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Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest Paperback – October 1, 2007

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Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest + When I Am Afraid: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Fear and Anxiety + Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness
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Editorial Reviews


Fear is the most under-rated emotion of all our troubles. Ed has written a great book that is of great help to those of us who have to struggle with the paralyzing feelings of fear and anxiety. --Stephen Arterburn, Founder, New Life Ministries and Women of Faith Author, Reframe Your Life

Fear can make cowards of us all. It can also cripple the mighty, stripping us of confidence and strength to ever face the challenges of ordinary life a terrible way to live. In his characteristic voice which is both authoritative and sensitive, Welch inspires us to turn to God as our champion in our battle with fear. --Dr. Tim Clinton, President, American Association of Christian Counselors

Worriers are false prophets that insight alone was worth the price of the book, but far, far more awaits the wise reader who explores this brilliant book by Ed Welch.  Ed tells our story of fear and worry with compelling honesty and depth.  But even more, he invites us to see how our loyal God refuses to abandon us in our fear; instead, he allows our fear to reveal our fragility and desperate need for his presence.  I was not only informed and moved by this book; I was invited to worship.  This is not merely a book about fear; it is an invitation to a transformed view of God. --Dan B. Allender, Ph.D., President and Professor of Counseling, Mars Hill Graduate School Author, To Be Told and Leading with a Limp

About the Author

Edward T. Welch is the author of such best-selling titles as: Depression: A Stubborn Darkness, Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave, Blame It On the Brain and When People Are Big and God Is Small. He received a PhD in Counseling Psychology (Neuropsychology) from the University of Utah, and a M.Div. from the Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, PA. Welch is a licensed psychologist and works as a counselor, faculty member, and director of the School of Biblical Counseling at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation in Glenside, Pa. His written work and speaking ministry, which are characterized by sound biblical exposition and paired with dynamic practical application, are in great demand by today's modern church. Ed is married to Sheri and has two amazing daughters. He is also the glad owner of a growing guitar collection and competes in the Master's swim event where he happily placed fourth in the country.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: New Growth Press; 1st edition (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978556755
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978556754
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

107 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Tim Challies TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 12, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I do not generally consider myself a worrier. I am more the easy-going type--the kind who is generally carefree and and does not succumb to fear. Or so I like to think. But even then I have to admit that I can be fearful--I can give in to the temptation to worry. Even if I worry about the things I consider "big," I prove to myself that I am still a worrier at heart. And to tell the truth, I don't know of anyone who doesn't worry about something at sometime. We all tend to feel fear at one time or another; we all tend to be afraid of life, of what it brings, or of what we think it might bring in the future.

Running Scared is a book for fearful people, which is to say that it is a book for everybody. It is notable not only for its subject matter, but for its author--Edward Welch who has written, among other highly regarded titles When People Are Big and God Is Small. The book is divided into thirty chapters and Welch encourages the reader to tackle one chapter per day and to not return to the next until he has taken the time to discuss each one with another person. The chapters fall into two uneven parts, one with four and the other with twenty six chapters.

Welch begins with some initial observations, perhaps the most important of which is in the third chapter. It is here that he reveals that "fear speaks." This is to say that fear tells us It tells us about how we understand ourselves, about how we understand God and how we understand the world around. Fear is "a door to spiritual reality." "There is a close connection," Welch says, "between what we fear and what we think we need. ... Whatever you need is a mere stone's throw from what you fear." That statement is profound and well worth further consideration.
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73 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Staci Eastin on December 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
I am a worrier. And though as a Christian I know that the end result is in God's hands, I really don't like pain - physical and emotional - and therefore tend to do my level best to avoid it.

But in this life, trials are unavoidable. How to face the trials of life without letting worry overwhelm you is the subject of Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest by Edward T. Welch.

The few books on worry I have read have been written from a Christian perspective. But it seems even the Christian books are heavy on the pop psychology with a few Bible verses thrown in for good measure. Since modern psychology has been about as effective at curing society's ills as fat-free foods have been at curing our obesity problem, it's a shame that that's the level of drivel that most Christian authors have sunk to.

Welch, though, has a different take. He starts from - get this - the Bible, and then helps the reader to apply it to the worry and fear that can often overtake the believer. The crux of the book can be found in this paragraph:

"We are accustomed to thinking about a spiritual sector to our lives. We know we are spiritual beings, but we prefer to keep a "balance," since we are also physical, emotional, and so on. But if "spiritual" is shorthand for our relationship with God, it is not a component of life; it is the very essence of life. Everything is connected to our relationship with God. If you disagree, you have discovered why you are just a bit cantankerous as you read this book."

Welch carefully points out that we often live in fear because we have set up false idols for ourselves. For instance, if we worry about money, it is because we are relying on money, rather than God, for our security.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Brian G Hedges on November 19, 2008
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Like all of Ed Welch's books, Running Scared is a helpful book for ordinary people who struggle with ordinary sins. Scripture-laden and down-to-earth, this expose on fear, worry, and anxiety addresses our souls with the living and active word of the Living God.

Welch writes in an easy, conversational style, weaving Scripture, personal stories, and thoughtful heart-oriented application into the tapestry of his book. The thirty chapters are short enough to read several in one sitting. The last two thirds of the book helpfully divides into four sections addressing three categories of fear: (1) money and possessions; (2) people and their judgments; (3) death, pain and punishment; then finally, peace with God. This last section may be my favorite, as Welch helpfully unfolds several biblical themes (such as covenant, shalom, and peacemaking) with a view to helping us deal with our fears.

Running Scared will be helpful for several groups of people: (1) those with anxiety disorders or pathological fears; (2) people struggling with everyday, garden-variety worry; (3) psychologistis, pastors, and both professional and lay counselors who are trying to help people work through their fears. I found the book helpful in both personal and pastoral ways and highly recommend it to others.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By David A. Vosseller on April 24, 2008
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As the economy worsens, you wonder how you will pay all your bills. You'd like to go to a Bible study, but you're afraid that you don't know enough and you'll look dumb in front of everyone. You get mad when things don't go as you planned. You stress over all the details of an event and you hate delegating to others because they might not do it right. Do you relate to any of these scenarios? I'm going to assume that you either do, or you are lying to yourself! So how do we deal with the fear, anxiety, worry and control issues that we all face? As a start to begin to deal with these things, I would highly recommend Running Scared: Fear, Worry and the God of Rest by Edward T. Welch.

Unlike many books on the topic of fear, this one is not a "self-help" book (although if it is read and applied, it will definitely help) - it is a " how God helps" book! The book has two sections. The first section places our fears, anxieties and worries into a proper perspective. Our fears reveal things about us, what we trust in, what we hope in, and ultimately, what we believe about God. Welch has some very helpful and challenging things to say about this:

"Worriers are visionaries minus the optimism." (pp. 50).

He also says that ultimately, worries are false prophets, because the exact details of their worries never come true! (Ouch!).

"The plan? Here it is so far. Take a hard look at yourself instead of your circumstances when worry is blaring. Ask yourself what you are trusting in. Consider your poor track record for predictions, yet recognize that all these steps, while they may give you some hope, still don't push back the boundaries of fear and worry. Reason alone can't do it.
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