Myers Park United Methodist Church Library

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Following Jesus in a culture of fear

Bader-Saye, Scott.

Grand Rapids, Mich. : Brazos Press, c2007.

169 p. ; 23 cm.

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Through politics, marketing, news programming, and popular culture we are taught to fear, often in ways that profit others. But what does all this fear do to our moral lives as it forms (or deforms) our character and our judgment? Drawing on Christian scripture and tradition, Following Jesus in a Culture of Fear articulates a response to fear that resists an ethic of security in favor of fostering an ethic of risk. The Christian virtues of hospitality, peacefulness, and generosity are presented as the way to defeat the counter-virtues of suspicion, preemption, and control. Pastors, students, and lay people will find this unique book both accessible and intriguing.


Do not be afraid. We live in a time when this biblical refrain cannot be repeated too often. Both John Paul II in 1978 and his successor, Benedict XVI, in 2005 used these words to begin their papacies. Among all the things the church has to say to the world today, this may be the most important. No one has to be convinced that we live in fearful times, though we are not always sure what we should be afraid of and why. We suspect that our fears make us vulnerable to manipulation, but we find it hard to quell the fear long enough to analyze how it is being produced and directed for the benefit of others.

One reason we are a more fearful culture today, despite the fact that the dangers are not objectively greater than in the past, is because some people have incentives and means to heighten, manipulate, and exploit our fears. Fear is a strong motivator, and so those who want and need to motivate others--politicians, advertisers, media executives, advocacy groups, even the church--turn to fear to bolster their message. I call this the "fear for profit" syndrome, and it is rampant. We have become preoccupied with unlikely dangers that take on the status of imminent threats, producing a culture where fear determines a disproportionate number of our personal and communal decisions. The sense of ever-increasing threats can overwhelm our ability to evaluate and respond proportionately to each new risk, thus we allow fear to overdetermine our actions.



1 copy available at MPUMC Library


978-1-58743-192-0 (pbk.)


978-1-58743-192-0 (pbk.)

LC Call No:

BV4908.5 .B33 2007

Dewey Class No:

248.4 22


Bader-Saye, Scott.


Following Jesus in a culture of fear / Scott Bader-Saye.


Grand Rapids, Mich. : Brazos Press, c2007.


169 p. ; 23 cm.


The Christian practice of everyday life


Includes bibliographical references (p. 161-169).


Fear--Religious aspects--Christianity.


Christianity and culture.


Providence and government of God--Christianity.


Christian life.


Table of contents only

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020 ISBN   $a ISBN  978-1-58743-192-0 (pbk.)
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035 System Ctrl No   $a System control number  (OCoLC)77520559
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    $b Item number  .B33 2007
082 Dewey Class No 00  $a Classification number  248.4
    $2 Edition number  22
100 ME:PersonalName 1   $a Personal name  Bader-Saye, Scott.
245 Title 10  $a Title  Following Jesus in a culture of fear /
    $c Statement of responsibility  Scott Bader-Saye.
260 PublicationInfo   $a Place of publication, dist.  Grand Rapids, Mich. :
    $b Name of publisher, dist, etc  Brazos Press,
    $c Date of publication, dist, etc  c2007.
300 Physical Desc   $a Extent  169 p. ;
    $c Dimensions  23 cm.
440 Series Title $a Title  The Christian practice of everyday life
504 BibliogrphyNote   $a Bibliography, etc. note  Includes bibliographical references (p. 161-169).
505 ContentsNote 0   $a Formatted contents note  Fear for profit -- Fear and the moral life -- Why fearlessness is a bad idea -- Putting fear in its place -- Community and courage -- Narrative and providence -- Security and vulnerability -- The risk of hospitality -- The risk of peacemaking -- The risk of generosity.
650 Subj:Topic $a Topical term  Fear
    $x General subdivision  Religious aspects
    $x General subdivision  Christianity.
650 Subj:Topic $a Topical term  Christianity and culture.
650 Subj:Topic $a Topical term  Providence and government of God
    $x General subdivision  Christianity.
650 Subj:Topic $a Topical term  Christian life.
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    $p Barcode  835
    $9 Cost  $0.00
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    $u Uniform Resource Identifier

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