The Beached White Male Podcast with Ken Kemp

S5E36 Philip Yancey - What’s (still) So Amazing About Grace?

June 15, 2024 Ken Kemp Season 5 Episode 36
S5E36 Philip Yancey - What’s (still) So Amazing About Grace?
The Beached White Male Podcast with Ken Kemp
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The Beached White Male Podcast with Ken Kemp
S5E36 Philip Yancey - What’s (still) So Amazing About Grace?
Jun 15, 2024 Season 5 Episode 36
Ken Kemp

In 1997, when Philip Yancey submitted his manuscript to his publisher, he had serious doubts that his new offering (which followed his popular book, The Jesus I Never Knew) would find an audience. He knew his evangelical readers. In Yancey’s mind, the chapters on a Democrat President (Bill Clinton) and a fellow author who “came out” as gay (Mel White), would not set well - especially when he called for “grace.” To his surprise, What’s So Amazing About Grace became his best-seller. Today, 25 years later, Philip and his publishers agree. The need to apprehend and exhibit grace is greater today than ever in our polarized world. After making some revisions - mainly updates - the book has been released. 

Ken welcomes back one of his favorite guests. After reminiscing over some good times together, they talk about the book. Better - they talk about grace. Amazing grace. Yancey shares his growing-up years -  the racism that dominated his church, his neighborhood, and his Southern state (Georgia). They talk about his friendship with Bill Clinton, who read his books and regularly met with Philip’s friends, Tony Campolo and Gordon McDonald. They explore his friendship with Mel White, who for years was the ghostwriter for high-profile evangelical leaders: Francis Schaeffer, Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, Oliver North, Jim and Tammy Faye Baker, W.A. Criswell and Jerry Falwell and more. After years of depression, hiding, reparative therapy, and self-loathing, Mel came to terms with his identity. Philip was there; dispensing grace.

Back in the 90’s, PBS’s Bill Moyers produced a documentary - Amazing Grace - that beloved hymn. Yancey was moved by that hour long exploration of the hymn’s universal appeal. Moyers tells the story of the writer, John Newton, a brutal slave trader, who wrote the words: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” Yancey agrees, Newton was indeed a wretch. By grace, he ultimately became a fervent abolitionist. 

That’s what grace can do.

What’s So Amazing About Grace? (Revised and Updated) On Amazon

SHOW NOTES | Become a Patron | Ken’s Substack

Support the Show.

Show Notes

In 1997, when Philip Yancey submitted his manuscript to his publisher, he had serious doubts that his new offering (which followed his popular book, The Jesus I Never Knew) would find an audience. He knew his evangelical readers. In Yancey’s mind, the chapters on a Democrat President (Bill Clinton) and a fellow author who “came out” as gay (Mel White), would not set well - especially when he called for “grace.” To his surprise, What’s So Amazing About Grace became his best-seller. Today, 25 years later, Philip and his publishers agree. The need to apprehend and exhibit grace is greater today than ever in our polarized world. After making some revisions - mainly updates - the book has been released. 

Ken welcomes back one of his favorite guests. After reminiscing over some good times together, they talk about the book. Better - they talk about grace. Amazing grace. Yancey shares his growing-up years -  the racism that dominated his church, his neighborhood, and his Southern state (Georgia). They talk about his friendship with Bill Clinton, who read his books and regularly met with Philip’s friends, Tony Campolo and Gordon McDonald. They explore his friendship with Mel White, who for years was the ghostwriter for high-profile evangelical leaders: Francis Schaeffer, Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, Oliver North, Jim and Tammy Faye Baker, W.A. Criswell and Jerry Falwell and more. After years of depression, hiding, reparative therapy, and self-loathing, Mel came to terms with his identity. Philip was there; dispensing grace.

Back in the 90’s, PBS’s Bill Moyers produced a documentary - Amazing Grace - that beloved hymn. Yancey was moved by that hour long exploration of the hymn’s universal appeal. Moyers tells the story of the writer, John Newton, a brutal slave trader, who wrote the words: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” Yancey agrees, Newton was indeed a wretch. By grace, he ultimately became a fervent abolitionist. 

That’s what grace can do.

What’s So Amazing About Grace? (Revised and Updated) On Amazon

SHOW NOTES | Become a Patron | Ken’s Substack

Support the Show.