Bestselling author Philip Yancey was interviewed by Vicar Nicky Gumbel at HTB's Sunday services today.
Mr Yancey, who was accompanied by his wife Janet, spoke about God's grace, the subject of his book 'What's So Amazing About Grace' which has sold more than one million copies. He said, 'Grace, like water, flows downwards. It keeps going to the person in need. You can't go so low that grace cannot reach you.'
He added, 'There's nothing we can do to make God love us more and there's nothing we can do to make him love us less. That is grace.'
He spoke about his meetings with Bono and President Bill Clinton, both of whom had expressed admiration at his writing. He also spoke about meeting 100 sex workers at a conference in the US, mourners of the Japanese tsunami, persecuted Christians in China and victims of the terrorist shootings in Mumbai.
He said, 'If you want to know how God feels about pain, God has shown us a face, and it is a face streaked with tears.'
Five years ago he was nearly killed in a motor accident and after being warned by doctors that he might die, he concluded that there were three big questions he was asking himself: 'Who do I love? What have I done with my life? and Am I ready for what happens next?'
On the subject of prayer, he recalled someone saying, 'Keep it short, keep it honest, keep it up.'
He urged anyone listening to be open to God, saying, 'We have a God-shaped hole in us and God has a you-shaped hole in him.' He added, 'The message of the Bible summarised is "God wants his family back".'