Rumors of Another World
Philip Yancey Invites Readers to Consider the Supernatural


Philip Yancey well remembers his agnostic years, when he doubted God's existence and mocked those who believed. But his thinking changed as the goodness of this world (beauty, classical music, romantic love) led him to believe there could be more to life than what he saw with his eyes. Today, when asked by skeptics for unshakable proof of the supernatural, Yancey tells them there is none. Faith is still a prerequisite. As a fellow skeptic, Yancey is inevitably drawn to those who doubt and question, so it is for these people that he has written his latest volume Rumors of Another World: What on Earth Are We Missing?

Yancey, an award-winning writer and international teacher, often pens essays for Christianity Today and other journals of religious thought. But this new volume, Rumors of Another World, finds Yancey asking the same questions as those outside the organized church. Yancey has a strong resistance to what he considers "Christian propaganda" and prefers honest conversation about faith and spirituality and the questions that linger about both. His new book reads much like a conversation, inviting those skeptical of religion and burned by the church to consider the possibility of an unseen, supernatural world coexisting with our visible world.

Rumors of Another World asks many questions and Yancey acknowledges that he cannot offer answers for them all. What if there is another world that can provide meaning for life in this one? What if there is something we are missing by living only in the natural world? "Today, even after all God has done for me," Yancey writes, "I know that only a thin membrane of belief separates the natural from the supernatural." Yet he often finds traces of the supernatural intersecting with daily life - which he considers to be rumors of another world.
Philip Yancey's latest book is laced with questions that too often remain unvoiced, and it is peppered with the thoughts of great philosophers and writers. But many will find Yancey's personal stories - stories of his disillusionment with the church and the God of his youth - to be the most accessible and emphatic elements. Once he establishes a kinship with his readers, Yancey invites them to investigate the whispers from another world that permeate the natural world, including:
  • Sex: "Sexual desires and romantic longings are a kind of debased sacrament. If humanity serves as your religion, then sex becomes an act of worship. On the other hand, if God is the object of your religion, then romantic love becomes an unmistakable pointer, a rumor of transcendence as loud as any we hear on earth." (5.19)


  • Evil: "We have a deep intuition about how the world would operate and how it should not. Where did we get that sense? Investigators of disasters such as the wreck of an airplane or a space shuttle will assemble every fragment of residue, pouring over the blackened shards of metal in search of how the machine failed the original design. Something went badly wrong, bringing instant chaos to a well-ordered system. In a similar way, the presence of evil disorders the world God designed." (7.2)


  • Guilt: "A law of entropy governs the moral universe as well as the physical, tending toward disorder. Something at our core tugs us downward and prevents us from realizing what God best intends. The way back up follows an inescapable path that begins with guilt and ends with restoration." (9.4)
  • Raised in the Deep South, Philip Yancey has spent a lifetime recovering from the toxic faith and church of his youth. He draws from his difficult, racist childhood in writing personal, deeply profound books on suffering, pain, joy and grace. With more than 6.6 million books in print, Yancey is one of the most popular and award-winning authors in the religious community. Two of his works - The Jesus I Never Knew (1996) and What's So Amazing About Grace (1998) - were awarded the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Christian Book of the Year award. A graduate of Wheaton College Graduate School and the University of Chicago, Yancey and his wife Janet live amidst the natural splendor of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
    May 1, 2003
    Zondervan News Release