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Tuesday, 8 September 2009
Fearless, by Max Lucado
“Fear, it seems, has taken a hundred year lease on the building next door and set up shop. Oversize and rude, fear is unwilling to share the heart with happiness. Happiness complies and leaves.”
These words are from the first chapter of Max Lucado’s new release, Fearless.
In this book, Lucado tackles the topic of fear – by covering 13 different kinds of fears we may have, sandwiched between the first and last chapters. These include fear of not mattering, fear of global calamity, fear that God is not real. He uses these chapters to engage with reader and to outline a scriptural response, using analogy, contemporary thought and situations as well as retelling biblical stories.
Initially I found it hard to focus on this book. I think this is partly because a lot of the language and analogies used are very Americanised, and as I am British it is harder to sink into the natural flow. This is not a criticism, more an observation. The book addresses the culture it inhabits, and although I too live in Western society, there are subtle differences in mindset and cultural emphases.
Nevertheless, once I had overcome this obstacle, it was a very accessible read. Lucado is a natural story teller, skilfully using evocative language and metaphors to get his point across. This can make you consider something in a different light, or even make you smile, as I did at various points.
In a culture obsessed with worry, this book is very relevant. Lucado addresses each kind of fear with sympathy, even solidarity, ensuring there is no great divide between writer and reader – we are all in the same boat.
I found this book very easy to read - for me perhaps a little too easy, as I prefer something a little more ‘meaty’ these days – looking for something deeper, you might say! Nevertheless in order to cover what he does it would be difficult for Lucado to do so in a more thorough way without making this a huge tome. In a sense, there is a book’s worth in each topic he covers.
Fearless is accessible and should appeal to a wide audience within its cultural (developed Western world) background, although it may have some difficulty crossing into other cultures. It is a good overview of our preoccupation with fear, making some sensitive yet pointed observations of our 21st Century mindset, and offsetting this with the values and attitudes of the bible.