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Following Jesus in a Culture of Fear (The Christian Practice of Everyday Life) Paperback – June 1, 2007
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From the Back Cover
"Bader-Saye has written a timely and provocative book concerning Christian resources of faith in a culture besot by fear. He draws upon compelling contemporary cases of such courageous action but shows, with equally compelling articulation, how such courage finally is deeply rooted in God's providence. His book is a bold theological exposition that has immediate and rich pastoral derivatives, all in the interest of an intentional church community acting congruently with its confession of faith."
--Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary
"Could it be that an account of providence is the key if we are to escape the fear that possesses Americans? That is exactly what Bader-Saye argues. He does so by providing an account of providence that does not promise safety but rather something far more important, that is, a way to go on with courage when we are not always able to 'make sense' of what has happened. His ability to help us 'see' our world through film and literature is itself a display of theological intelligence as rare as it is necessary."
--Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School
"Scott Bader-Saye offers us Christian practical wisdom we desperately need. Through insightful examples as well as rich biblical and theological analysis, he beautifully seduces us to trust God and to risk hospitality, peacemaking, and generosity. This is a profoundly hopeful, and hope-filled, book."
--L. Gregory Jones, author of Embodying Forgiveness
"What a marvelously lucid, engaging, and convincing book. Scott Bader-Saye singles out fear as the defining and largely self-imposed burden of our world. He diagnoses it with the aid of the great theologians and illustrates it from popular, personal, and political contexts. Not content with diagnosis, he offers a cure--cogent, compassionate, and Christian. This is an author who thinks with the practical wisdom of Aquinas and writes with an infectious zest. Here is a fresh voice to challenge and transform the anxieties of church and world."
--Sam Wells, author of God's Companions and Improvisation
Top Customer Reviews
Scott Bader-Saye explains how fear has so gripped the Church that we no longer feel safe practicing three important virtures; hospitality, peacemaking and generosity. He shows how trusting in providence (defined correctly as God's provision and redemption - that which ultimately gives our lives meaning and purpose) and being in a community where we can speak honestly about our fears, we can become the witness to God's love and care that we are intended to be.
I know of no book more relevant for the life of the Church today.
I have given this book four stars for a reason, as I found it a good, but not great read. This book has three important things to offer: (1) an excellent treatment of the doctrine of providence and its importance for today; (2) a presentation of Christian hospitality that, if adhered to, would strengthen the witness of the church; and (3) discussion questions that are helpful at the conclusion of every chapter. This book can equip the individual, yes, but may be of more service to a community of people seeking together the best way to live in our world.
Following this introduction is what I feel to be the true heart of the book; chapters on what fear is and why it is a natural and healthy response to threat, how fear can be dealt with in an intelligent and Christian manner, the importance of community in dealing with fear and having courage and, finally, a powerful discussion of a meaningful view of the idea of Providence in the context of God's narrative story for humanity. These chapters draw heavily from the writings of the ancient, premodern church. Most important among these are works by Aquinas and Augustine. Lest these references become to ponderous for or distanced from the reader, Bader-Saye also weaves into his discussion numerous examines from today's life including U2, "Security Moms" as a politcal force. the Taize movement and the Star Wars story arc.
From these considerations flow discussions on Christian practice in three broad areas: hospitality, peacemaking and generosity. In each practice the abuse of the idea of Providence to justify behavior that is unchristian in ethic is discussed followed by a more Biblical view.Read more ›
Never before have I read a book that so clearly lays out the idea of "you reap what you sow". If you are able to get your head around the challenges Bader-Saye puts forth I believe you are part of the solution in this broken world we live in. If you think he's somehow got it wrong (that hospitality and community are NOT important, that peacemaking and generosity are NOT risks worth taking today) then I will pray for you (and those around you) as you try to navigate this complex world.
I guess time will tell if this book (and Bader-Saye's theological perspective and challenge) is embraced or disparaged. I hope for all our sakes it's the former not the latter.
I strongly suggest reading it with a group of friends, it definitely adds a whole other dimension to the book and to the ongoing discussion it creates.
In Psalm 23 God promises that if we keep our eyes on him, he will make us to lie down in green pastures and lead us beside quite waters. Even when walking through the valley of the shadow of death, we will not need to fear any evil for our Savior (deliverer) will be with us. Our all pwerful creator has a table prepared for us to peaceful set down and eat in the presence of our enemies all the while enjoying his company. That's how how I want to live my life. My other favorite Scripture on fear is Psalm 91. I gave the book a four star rating because even though there was much good information in the book, I didn't agree with all the author had to say.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After the attacks in Paris, I decided to read this again. Now that I see so many friends posting (favorably) about the rush to block Syrian refugees, it seems even more timely. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Bookishfellow
Scott kept repeating the same information over and over again. He was so redundant that it was irritating. He made his point and kept repeating it . Also he had nothing new to say. Read morePublished 15 months ago by CPM
There is too much fear in our world and we need to be people of hope and faith who live bravely in spite of it.
I appreciated Bader-Saye's scholarship and explanations. Read more
The print is too small to make this book comfortable to read. But the content is excellent. I read this for an online class at Seminary of the Southwest.Published on November 10, 2010
Loved the beginning of the book. Totally pulled me in to keep reading and reflecting on life in the culture. Read morePublished on September 2, 2010 by Peter Migner
This is an excellent treatment of how governments, candidates, companies can use fear of things that are very unlikely to occur to further their purposes. Read morePublished on October 12, 2008 by James Work