Can you imagine a life without fear?
That’s the question posed by Max Lucado’s latest, Fearless.
It was with some trepidation that I dug into Fearless. The last time I read one of his books, it was painfully squishy—big on feelings, light on content. And I honestly expected another squishy book about how we’re all snowflakes and God loves us with a love not unlike sappy teen romance (this does show up—once—when Lucado writes about how “[God] can’t stop thinking about you!” in chapter 2).
What I got instead was a book that actually provides the answer to overcoming our biggest fears: Jesus. Over the course of 14 chapters, Lucado emphatically states that it’s only when we take our eyes off of Christ that fear overcomes us, and it’s only as we focus on Him that we have the ability to overcome fear.
I was impressed by Lucado’s boldness in the final two chapters. He (rightly) names someone as a false prophet, and he gives a great definition of false teacher: One who fails to direct his or her listeners to Jesus, maximizing the role of humanity at His expense.
That’s a huge deal, and a much needed reminder for all of us today to be, in his words, “doctrinally diligent” (p. 155).
He also boldly asserts that there is one healthy terror that we need: The Fear of the Lord. Many of us lack this, and instead have created a god-of-our-own-imagining, who won’t call us out for our sin, who will only pat our heads and tell us things will be okay, but has no power. Instead, we need to embrace the God of the Bible, our fears are less powerful. Because “[w]hen Christ is great, our fears are not” (p. 169).
So, the real question: Would I recommend Fearless?
Particularly on the strength of the final two chapters, I would. It’s a book that, ultimately, directs people to Christ as the true answer to overcoming fear. It’s not a perfect book (none of our books are, after all), but it’s one that I believe many will find profitable.