Be Not Afraid: Facing Fear with Faith
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Brazos Press / 2011 / Paperback

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Be Not Afraid: Facing Fear with Faith

Brazos Press / 2011 / Paperback

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CBD Stock No: WW433023

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Product Description

How can I face death? Can I be wealthy and a follower of Christ? How can I cope when my faith is fragile? In this challenging, scripturally rooted, theologically accessible study, Wells explores topics believers are reluctant to face---and offers down-to-earth help for overcoming fears that obstruct our spiritual growth.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Brazos Press
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1587433028
ISBN-13: 9781587433023

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Publisher's Description

Does God heal? Where do I turn when my faith is fragile? How can I face my own death? Is there a gospel for the rich? In brief, to-the-point chapters, respected preacher and ethicist Samuel Wells lucidly and compassionately explores topics Christians are often reluctant to face--death, weakness, power, difference, faith, and living life to the full--and offers down-to-earth help in overcoming common fears in the life of faith. "The heart of the gospel speaks into the most numbing and terrifying moments of our lives with words of hope and joy amid fear and bewilderment," writes Wells. This book provides an intellectually rigorous but scripturally rooted and theologically accessible engagement with questions of faith.

Author Bio

Samuel Wells (PhD, University of Durham) is vicar of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Anglican Church at Trafalgar Square in London. He previously served as dean of the chapel and research professor of Christian ethics at Duke University. He is the author of several books, including Power and Passion and Improvisation: The Drama of Christian Ethics.


"Sam Wells has given us good medicine in this book that both diagnoses the fears of our times and offers the remedy of the gospel. In these engaging and wise essays, Wells addresses not only our fear of death but also our fear of life in all its messy complexity. With a deft mix of storytelling, biblical interpretation, and theological reflection, Wells assiduously tells us the truth about the world--a truth we can face because the way beyond fear is not through denial but through patience, hope, and courage. This is a timely and much-needed book for a church tempted to make self-protection more important than discipleship." -Scott Bader-Saye, Seminary of the Southwest

"A modern-day C.S. Lewis, Sam Wells draws us closer to God's story of eternal love in Be Not Afraid. At times bracing, at other times funny, his words plumb the dark depths of despair and offer hope without triviality, correction without cruelty. This book is a witty, vulnerable, challenging delight, a perfect bedtime companion in dark nights of the soul and a worthy friend when the light come back on." -Lillian Daniel, coauthor of This Odd and Wondrous Calling; contributing editor at Leadership

"In this book of reflections, Samuel Wells makes profound theological insight and artful language seem effortless. Each essay is a gem, the product of deep thought and the wordsmith's craft. This book is so directly addressed to the reader's heart and mind, so precisely on target about the fears that ensnare us, that Wells comes across not as a distant thinker but as a wise, understanding and compassionate friend. -Thomas G. Long, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

"Be Not Afraid is a word for our time, delivered with the thoughtfulness of C.S. Lewis and the authenticity of Billy Graham. Sam Wells is a great gift to the church today. Listen to him." -Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author of New Monasticism and The Wisdom of Stability

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  1. Michele Morin
    Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Heeding the Angels' Command
    August 5, 2014
    Michele Morin
    Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Most of the fears that plague us are, fortunately, more mundane than a celestial visitation. Or is it fortunate, after all? In taking our fears for granted, we may miss the message they carry to our hearts, for fear is revelatory, churning our soul and our stomach until we discover what we value.

    "[Fear] is an emotion that identifies what we love. The quickest way to discover what or whom someone loves is to find out what they are afraid of. We fear because we dont want to lose what we love. We fear intensely when we love intensely . . ."

    With this in mind, Samuel Wells takes aim for the places in us where fear abides. Gut, head, heart, and hand these are the targets for Samuel Wells reflections on overcoming fear.

    Wells sets his sites on six huge nemeses that keep us awake at night (death, weakness, power, difference, faith, and life itself), and then chisels away at them in essays that are both incisive and surprising. His connections between the Bible and life inspire a simultaneous Wow and Of course! For instance, having loved Francis Thompsons Hound of Heaven since college days, and having taught Jesus parables of the lost coin and the lost sheep countless times, how have I missed putting them together?

    "God is the hound of heaven who searches us out and knows us; God in Christ is the good shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine to come and find us; God in Christ is the women who cared so much that she set everything aside to find us . . . Faith is not a heroic journey: faith is the acceptance of being found."

    With an eye for detail balanced by an ability to see Scripture as a whole, Wells crisscrosses between the testaments ( Red Sea crossing to Jesus baptism); points out startling similarities between biblical narratives (If you are the Son of God . . . was hurled at Jesus in His temptation as well as on the cross); and skewers his reader with theological concepts that are practical and convicting (The Trinity isnt a support structure for the Father to be the star.)

    Samuel Wells develops his arguments with a writing style that is as methodical as an equation and as poetic as the gospel. The progression of thought in his view of healing as the sandwich filling between salvation and eternal life occupied my mind for an afternoon on a riding lawn mower.

    With humor that is really more a crooked smile than a chuckle, he quotes C.S. Lewis, referring to him simply as one Irish writer, and laments the lack of dentists and deodorant in first century Palestine. Many evangelicals will find that when Wells uses the term baptism, we would use the term salvation, (and he makes the connection himself in his chapter called Born Again), but based on Chapter 21, Wells would say that we should not fear that difference.

    Fearless, the author takes on the language of Father, challenges us to shed the cloak of status, and invites the body of Christ to use the language of lament to look squarely into the sadness of AIDS. Most practically, the three words, Can We Talk, will go with me as a bridge into my next confrontational conversation. Most unforgettably, the author brings the journalists Five Ws into Isaiah 43 to address the profound and justified fears that can bring us to our knees: death, pain, guilt and isolation.

    I recommend a slow and thoughtful reading of Be Not Afraid, although you will be tempted to take it on in great gulps. Since Wells has presented it in thirty-one chapters, a chapter a day for a month would be delightful. And life-changing.

    Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255
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