Thinking Out Loud

September 8, 2009

Max Lucado on the Fear Factor

Filed under: books — Tags: , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:35 am

As a person well acquainted with the paralysis of anxiety, even the mere idea of reading a book on fear might be enough to increase my blood pressure.   But I thought some confrontation on this front couldn’t hurt, and finished the book in just over 24 hours.

Lucado - FearlessFearless by Max Lucado was far from a fearful experience.   Lucado’s calm and reassurance throughout this book has a disarming effect on any apprehension one might have facing this book, or the fears which dominate much of modern life.    He is lighthearted about this topic, but not trite.

At one point he references those annoying television commercials promoting new wonder drugs, where nearly three-quarters of the advertisement is spent warning of the possible side effects.    But then he says that perhaps all of life’s events — using the example of having a baby — should come with such warnings, and then proposes a script for how the advert might sound.

fearfactor_240For the record, some of the topics covered here include

  • fear of not mattering
  • fear of overwhelming challenges
  • fear of not protecting my children
  • fear that God is not real
  • fear of life’s final moments
  • fear of violence
  • fear of worst-case scenarios

The strength of the book is that it is rooted deeply in scripture.   Though there’s a mixture of old testament and new testament examples of faith and courage in the middle of trying times, it’s his examples of Jesus with his 12 disciples that stand out.   Christ, over and over again, demonstrates his lordship over all creation, on which the disciples can trust and depend.

I wondered how Max Lucado might stack up in a world of new, next-generation authors. Especially here in the blogosphere, where names like Francis Chan or Erwin McManus or Shane Claiborne appear more frequently than Chuck Colson or Charles Swindoll or Max Lucado. This is only the second time I’ve ever actually read one of Lucado’s books cover-to-cover.   The other was The Great House of God which pairs each phrase of the Lord’s Prayer to entry into the rooms of a grand mansion. I had consigned Max to the realms of simplistic devotional writers and figured it was just a matter of months before someone else dominates the Christian non-fiction market.

I was wrong.   Lucado still has an edge to his writing, and it becomes obvious in the first couple of chapters that he did not achieve his reputation as an author by accident.   The prose is carefully crafted, but the man is personable and relatable and the resultant style is engaging.    I could rate this four stars out of five, but on what basis would I be holding back the final star?   I can’t really think of one.

There’s also a discussion guide in the back of the book for each chapter.   I went through a few of the final ones after reading later chapters and I can see how this would make for a good small group resource.   It would certainly encourage open and honest conversation, and a DVD study guide is due out any day now.

Does Max Lucado have worries and fears?   I think he does simply because he’s human.   But he’s got faith in a God who is simply too big to allow his fears to take over.    A lot of that confidence will be caught by those who will read this book.

Additional resources:  The Fearless Times – a companion website to the book

Also releasing September 8th:  A companion DVD curriculum; also Imagine Your Life Without Fear, a 48-page giveaway collection of excerpts from the larger book, $2.99 US.

1 Comment »

  1. […] and the contribution he’s made to Christian literature, in fact I’ve given a few favorable reviews here.  Furthermore, I especially like Max on video. I think the warmth and tenor of his […]

    Pingback by Theology Lite: Max Lucado on Pretzels | Thinking Out Loud — April 26, 2013 @ 7:02 am

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