Without any doubt, it is a “no-brainer” to state that we live in a world overwhelmed with fear. The Age of Anxiety is a term coined to describe the twentieth century. Sadly, the church has been swallowed up by a culture of fear often dictated by the media and politicians. Christ-followers can’t reach out to strangers or even their neighbors, because they just don’t know who they can trust anymore.
Following Jesus in a Culture of Fear is a relevant and practical resource for the academic world as well as leaders in the church. It is the latest volume in the Christian Practice of Everyday Life Series which covers a wide range of topics, such as Living the Sabbath, What about Hitler? and Sidewalks in the Kingdom.
The reader will be challenged to forsake their "ethic of safety" for an "ethic of risk" which reveals itself in hospitality (ch. 8), peacemaking (ch. 9), and generosity (ch. 10). This is not your average pre-dinner appetizer topic. It is a meaty portion of biblical insight and truth every Christ-follower needs to read. The book is laid out in three sections: Diagnosis, Antidote and Recovery with discussion questions at the end of each chapter.
Chapter 3, “Why Fearlessness is a Bad Idea” contains the most descriptive, complete and biblical explanation of the fear of the Lord in layman’s terms. I nodded my head in agreement many times (which did cause unexpected neck strain) but also reread sections to grasp a clearer understanding.
God's sovereignty and the doctrine of providence play a central role in moving each of us to risking more of ourselves. In a book full of excellent quotes, Scott-Bader-Saye writes, "Providence, at its heart, has to do with the conviction that our lives and our world constitute a coherent story, a drama, in which God and humankind, together, drive the story toward its proper conclusion."
Although it is not an easy or quick read, I believe Following Jesus in a Culture of Fear is an important read for the life of the Church today.