Distilling the Gospel?

A profound quote from author, Philip Yancey, in his book, What’s So Amazing About Grace?

“It has taken me years to distill the gospel out of the subculture in which I first encountered it”.

This sentence sums up so much of where I am at with God as I understand him today.  I find the subculture in which many of those who profess most loudly to represent God are entrenched distasteful.  Not meaning to criticize it too harshly, but it is simply not for me and I find little meaning or value in it at this point.

His phrasing and choice of words, particularly, “distill”, is especially thought provoking to me as a recovering alcoholic.  Almost ironic really.

And leaves me wondering how many more people would have a taste for who Jesus was and what he taught if he wasn’t presented as often by a subculture that they find unpalatable?  Yet somehow we often presume we are helping God out by creating systems and cultures for him.  Is that what we are doing?




About Chaz

Husband, father, brother, son, friend. Sober member of AA. Grateful for the life God gave me and for the happy struggle of recovery.
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6 Responses to Distilling the Gospel?

  1. It was years before I realized there was a big difference between God and the various churches and factions that professed to know Him and represent Him. Big difference.

    • Chaz says:

      Me too. What an amazing thing to finally discover.

      God does not have to come packaged in or be delivered through the cultures or people who appear to believe they are his gatekeepers. They do not have a corner on the distribution of God’s word or relationships with him.

      Jesus himself said that potentially even rocks could carry (cry out) his message. My take on this would be an “if need be” context.

      In my experience, God has shown up in some pretty unlikely places and through pretty unlikely channels.

      I wouldnt want to limit where I look for him.

      Thanks for popping by and commenting.



  2. Heidi says:


    I used to be a gatekeeper of the sternest kind. Went along with my English teacher persona. Geesh. Thanks for the reminder, I think! 🙂

  3. Caddo Veil says:

    (Whispering, “Count me among the heretics–I’m not big on churches, though I ‘attend’ online”.)

    • Chaz says:

      Caddo… If your online church attendance is a grouping of believers who treat each other with love in a similar way to how God loves us, that is lots of church! The fact it is not in a building is secondary. In-person is best in my books. We intereact with people in 3 (or more) dimensions which is really how life is lived. Yet having a time in our lives where it isn’t working for us, even it is entirely our own fault, I think it’s ok.


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