Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Fearless by Max Lucado

I signed up to review books for Thomas Nelson. I'm kind of concerned about maintaining this blog as anonymous because of their sign up process and publishing requirements. But, nevertheless, I entered an agreement to read, review, and post in return for the free book. So, here's the review.

The best part of Fearless is exactly what is best in all of Max Lucado’s books: namely, great stories, vivid descriptions to make a point, and an easy read full of a God of love and grace. Lucado describes well the experience of many today, “Fear, it seems, has taken a hundred-year lease on the building next door and set up shop” (p. 5). It was via Twitter that I first read Lucado’s response to the shop set up by fear. “Fear never wrote a symphony or poem, negotiated a peace treaty, or cured a disease” (p. 5). Throughout the book, Lucado vividly describes the desolate and desperate landscape that over exaggerated fear says is our home then he reminds us that our home is created not by hands but eternal in heaven. For every tremor of fear, we have a God who repeatedly and continuously says, “Do not fear.” “For God has not given us a spirit of fear” (2 Tim. 1:7).

I have one major complaint about how Lucado addresses a grieving parent and the questions that come in the face of grief. He says that God understands because, “He buried a child too” (p. 61). I completely agree that God knows humans more fully and more compassionately than any other human can but I do not agree that God should be equated with humans in levels of grief. God is so much more powerful than any human and had options available that no human parent has. God’s choice to not use the power and options available does not equate to the depths of grief of a parent who has no options and no power. Further, while death is a transition to heaven, to say “For those who trust God, death is nothing more[emphasis mine] than a transition to heaven” (p. 64) sounds dismissive of those Christians who do trust God and, at the same time, have profound and devastating grief. The Psalms of lament might be a better choice for acknowledging the depths of grief and profound trust simultaneously.

However, even with this complaint, I think this book is a terrific reminder that “perfect love casts out fear” (I John 4:18). Regardless of the circumstances, God is with us, we are not alone.


Songbird said...

Thanks for this thoughtful review, Vicar!

Anonymous said...

well written vicar! we had a very similar discussion in cpe about god's grief over losing a child... some parents found it comforting to imagine god crying with them in their powerlessness, but the longer implications are exactly as you stated.

Mary Beth said...

Ever so well put. Surely death is indeed a transition to heaven, but in addition, it's a change from everything the dying one has known, with all the complex emotions of leaving loved ones here. I can't imagine that not being a bit scary, even for the saintliest of us.

Teri said...

thanks for this, vicar!

I also have a totally unrelated question, but couldn't find your email address....at the preacher party you mentioned the youth group playing Where's Waldo at the mall--how do you do that? I'd love to try it out but need some outline of how it works... my email is tericarol21 at yahoo dot com.

St. Casserole said...

I like his books generally. When I come across a too-easy answer, I skip ahead. Thanks for the review.

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