Philip Yancey’s fire-and-brimstone fundamentalist upbringing temporarily drove him from the church. In this environment, where he learned to play the part, his identity became confused. By the time he reached college, his pain turned to anger and religious mockery, which only led to further rejection. Others viewed him as the rebel, the outcast, the trouble-maker.

But God penetrated the walls he had built around himself, helped him untangle all the falsehoods he’d learned from truth, and set him on a road of healing and freedom. In this episode, Yancey shares his journey, his heart for those who have been deeply hurt in the name of religion, as well as some insights as to how those who haven’t experienced this such trauma can be instruments of healing for those who have.

Find Philip Yancey at:

Find his latest release, a memoir, Where the Light Fell, here:

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Group Discussion Questions:

1. What stood out to you most in Yancey’s story?

2. When have past hurts hindered your ability to connect with Christ?

3. Why is it important to remain alert to the potential hurts beneath a person’s outward, potentially even abrasive, behavior?

4. Do you have anyone you can be completely honest with regarding your struggles, questions and doubts?

5. What are some ways we might inadvertently shut those with questions or doubts down?

6. If you are currently in a faith group, consider the climate. How does (or might) your group members respond if another member expresses questions or doubt?

7. In what ways are you currently helping to create safe environments where people can be vulnerable and authentic?

8. If you have been hurt by the church, what are your thoughts to Yancey’s statement regarding not allowing broken people to stand between you and God?

9. If you currently are part of a faith community, how readily does your group acknowledge and apologize for hurts they have caused (knowing we all cause hurt, whether intentionally or unintentionally)?

10. What is one step God is asking you to take after having listened to today’s podcast?

Episode Image Credit: Getty/Zubada