My Official Review of “Fearless” by Max Lucado at Reform & Revive

Look at that face.  That’s Max Lucado.  And I just reviewed his new book Fearless.  You can find the review here at Reform & Revive.  Some of you may have read my “Review Preview” and now are wondering why on earth I’m putting up this little post, just to send people somewhere else for the review.

Well, that “Review Preview” got a lot of hits due to search engine traffic.  That means that this site will appear sooner in a search for the book than will Reform & Revive.  But, seeing as reviews of this sort are much more in line with the mission and purpose of R&R, rather than that of this bog, I thought it was more appropriately posted there, and not on this blog.  So, I’m putting up this post on the off chance someone meanders here due to a search engine.  So, if you have fallen victim to such an off-chance, you can find the review at my webzine, Reform & Revive, found at the link below:

By the way, for those that have stopped by for the next part of my Beauty series, you will find the next installment here tomorrow.  Probably.  Well, technically, my review of John Navone’s book Toward a Theology of Beauty counted as the “next installment”, but I’ll write another tomorrow.

Max Lucado’s “Fearless” and my heart (a review preview)

I’m a book reviewer for Thomas Nelson Publishers.  A few weeks ago I received a pre-publication copy of Max Lucado‘s upcoming book “Fearless“.  I hate so much about Christian “culture”, especially its commercialism, cheesy cliches, seemingly naive treatment of the fallenness of the world, and an inability to know and apply a deep understanding of the Gospel.  For years, admittedly, Lucado has stood in my mind as a representative of much of this.  I have, with little engagement with his material (other than his children’s books), tagged him as such a man; and in a certain way, he is the cheesy, cliche-ridden, mass appealing writer I have assumed (as is evidenced by this official site for the book), and the official trailer found below:

Let’s just say it’s been a big change going from Francis Turretin, John Calvin, and Herman Bavinck to Max Lucado in a matter of months.  Anyone that knows me knows that it has been a long journey through many frustrations with mainline evangelical culture to teach me how to love the Bride of Christ.  And I’m still learning.  I have belittled her, talked her down, mocked her, and ridiculed her in the most shameful of ways.

And this book has been a healing process for me.  Not giving away too much of my upcoming review when the book’s released, I just want to say that this book is amazing.  Save for the first few chapters, I have been shown that even amidst bad jokes, inadequate metaphors, “simple” writing, and an over-commercialized release (including shirts, calendars, mugs, study guides, DVDs, children’s books, teaching curricula), there can be poetry, depth, a real exploration of the human condition, and beautiful articulations and applications of the deepest, most precious truths of the Gospel.  Lucado has shocked me.  And taught me.  And helped me.  And stirred me for this God, His Gospel, and all that it supplies us.  Though I may be going against the fine print in my publisher’s agreement in doing so, I want to share with you all my favorite few paragraphs from the book so far:

A calmer death would have sufficed.  A single drop of blood could have redeemed humankind.  Shed his blood, silence his breath, still his pulse, but be quick about it.  Plunge a sword into his heart.  Take a dagger to his neck.  Did the atonement for sin demand six hours of violence?

No, but his triumph over sadism did.  Jesus once and for all displayed his authority over savagery.  Evil may have her moments, but they will be brief.  Satan unleashed his meanest demons on God’s Son.  He tortured every nerve ending and inflicted every misery.  Yet the master of death could not destroy the Lord of life.  Heaven’s best took hell’s worst and turned it into hope.

I pray God spares you such evil.  May he grant [you] long life and peaceful passage . . .. But if he doesn’t, if you “have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege if suffering for him” (Phil. 1:29 NLT), remember, God wastes no pain.

Amazing.  Look for my review September 8.  In the meantime, you can order the book here, and read some of the ebook here.