Monday, May 23, 2011

Book Review: Out of a Far Country by Christopher Yuan and Angela Yuan

FTC disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions are my own.  This post contains affiliate links.

To call a book a “must read” may sound cliché, but I skipped lunch and dinner to finish Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God. A Broken Mother's Search for Hope.
 in one day. As an avid reader, I often read a book and then not think much more about it, but this book is so amazing it will be one I never forget.

As it starts, Christopher Yuan admits he is a homosexual to his parents. His mother, Angela, in a desperate attempt to “fix” him, tells him he needs to change or leave forever. Christopher decides to leave, and Angela realizes she made a mistake and goes on a relentless pursuit of him, as does God for the both of them.

This book is not your typical church testimony. There are drugs, homosexuality, HIV, and a prison sentence. But this was Christopher's life.

Early in the book Angela becomes a Christian. She prays fervently for her son who rejects both her and her God. Until he reaches rock bottom and lands in prison for drug dealing. At which point he starts reading the Bible and even playing piano for a men's prison choir.

This book is full of coincidences. Or more likely God opportunities. When Christopher is going to be released from prison and wants to go to Bible college and his parents meet the president of Moody Bible Institute is just one of these amazing events.

While this book would be a great resource to those in the middle of these issues (drugs, homosexuality, or the parent of someone dealing with these issues), that's not the core focus of this book, in my opinion. To me, it's how God can change someone's life even when you think that would be the last person to allow God to change them.

Christopher mentions the verse Acts 17:28 “For in him we live and move and have our being.” He says that Christ is above all, he isn't defined by anything except that he is a child of God, and the goal of the Christian life is holiness.

As for marriage in his future? Christopher says that he used to think he needed to be attracted to women to desire marriage, but he has realized he only needs to be attracted to one woman. The chapter entitled “Holy Sexuality” is alone worth the price of this book.
I enjoyed how Angela would write one chapter, and Christopher would write the next. It flowed well and it was wonderful to see the events from each of their perspectives.

This is definitely one of the best books I have ever read. I hope that both Christopher and Angela Yuan will write more in the future. I hope to see this book become an instant Christian classic. It is a book that is sorely needed today, and it even includes a study guide should it wish to be read and discussed in a small group setting.

You can read a sample here: