Some books are so good they call for a sequel, and some sequels are good enough to give them honorable mention decades later. Prolific non-fiction Christian writer Philip Yancey, winner of numerous awards over the past 3 decades and whose books have sold over 14 million copies worldwide, wrote a companion set that I would like to focus on in this review:

“Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” (1980) and “In His Image” (1984).

I first read “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” as a new father who had just embarked on a missionary career. It’s substance and style hit the spot, drawing intriguing and awe-inspiring spiritual lessons from the human body and telling stories of mission work among lepers. The Amazon intro calls it a “remarkable journey through inner space.” Indeed!

Assisting Yancey in the task of writing such a prolific book (it won the Evangelical Christian Publishers Gold Medallion Award) was Dr. Paul Brand, a world renowned hand surgeon and leper specialist who had worked for many years in the leper colonies of India.

“Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” takes its title, of course, takes it’s title from Psalm 139:13-14:

“For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.”

“In His Image” just continues to unfold the story written in our DNA by our amazing Creator God. In these two books are dozens of analogies and observations of the Body pf Christ as seen through the reflective lens of medical science (Brand) and perceptive theology (Yancey).

I warn you: this books are detailed and takes their time. We are fairly spoiled nowadays withe exciting reads seem to roll off the page like so many written by Max Lucado or Mark Batterson. These two titles don’t evoke that kind of feeling. They are very analytical in tone. Yancey skillfully but ever so workds with Brand to paint the the picture for the reader, leaving no stone unturned as together they explain the biological intricacies and apply them to Christian living.

Here are a couple quotes from the books:

“The Body of Christ, like our own bodies, is composed of individual, unlike cells that are knit together to form one body .”

“Compared with other finely decorated animals, the human seems naked, vulnerable, incomplete. More than that of any other species, our skin is designed not so much for appearance as for relating, for being touched.”

My rating:

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