I have been lucky to be married to a wonderful, smart, beautiful woman for now 13 years. Recently, as part of the Book Review Bloggers Program at Thomas Nelson, I was able to obtain a copy of Fearless by Max Lucado. I ordered the copy because my wife said she wanted to read and review it. So here, for the first time in cyberspace and on this blog, is my MUCH better half, Patricia, and her review of the book.
Fearless by Max Lucado is an entertaining read. It is the sort of book one could likely sit and read in one or two evenings. Fearless addresses the issue of, (obviously from the title) fear. Lucado seeks to identify and describe instances of fear as well as how each should be dealt with by a Christian.
While scripture is used in the book, it is, at best, glossed over . Scripture is used primarily to highlight or emphasize the author’s points. For instance, Lucado relates an experience of a journey to the local animal shelter to retrieve the family’s pet stirring emotion within. He wanted to take every lost pet home with him. This “urge helps me understand why Jesus made forgiveness his first fearless announcement. Yes we have a disappointed God. But, no, God has not abandoned us.” He states. Three scripture references follow to further drive home his point. Additionally, in the chapter titled “I’m Sinking Fast”, Lucado lists three instances in which humans might long to hear “I am here” from family and friends who are near. Again, he links these to scriptures which indicate God saying these three coveted words.
Further, the author tends to add supposition and conjecture into scripture. For instance, Luke 8:51 is quoted next to a heading “He united the household.” When Jesus went to the house, he let only Peter, Joh, James, and the girl’s father and mother go inside with him.” In the case of Jairus (Luke 8:51), Lucado supposes that perhaps the mother has not been mentioned previously due to her having been at Her child’s bedside or because the child’s illness driving a “wedge between Mom and Dad”. God does not give us any details about the dynamics of the family. It seems that Lucado adds such conjecture to appeal to those in such circumstances today, instead of allowing scripture to speak for itself.
What’s more, Lucado often treats scripture with a degree of irreverence. He quotes Matthew 8:23-24. Then, he paints an image of Matthew poring over a thesaurus for the perfect term to depict the storm. Additionally, Lucado refers to the same setting as a “dinner cruise” transformed into a “white-knuckled plunge. Finally, he pictures the disciples shuffling cards for a “midjourney game of hearts”.
This lack of depth, postulation, and irreverence add to the overall feel that the book’s primary purpose is one of entertainment or self-help. For a true Christian looking for spiritual nourishment from the meat of the Word, this is not a book to spend time on.