A brave new book – Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times by Adam Hamilton
Packed with statistics, social studies, and Biblical truth, Adam Hamilton confronts fear and its causes in American during these postmodern times.
He discusses politics, parenting, church efforts and failures…also loneliness, significance, FOMO, finances, and illness.
There’s not really any new information in the book, but it is very attractively packaged into 5 parts, each with 4 chapters. Footnotes provide extra information about sources of info. The appendix includes 31 Days of Scripture Reading on Fear.
Hamilton is unafraid to mention what many of us are feeling in this scary social media-induced dystopia.
We are feeding our fears instead of facing them.
I have liked Hamilton’s other books, and this book is no different. Well-written, including relevant personal stories, facts and statistics for the intellectual in me…It shows fear as the evil it is and how we can still be courageous in spite of fear.
About the Book:
One of the most repeated instructions in the Bible is “Don’t be afraid.” This phrase, in one form or another, appears 140 times in Scripture. It reminds us that ordinary women and men from ancient times struggled with fear. But Scripture also shows us that faith—and paradoxically, a healthy “fear of the Lord”—can be pivotal to overcoming fear and finding peace in uncertain times.
We can hardly overstate the extent to which fear permeates our lives. Most of us have known times when it has robbed us of the life we wanted. Our fears, in the form of insecurity, often wreak havoc on our lives and personal relationships. At times, fear has led us to make bad decisions. At others, it has kept us from taking risks or doing things that would have brought great meaning, fulfillment, and joy to our lives.
But it does not have to control us, says Adam Hamilton in UNAFRAID: LIVING WITH COURAGE AND HOPE IN UNCERTAIN TIMES (Convergent; hardcover; 3/13/18; $24.00).
Hamilton, who was recently interviewed by David Brooks at the Aspen Ideas Festival, has seen the climate of fear up close as the senior pastor of a diverse and dynamic 20,000-member congregation planted squarely in Middle America, the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. He has spent the last thirty years shepherding congregants, and in the process, becoming deeply involved with their struggles with fear. He’s walked them through economic downturns, three wars, terrorist attacks, countless personal tragedies, and, most recently, the current political divide, a topic he spoke about earlier this year with Robert Siegel of NPR’s All Things Considered.
In doing research for a sermon series, Hamilton conducted a survey of his congregation to gain deeper insight into this emotion. Of the 2,400 people who participated, eighty percent reported living with moderate or significant levels of fear. He then analyzed the latest national polls to see what people across the country rank as their top fears, and delved deeper into that research.
UNAFRAID combines thorough research, powerful stories from people Hamilton has pastored, and timeless wisdom from the Scriptures. He helps readers understand some of the most common fears we wrestle with, differentiate between those things we should fear and false or exaggerated fears, and find ways to cope with our fears that lead us to live with hope. The book also helps readers identify and counter their fears in key areas of threat: crime, race, terrorism, politics, failure, disappointing others, insignificance, loneliness, change, and finances, and the perennial fears of growing old and death.
To these near-universal fears, Hamilton brings insights in critical areas, including:
- why you will never fully eliminate fear from your life (and why that’s a good thing)
- the search for meaning as a fundamental need
- how people from time immemorial have addressed their fears
- spiritual practices that can bring real peace
- cognitive restructuring to identify faulty assumptions and replace them with positive thinking
- how appropriate fear plays an important role in our lives
Hamilton draws upon insights from psychology, sociology, and the Scriptures to offer inspiration and help for addressing the most common sources of fear, worry, and anxiety and guides the reader in how to live “unafraid, with courage and hope.”
About the Author:
Adam J. Hamilton, a leading voice for reconciliation and church renewal in mainstream Christianity, is the senior pastor of the 20,000-member Church of the Resurrection, Kansas City, the largest and most influential United Methodist congregation in the United States. He is the author of twenty-five books; his most recent trade release is Making Sense of the Bible.