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Download Soul Survivor: How Thirteen Unlikely Mentors Helped My Faith Survive the Church Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Soul Survivor: How Thirteen Unlikely Mentors Helped My Faith Survive the Church Audiobook, by Philip Yancey Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,641 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Philip Yancey Narrator: Philip Yancey Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2001 ISBN: 9780553754025
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Philip Yancey, whose explorations of faith have made him a guide for millions of readers, feels no need to defend the church. "When someone tells me yet another horror story about the church, I respond, 'Oh, it's even worse than that. Let me tell you my story.'I have spent most of my life in recovery from the church."

Yancey acknowledges that many spiritual seekers find few answers and little solace in the institutional church. "I have met many people, and heard from many more, who have gone through a similar process of mining truth from their religious past: Roman Catholics who flinch whenever they see a nun or priest, former Seventh Day Adventists who cannot drink a cup of coffee without a stab of guilt, Mennonites who worry whether wedding rings give evidence of worldliness."

How did Yancey manage to survive spiritually despite early encounters with a racist, legalistic church that he now views as almost cultic? In this, his most soul-searching book yet, he probes that very question. He tells the story of his own struggle to reclaim belief, interwoven with inspiring portraits of notable people from all walks of life, whom he calls his spiritual directors. Soul Survivor is his tribute to thirteen remarkable individuals, mentors who transformed his life and work.

Besides recalling their effect on him, Yancey also provides fresh glimpses of the lives and faith journeys of each one. From the scatterbrained journalist G. K. Chesterton to the tortured novelists Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, to contemporaries such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Annie Dillard, Shusaku Endo, and Robert Coles, Yancey gives inspiring portraits of those who modeled for him a life-enhancing rather than a life-constricting faith.

"I became a writer, I now believe, to sort out and reclaim words used and misused by the Christians of my youth," Yancey says. "These are the people who ushered me into the Kingdom. In many ways they are why I remain a Christian today, and I want to introduce them to other spiritual seekers."

Soul Survivor offers illuminating insights that will enrich the lives of veteran believers and cautious seekers alike. Yancey's own story, unveiled here as never before, is a beacon for those who seek to rejuvenate their faith, and for those who are still longing for something to have faith in. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • It would seem the height of immodesty to praise a book that devotes an entire chapter to praising me. Let me therefore merely recommend it to anyone interested in a relaxed and conversational account of how an assortment of odd fish were variously caught up in and transformed by the Christian Gospel."
  • -Frederick Buechner, author of The Sacred Journey, The Hungering Dark and The Eyes of the Heart.
  • I love, and am grateful for, every marvelous book Mr. Yancey writes."
  • -Anne Lamott

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alex | 2/8/2014

    " In general I enjoy Yancy's books, so I was not surprised that I like this one also. In Soul Survivor Yancy chooses about a dozen people who influenced his faith. Most of the people mentioned in the book are famous (MLK, Gandhi), others are less famous (Annie Dillard, John Donne), and some I had never heard of. I found it interesting that many of the people who influenced Yancy's Christian faith are not Christians. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa Mola | 2/8/2014

    " This was my first Phillip Yancey book and I loved it (bought copies of it for people I know). The stories he shares are very inspirational. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 2/2/2014

    " I loved the book. Yancey reflects over how certain authors works helped him refine his religious/spiritual thinking. I found several authors I wanted to read more of based on this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aronkai | 1/17/2014

    " I read this in Finnish. Great book. Gives you hope as a Christian. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leigh Hale | 1/15/2014

    " I read this book cautiously, considering Yancey somewhat liberal on certain issues. However, I really enjoyed it! It challenged me in several ways because he deals with the grey. I see in black and white and it was disconcerting to be confronted with certain realities I would rather ignore. He made me think and I like that. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Holmes | 1/14/2014

    " 13 people, 13 very different tales. These 13 had hardly anything in common, but all constantly searched high and low, in and out their lives and life in general, trying to come to terms with their faith and God. Thanks to Philip Yancey, I am able to understand my own faith in relation to these 13 people who provide much more than mere food for thought. One thing I like about Philip Yancey is that he always manages to convey his messages without sounding preachy or acting as if he is standing on spiritual high ground. As the title Soul Survivor implies, this book is for people who are constantly questioning faith matters and battling internal turmoil, who are not complacent with physically going to church every Sunday. And that should make this book suitable to everyone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pete Bartel | 1/13/2014

    " PY reflects on several authors who helped shape his life. Quite good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin | 11/27/2013

    " I like the honesty of this book. Philip Yancey interviews people about their faith, and how they stayed faithful even with all the hypocrisy of the Church and their answers were refreshing in their truth. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nogeel | 10/8/2013

    " If you've ever gone through a church split or realize how messed up some have grown in church this is a book for you. Yancey discusses his journey in this process. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Letty | 10/3/2013

    " Yancey helps restore my belief that you can be curious about everything, intense in your questions, awe-struck by good and evil, and still affirm yourself to be Christian. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danielle | 8/10/2013

    " This was a really touching book for me. Yancey is one of the most honest voices I've come across in a long time on the topic of Christianity. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 8/9/2013

    " Philip Yancey does it again! Another winner! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Nancy | 7/29/2013

    " A modern case of child reincarnation that should have been fascinating. However, I could not get by the author's plodding style. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeanette | 7/18/2013

    " Lots of good resources for growing your perspective and faith. The honesty of Yancey is again satisfying. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike Print | 6/25/2013

    " A good intorduction to a number of authors I hadn't heard of "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cheryl Hebert | 4/20/2013

    " Great book. Thought provoking. Interesting mini bios of several people who searched for meaning and truth, who were often troubled by man's inability to live up to ideals. Very easy read, read it in one day. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peggy | 3/18/2013

    " Loved it. Yancey is always fabulous, never a disappointment. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy Lester | 10/29/2012

    " Essays on thirteen people who helped Yancey's faith survive the church. Great perspective on flawed leaders--"Criticize me, not the path I'm trying to follow". Loved the sections on MLK, jr. and GK Chesterton. Gives an excellent reading list at the end to learn more about the thirteen people. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan Smothers | 7/3/2012

    " Really enjoyed Yancey's style of writing. I found it to be a very encouraging book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cori Anderson | 4/4/2012

    " This book helped to ground me again. It helped me to see that God is directing my life. Thank you Philip Yancey. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mandi Els | 2/19/2012

    " Faith can be found in the most amazing and unexpected places..... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thiebens | 2/12/2012

    " A book to read again and again.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elsie | 1/3/2012

    " This book gave me a lot to think about and I really wish I had read it as part of a group. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny Orndorff | 10/12/2011

    " A good book from a Christian with broad literary tastes from which to gain other book recommendations. Also has some interesting biographical information on the authors he discusses... so its kinda like being in a book club with Yancey. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hilary | 8/22/2011

    " My favorite Yancey book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gabriel | 7/25/2011

    " The book started strong, but I feel it sort of petered out at the end. In any case, it was an interesting introduction to all sorts of potential reading for me, which made the book worthwhile overall. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 5/18/2011

    " Still reading but I already want to read this over again- plus, Yancey suggests several books for further reading at the end of each chapter. This is one of the best works of nonfiction I have ever read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 4/21/2011

    " I loved this book. i never realized Yancey was from Atlanta and walked a similar path in embracing civil rights. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marti | 4/9/2011

    " This was a fascinating synopsis of some great thinkers. I want to reread this soon! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cori | 2/25/2011

    " This book helped to ground me again. It helped me to see that God is directing my life. Thank you Philip Yancey. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sylvia | 1/2/2011

    " Interesting, unexpected, and as is typical of Yancey, full of encouragement. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 12/19/2010

    " As much we church-goers hate to admit it, church can screw with you. It screwed this guy up but he came through the other side. This book talks about some amazing people famous and not that overcame the stupidness we sometimes refer to as humanity and found God...the real one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 12/9/2010

    " Philip Yancey does it again! Another winner! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karyn | 11/22/2010

    " Loved reading the biographies of different people of faith, but also how they influenced the life of Philip Yancey. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dmatlak | 9/2/2010

    " Loved it. Can't wait to read some more of the end-of-the-chapter reading lists. Maybe when I'm done with seminary . . . "

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About the Author
Author Philip Yancey

Philip Yancey worked for ten years as an editor and then publisher for Campus Life magazine. In 1980 he and his wife Janet moved to Chicago where he began a career as a freelance writer. They moved to Colorado in 1992. He is the author of 20 books, three of them coauthored with Dr. Paul Brand. He is grateful to be able to make a living writing about the questions that interest him.