Friday, February 27, 2009

Review of Running Scared by Ed Welch

Author: Ed Welch

Pages: 324 pages

Publisher: New Growth Press

Price: 11.99

Genre: Christian Living/Counseling

Quick Summary:

Some people know that they have fear. Others are afraid to admit it. In this primer on fear, worry, and the God of rest Ed Welch invites us on a biblical journey to face our fears. He begins with initial observations on fear. In order to let God speak to our fear we have to discover exactly how we are afraid, as well as admit that our fear says more about our belief in God than about the fear itself. In the second section of the book (which is comprises 4/5 of the book) Welch “let’s God speak” to our fear. He begins by laying a biblical foundation from the story of the Israelites and Manna. His point is simple—God gives us enough grace for each day, but only enough for each day. You will get more grace for tomorrow but only until tomorrow. After laying a solid foundation Welch then invites us to hear what God has to say about some of the big “fears” we face. He addresses money and possession; people and their judgments; death, pain, and punishment. He closes out the book by letting God speak peace to us. Also, after every chapter Welch offers a personal response to what has been discussed.

What I Liked:

Welch’s writing style is soothing and attractive. He writes almost like you are the listener and he is telling you about all of his fears and worries. This book is written as if you are listening to a man wrestling with his own struggle. As you hear his advice to himself you begin applying that advice to yourself. On such a potentially confronting and threatening topic our author writes in a loving and non-threatening way. Even when he exhorts us it still feels like a man exhorting himself.

The principles that are outlined in this book are phenomenal. The chapter on The Manna Principle is worth the cost of the book. Here is an excerpt that has stuck with me, and one I have used to conquer fear and worry in my own life:

“God will give us what we need for today and today alone…The plan, of course, is genius. Dump a year’s supply of manna into cold storage and, guaranteed, you will forget God until the supply disappears (Dt. 8:10-14)…God’s strategy is to give us enough for today and then, when tomorrow comes, to give us enough for that day too.” (76, 77)

What I Disliked:

I think this book should be about 220 pages rather than 320 pages. A few chapters seem to be a tad redundant. Perhaps we need to hear these principles over and over again and that is why Welch revisits certain points so frequently. Even with that being said the book certainly does not feel like 320 pages long. It reads relatively quickly, I think I just got a tad tired towards the end. It’s a great book that needs to be read by all.
Should You Buy It?

This is a much needed book. Even if you do not think you struggle with fear and worry there is a good chance that you know someone that does, and this book will assist you in ministering to them; the truth is after reading the first few chapters you will probably discover that that person is you. I would definitely consider buying this.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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