Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Book Review: Fearless by Max Lucado

I believe there is some rule now that I have to notify you when I have received a free book before I post my review. Seems odd that an individual would have to do that in posting an opinion on a private blog, but there it is: I received a free PDF of Max Lucado's "Fearless." Now here's my review:

I read this book as one of Thomas Nelson's Book Review Bloggers. I grabbed the chance as I have read several of Max Lucado's books and expected to enjoy this book as well. I assumed this would be an easy review for me to write. I was only about half right.

One concern nagged at me while reading this book: Lucado's conversational style of writing is distracting. He darts from one example to another in almost a stream-of-consciousness manner. Some of his examples do help to explain his arguments. But many simple draw attention away, painting pictures I don't need to look at in order to understand what he is teaching. Perhaps this style is popular, but I found it to be a deterrent in reading this book.

Yet he also comes across as a normal Christian who struggles with the same things that I do. I don't wonder if he knows how it feels to be afraid - I can see that he does. It is much easier to hear from somebody who experiences the same things that some lofty theologian. Unfortunately, he may have taken that too far. Some of the chapters felt a bit shallow.

I always find his writing to be very congenial. He does not give an air of arrogance or condescension. It is more like a conversation with a pastor or a friend than a theological treatise. I often come away from Lucado’s books with the feeling that this man wants me to succeed in my Christian life. Usually, I also have the feeling that he really knows his subject.

My general summary of this book would be this: It was not as well written and properly condensed as his other works. It had a feeling about it of being rushed into print. But I felt that he accomplished his goal of helping Christians deal with fear. I didn’t find it to be his most readable work but certainly experienced encouragement from it.

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