Tuesday, September 8, 2009

November Book: Fearless


by Max Lucado

Hardback: 224 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
First Released: 2009

Author Website
Author on Twitter

Source: review copy from the publisher

Why I Chose This Book:
I chose Fearless to be our November/December book club discussion book because it's God-focused, Scripture-focused, and deepens the reader's trust in God.

This excellent and timely book covers why we fear and how to be released from the fear of not mattering, of disappointing God, of running out of time, of not being able to protect your kids, of challenges that might overwhelm you, of worst-case scenarios happening, of violence, of not being able to provide for your family, of an unknown future, of death, that maybe God isn’t real after all, of global calamity, and of God doing something you don’t want him to. There's also a discussion guide at the back of the book.

With so many people telling us that we need to fear (not to mention give them money to make the fearsome thing go away), sometimes it's hard to keep our focus on Christ. As Christians, we know that we shouldn't worry, yet we often do. This book helps readers get their focus right and find lasting peace in the deep-down assurance that God really is in control, does care about us, and will fulfill his promises.

Even if you decide not to buy this book, please still take the time to read the first chapter. It's a good reminder even if you already know these truths, and it's vital for those who don't know but who want peace and assurance about the present and future.

A smaller booklet, "Imagine Your Life Without Fear" by Max Lucado, also came for review with the hardback book. It contains the first chapter of the Fearless book (which is an excellent chapter) plus a short, outreach chapter and a chapter containing Bible verses pertaining to all the fears covered in Fearless. If you can't afford to buy Fearless for all your friends, this booklet is an excellent alternative.

Back Cover Description:
Each sunrise seems to bring fresh reasons for fear.

They're talking layoffs at work, slowdowns in the economy, flare-ups in the Middle East, turnovers at headquarters, downturns in the housing market, upswings in global warming. The plague of our day, terrorism, begins with the word terror. Fear, it seems, has taken up a hundred-year lease on the building next door and set up shop. Oversized and rude, fear herds us into a prison of unlocked doors. Wouldn't it be great to walk out?

Imagine your life, wholly untouched by angst. What if faith, not fear, was your default reaction to threats? If you could hover a fear magnet over your heart and extract every last shaving of dread, insecurity, or doubt, what would remain? Envision a day, just one day, where you could trust more and fear less.

Can you imagine your life without fear?

Except from Chapter One:
[Max Lucado has been discussing Mathew 8:23-28, where Jesus is sleeping peacefully through a sudden storm that has hit the lake as he and his disciples are in a boat sailing to the other side.]

The question: "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" (Mark 4:38).

They do not ask about Jesus' strength: "Can you still the storm?" His knowledge: "Are you aware of the storm?" Or his know-how: "Do you have any experience with storms?" But rather, they raise doubts about Jesus' character: "Do you not care..."

Fear does this. Fear corrodes our confidence in God's goodness. We begin to wonder if love lives in heaven. If God can sleep in our storms, if his eyes stay shut when our eyes grow wide, if he permits storms after we get on his boat, does he care? Fear unleashes a swarm of doubts, anger-stirring doubts.

And it turns us into control freaks. "Do something about the storm!" is the implicit demand of the question. "Fix it or...or...or else!" Fear, at its center, is a perceived loss of control. When life spins wildly, we grab for a component of life we can manage: our diet, the tidiness of a house, the armrest of a plane, or, in many cases, people. The more insecure we feel, the meaner we become. We growl and bare our fangs. Why? Because we are bad? In part. But also because we feel cornered.

Read the first 35 pages.


DCMetroreader said...

I enjoyed Fearless too. I agree that it is a perfect selection for a book club.

ChristFocus Book Club said...


Thanks for dropping by to read my review and make a comment. Granted, it'll be a bit before the Club starts reading this book, but I'd love it if you joined our discussion in November!

Anonymous said...

I have read the first few chapters of Fearless and am eager to see what else the author has to say. Each chapter discusses a different category of fears that people (yes, even Christians) have. The first fear that he addresses is the fear that I don't matter—that I am not valued or don't make a difference for having existed. I think few people would even name this as one of their fears, instead thinking of the more obvious ones of fear for your well-being (good health, being able to meet your basic needs, being safe, etc.), fears for your children's well-being, and fear of failure. However, I believe that way down deep we all fear that our life doesn't matter, and this fear directs many of our words and actions. This fear would explain the hopelessness and self-destructive behavior of our youth who have been raised with the evolutionary doctrine that we arrived here on earth by chance, we're just one step in the ladder of ever- improving animal intelligence, and only the “fittest” will survive. How can a person feel valued or significant if he really believes that? How can he feel that his life has meaning or a purpose, unless that purpose was just to be a “survivor”? Of course, the author dispells this fear with the good news that we are each valued by the very God who created us—unique and with a purpose in His grand scheme of things. We can “belong” to His family, even if we feel that we like an outsider to every family or group upon this earth. We don't even have to be one of the fittest, for He values each one equally. That gives us a good foundation for facing all the other fears in our life, which he addresses in the remainder of the book.

Lucado writes in a lively, easy-to-read style. I am going to give this book in the gift exchange at my Sunday School Christmas party, for who doesn't respect what Max Lucado has to say? And who doesn't have fears? judith