What's so amazing about grace book and wanted everyone to read it and it was a Bible study for long enough. Yet even as a young Christian I didn't like it the study (never read it as a book) yet I couldn't tell you why because although I read the Bible daily I didn't know enough to articulate Biblically my unease. In addition the whole 'Bible Study' of it made me feel I was totally lacking in any grace at all

A few years later that female pastor was stood down by an enforced sabbatical for division and I left not long after at the Lord's direction..for senior pastor's loose theology and God is the father of everybody and God loves everybody plus not protecting the flock from the wolves.

Now I would no longer attend a church who has female pastors and teaches the misshmash of various teachings that I sat under for 5 years. Praise God for opening my spiritual eyes.

Anonymous said...

I just read Yancey's book on Prayer. He has a low view on healing and says we should not have high expectations that God will heal. This man is doing damage to the body of Christ. After only reading one chapter, I am returning the book to the library.

Anonymous said...

I agree with much of what you have said, however you are very one sided. It would seem that you are imposing your opinion about Philip Yancey onto your readers and not letting them think for themselves.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I am not imposing my opinion on anyone. I am giving the details about Yancey and his beliefs. Compare what he says to Scripture.

My whole point of this blog is get people to think for themselves. Compare what they read or hear with what the Bible teaches.

Now, you've called me "one-sided." That is correct - the side I take is the side of truth. If you can demonstrate what I've written here is in error, please do so.

Anonymous said...

No matter hw articulate n gifted,what matters is exposing wrong attitudes like twads homos.He should stop compromising.IT SOUNDS AS homos to b 1 of other sins.but yance's stance about deliverance from this bondage of sin not clear.MIND HOW DEMONS OPERATE IN HOMOS.SO ZEY Nd total deliverance.JESUS HAS NEVER N EVER COMPROMIZED.WAKE UP N FOLLOW HIS FOOT STEPS.homos nd to come at z feet of Jesus with all thier heart for total deliverance.RECOMMEND THEM N ALL CHRISTIANS 2 READ DP.REBECCA BRowns books,"becoming vessel of honor".GOD PUTS HIS GIFT INTO HIS CHURCH.PLZ PHILIP YANCY READ HER BOOKS.NOT TOO good 2 b theologian.C HOMOS FROM SPIRITUAL SIDE.PHILIP YANCEY WAKE UP,READ ROME:1:24-32 PRAYErfully.MAY GOD ENLIGHTEN HIS WORD ON U.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Your comment is very difficult to read, so I suggest in the future you be more careful of your spelling and use of caps, etc.

If you are a Christian, then your continued use of "homos" is not proper, since it is used derisively.

You suggest demons "operate in homos," yet I would suggest that there are very few homosexuals in the world who are demonically possessed, rather they are just sinful people who choose to engage in perverse sexual activity.

You suggest/recommend Rebecca Brown's books. Brown is a false teacher and her books are totally unbiblical. It appears that your understanding of demons is from her rather than the Bible.

promote love said...

Yancey is by far one of the most reasonable Christian I have had the pleasure of reading. While you are entitled to your opinion, I think you miss the whole point which he tries to bring out, love and respect for humanity despite differences. I get him. Because, as a person who has lived in a country where I have witnessed people getting murdered for not belonging to the 'right' tribe, then I know better than to regard homosexuals as 'sinful' just because I don't get them. Its not like their is a sin meter that determines which is a lesser or bigger sin than another. I think if we spend as much energy focusing on building each other, promoting love, rather than pointing out the 'flaws' of those trying to promote that, the world would be a much better place. Better use of our energies me thinks

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

“promote love”

Phillip Yancey is a false teacher for the reasons given. It doesn’t really matter what his point is, if he is a false teacher, does it?

Those who practice homosexual behavior are indeed sinning with that behavior. God has called it an abomination to him. So, if this is God’s attitude, should we, as Christians, be enabling people by affirming them in this sin? Should we affirm the adulterer? Or the fornicator?

You said Its not like their is a sin meter that determines which is a lesser or bigger sin than another. Well, since God instituted capital punishment for some crimes and restitution for others, doesn’t that say that God sees some sins as worse than others? Have you read what Paul said in 1 Cor. 6:18 about the difference between sexual sins and all other sins? Doesn’t that say that sexual sins are worse in degree than other sins?

In your next-to-last sentence, are you saying that we are to ignore Scripture which says we are to expose false teachings?

Anonymous said...

I'm unclear in your last posting how we must be with those people who do are gay. I also wonder if you cut the hairs on the side of your head (Leviticus 19:27) i honestly believe that no one actually follows every word of the Bible, including me. You, for example, spend money on bagpipes and aviation, both of which cost money, so you clearly haven't followed Jesus command to sell all you have to follow him - why not? I have read most of Philip Yancey's work, and have found him challenging and helpful, certainly more helpful than those who simply blog the issues they have with most of the Church.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Why is it unclear about how we are to treat those who practice homosexual behavior? I made it quite clear: Should the Church “find a place” for homosexuals?  Yes - the same place they find for all other sexual sinners; fornicators, adulterers, etc.  The place is at the foot of the cross as they repent of their sexual sins.

Homosexual behavior is a sexual sin — no ifs, ands, or buts. If someone who practices homosexual behavior claims to be a Christian, then he must repent of that sin and put it behind him in the same way a fornicator or adulterer must repent of the sexual sin and put it behind them. This isn’t an impossible thing to do - choosing whether or not to have sexual relations takes no great strength.

As far as following “every word of the Bible,” all Christians — you know, those who profess to accepting Christ as their Lord and savior — do indeed follow every word of the Bible in the CONTEXT in which it was written. As for your snark about Leviticus 19:27, that rule was given ONLY to Israel and no one else.

As for Jesus’ command to sell everything and follow him, the context was the ONE person he addressed it to. He was demonstrating to the person where his heart truly was. God blesses us with our riches and has no problem with doing so (He made Solomon the wealthiest person in history). The problem becomes when we are greedy and refuse to properly steward what we have been blessed with.

You may well have found some of Yancey’s work helpful, as perhaps you might find some of Joel Osteen’s work helpful. But the question is how accurately they teach what the Bible says. Yancey ignores much of what Scripture says so as to promote his own liberal agenda and this makes him dangerous. Perhaps you need to learn some discernment.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for responding, I made no snark remark, though, about hair cutting, it's in the bible, and to say that it is only for Israel is a cop out, as you therefore say one line of the bible isn't relevant today, so anyone else can say other biblical lines aren't. Many Christians would say we must be born again, but that comment was only to one person. You simply try and explain away, but Luke 14:33 surely is a challenge to every follower of Jesus Christ.

I find most so called fundamentalists are better are trying to explain away why we shouldn't take scripture seriously when it comes to wealth (aviation costs an awful lot, doesn't it, better to feed the hungry) than liberals, and if we are going to use Solomon as an example can I have 700 wives (or does that mean 700 mothers in law??)

Anonymous said...

Me again, one always feels you didn't do comments right, which is why Jesus encouraged face to face disagreements Matthew 18.

My point is simple though, McLaren and campolo in adventures in missing the point say that we must view the verses on homosexuality in context, ie they aren't about 2 people in loving committed relationship, but about abusive relationships or rape. Not I am not here to simply to justify homosexuality, but understand why these two writers explain away some verses using the idea of context, and they are liberal and notorious and all the rest of it but you can explain away verses using context such as hair cutting and not having possessions. Indeed in Acts that last one is lived out, and all was held in common. Do you do that in your church?

You seem to be saying that we must measure everything by the bible, but then appeal to context, which, when others do so, is going against the bible. I just want to understand your views.

Finally, you'll be pleased to hear, you say that is a scale of sin, and that sexual sin are worse in degrees, and refer to capital punishment. Three quick things, should, in your view, we have capital punishment for those sins and if not why not? Linked to that was Jesus and the woman caught in adultery, and did Jesus not ask if anyone had sexually sinned, but just those without any sin? Lastly surely Mark 3 makes it clear that all sins can be forgiven except against the Holy Spirit, so if we are lookin for the worse sins, that must be the focus, surely? Sorry to write so much, and that I post anonymously, don't know how to do it differently, but my name is Christopher.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Your haircut comment certainly was a snark. The O.T. laws are the most common thing to raise by those who support homosexuality. It isn’t a cop-out to say those laws were for ONLY Israel. The Bible says so itself. Read these passages: Deut. 4:7-8; Lev 27:34; Ps.147:19-20; Neh. 9:14; Mal. 4:4; Acts 15:5, 24: Rom. 2:14; 2 Cor 3:7-8, 11, 14; Gal. 3:25; Heb. 7:12, 18. You will see they consistently say that ISRAEL had the Law and no one else did. NO ONE ELSE.

No one says that the Bible isn’t relative for today - except for liberals. Paul says it is ALL for our instruction.

When Jesus told the ONE person that he must be born again, CONTEXT was a principle for all.

You like to play games but you only demonstrate your ignorance of what the Bible actually teaches. Just in regards to wealth for example - if we have no wealth, then we have NO WAY OF HELPING OTHERS!!!!!

Solomon is an example as to how God blesses us with wealth - i.e. GOD’s end. His polygamy is an example of how he disobeyed God’s command about not having multiple wives. (Duet. 17:7)

You have a problem with my having a pilot’s license, but it is not really different than a driver’s license. Both are ways of transportation, both type so transportation are expensive to own and operate. Where do you decide to set an arbitrary standard as to what is permitted and what isn’t? I my bicycle too expensive? Do YOU walk everywhere? How much do you pay for shoes?

You have strayed from the topic of this post. The post is about Yancey. Either stick to Yancey or do not post. Your complaint was about there being no problem with his support of homosexuality, and you bring in red herrings to denounce those who stand firm against such perversion. I suggest you read my post about the Bible and homosexuality:
I demonstrate the CONTEXT of the O.T. passages, as well as the N.T. passages.

End of discussion here.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Anonymous — Christopher

Sigh. I just came across your second comment.

Matthew 18 is about personal sin - one person against another. It has nothing to do with public teaching. You really need to learn a bit about understanding Scripture so you don’t come off sounding so ignorant and foolish.

Your claim about what those passages about homosexuality are about is just regurgitating false teachers rather than reading for yourself. God calls homosexual behavior an abomination, period. Since God abhors homosexual behavior, it can NEVER be in a loving context - it is not loving to lead someone to commit sin. Homosexual behavior is dangerous medically and psychologically, and again it is unloving to lead someone into a relationship which is harmful.

Capital punishment for such crimes was in the context of the theocracy in Israel. It was not legislated for those outside of Israel.

All sin equal in that it s rebellion against God. But sin which affect the body is worse, as Paul said. All sins have different earthly consequences and punishments, so all sin isn’t equal in that regard.

You don’t seem to be interested in learning the truth but only in debating - arguing - for homosexuality. I’m not going to let that happen here.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


I’m not posting your comments because I don’t want this comment string to be highjacked into other subjects, and you are going all over the place.

It is not “arrogant” to tell someone that they are ignorant of the subject in discussion, and it should make the person realize that they need to do research. Which is why I pointed you to the many passages which speak of the Law being for Israel only, and the link to my article about what the Bible really says about homosexuality.

The source in my article about Yancey was NOT just other sources, rather much of it was rom HIS website, which I quoted from extensively.

Emergent is NOT from the Holy Spirit because that movement contradicts often what the Bible says. To way it will die and go away if not the Spirit’s doing, citing Acts (context was that person’s belief and not the Word of God) as an example is silly, since the Mormon Church, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science and many other cults have been around for over 150 years and they are certainly of the devil.

Whether or not you are from America is irrelevant. The doctrines from the Bible are the same all over. Abuse of them doesn’t mean they are in error.

The context of being born again is throughout the N.T. - rebirth in Christ as adopted sons and daughters of God. So that CONTEXT shows that it wasn’t just for the one person. Whereas the issue about selling all and following Christ was directed specifically to the one person who was claiming virtual perfection with following the Law. Christ told him to sell all and follow Him to demonstrate that the man’s heart was not clean.

The “multitude” I write against as false teachers are also written against by every apologetics ministry you’ll come across, and also by multitudes of solid biblical scholars.

If you want to discuss various topics outside of this article, you can do so via my email. But if all you want to do is argue for homosexuality, don’t bother. The Bible is clear in that Subject.

Toni Brown said...

Thank you so much for exposing the dangerous, unbiblical teaching of Philip Yancey...I borrowed the book (What's so Amazing..)from a friend and I was troubled at what I read. I get the "their sin is no different than any other" argument (though it is hard to miss that the Bible seems to repeatedly point to God's particular disgust for these unnatural vices), however, these false teachers always go much further than necessary and always end up coddling these people in their sin. Yancey goes out of his way to repeatedly gin up sympathy for Mel White; our emotions are the devil's playground and Yancey constantly appealed to my emotions, attempting to invoke an emotional response from me rather than a biblical one.
The most telling part for me of the entire book is when Yancey accompanies White to speak to a group of "professing" Christians and White makes the following astounding statement about Yancey's stance on White leaving his family for his gay lover:
"I don't know how Philip feels about what I have done but I know that he loves me." Huh?
To that statement I have just one question....do you think White could have said that about the Apostle Paul???????
There are things coming down the pike for the "professing" church that will surely divide the sheep from the goats- people like Yancey are leading the way to the broad gate.

Jon Dekkers said...

Excellent article. As I was reading a Yancey book, What Good is God, it became clear that his admiration and approval of Shane Claiborne, Tony Campolo, Leonard Sweey, and Mother Theresa led me to believe his views line up with emergent "theology". He is, I believe, a false prophet, and must turn from his good works theology, where Christian, Muslim and ?Jew are all really the same and Jesus will sort it out. The Bible gives us the answers and dies so clearly. His views on homosexuality passages and speaking at Wild Goose festivals gives you a clear picture of his indoctrinating beliefs. I will pray for him, I believe he must turn from this sinful path. Once again, thank you for taking the time to expose him and other false teachers. I will go to your site more often.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope that you find more of interest.

I have to agree with your assessment of Yancey, of course!

Joanna said...

I am very pleased to have come upon your blog today; this was as a result of a comment in my Facebook news feed from Yancey. I do not follow Yancey, after him being touted in a mainline church I attended many years ago, I was left with many of the same thoughts and concerns in regards to him as you express in this post.

This is Yancey's comment that I took exception to this morning, "In one of his last acts before death, Jesus forgave a thief dangling on a cross, knowing full well the thief had converted out of plain fear. That thief would never study the Bible, never attend synagogue or church, and never make amends to all those he had wronged. He simply said “Jesus, remember me,” and Jesus promised, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” It was another shocking reminder that grace does not depend on what we have done for God but rather what God has done for us".

What struck me most profoundly was this portion of the statement... "... Jesus forgave a thief dangling on a cross, knowing full well the thief had converted out of plain fear." This is completely eisegetical and yet those who were following that thread, like so many others in the "church", do NOT know how to rightly divide the word of truth and they AMENed this nonsense to the nth degree.

Because I was sharing this in another group and had not dealt with any of Yancey's claptrap in quite sometime I decided to search for some commentary to refresh my memory so as to provide a proper perspective for my audience; your post freshened my recollection and provided clear evidence of Yancey's false teaching.

I have spent time reading several of your other posts this morning and will be following your blog. Thank you for sharing the truth in love with obvious patience and gentleness, yet with boldness and candor.

Peace and grace to you in Christ Jesus.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi Joanna,

WOW! That was some quotation!!! Just more evidence against Yancey.

Thanks for your kind words of encouragement, and thanks for visiting my blog.

Stephen said...

Someone posted an image with a quote by Yancy concerning the thief on the Cross that cried out, 'Do you not Fear God'...but turned it around to say he would never read a bible, say prayers, or any other such thing, but was saved out plain fear'. It appeared a very insidious post, that he had got the story backwards; it was the man who cried, 'save yourself and us who was not likely saved since he feared for himself rather than knowing Fear of the LORD". So I search on Yancy's name (never heard of him before) and found your post. Thanks on it (will discount the comments on 'homosexuality' since that is not regarding Doctrine of Jesus Christ ..but of man, filled all kinds of assumptions and opinions about others as I've noticed in every blog post everywhere doing the same thing, Presupposing things about certain people that might y or might not be true then feeling justified to lumping people altogether as if 'all homosexuals are unrepentant sinners'..which is simply not true..

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


Since homosexual behavior is abhorrent to God, anyone who is pracitices or supports homosexuality is indeed an unrepentant sinner.