Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Book Review - Fearless (Max Lucado)

"Gem's in the Last Chapter"

Book Review - Fearless
Author: Max Lucado
Reviewer: Conrade Yap
Date: 8 September 2009

Lucado weaves together another tapestry of hope. Using stories and vivid images, he makes the words come alive in our minds as he deals with the topic of fear. As Lucado knits each fear, we are led to confront the many types of worries that can alarm us and render ourselves powerless or helpless. He turns over many stones that hide our innermost trepidations. Things like lack of self-worth, not meeting up to God’s expectations, unable to be a good parent, afraid of physical harm, overly concerned about the future and so on. While the reader may think that the way ahead is to flush fears off our system, Lucado gently leads us to something far better than spiritual machete. After shining a light to reveal the different kinds of fears we face in the world, he exposes our heart’s deepest need: Christ.
This is the fear of the Lord. Most of our fears are poisonous. They steal sleep and pillage peace. But this fear is different. ‘From a biblical perspective, there is nothing neurotic about fearing God. The neurotic thing is not to be afraid, or to be afraid of the wrong thing. That is why God chooses to be known to us, so that we may stop being afraid of the wrong thing. When God is fully revealed to us and we ‘get it,’ then we experience the conversion of our fear. . . ‘Fear of the Lord’ is the deeply sane recognition that we are not God.’” (169)
Truly, chapter 14 is worth the price of the book. Upon reading this portion of the book, I am even more convinced that the way to fight fear is not with guns or therapy, physical or psychological weapons. Remember the Apostle Paul’s reminder that our enemies are ‘spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm?’ Lucado drives home the way to fight fear, not in terms of decreasing our paranoia over created things or thoughts, but to increase our faith in God, who is love.
“The longer we live in him, the greater he becomes in us.” (170)

There are two irritations I have with the book. Firstly, the book presupposes that the fears described in the book exist in our lives. I understand that Lucado writes for a general audience. Yet, is it not possible that for some, such fears are irrelevant? I know that for cancer patients, some of the worries mentioned in the book are of the least concern. At some point, I feel like someone receiving a box of anti-fear gadgets, to fight even the non-existent fears. Secondly, Lucado takes too long to come to this important point. For instance, his PEACEFUL plan to rid fear appears like another self-help book. If readers stop here, the author may even be accused of using God like aspirin to banish fear, like using Christ as a means to our own ends. That is not what this book is about.

In conclusion, we need to read the whole book to discover Lucado's important point. It is not the fleeing or fighting of fear that render us fearless. It is in embracing Christ, that fears will flee from us instead.

A Thomas Nelson Book Reviewer

Conrade Yap

  • The Fearless Times (link)

1 comment:

YAPdates said...

My review is also published at the following sites:
1) Amazon.com [http://www.amazon.com/review/R31XEUX3QV121H/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm]
2) Amazon.ca [http://www.amazon.ca/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A1OAFR30Z6O4A6/ref=cm_pdp_rev_more?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview#R2MGQB4W3TU3KV]
3) Chapters.ca [http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/Fearless-Imagine-Your-Life-Without-Max-Lucado/9780849921391-559335-Review.html]

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