If I had read Nothing to Fear by Barry C Black about fifteen or twenty years ago I would have liked it quite a bit more than I did. I simply have read too many amazing books since then, and this one just couldn’t compete. It’s a simple book about a hundred different topics. While there is nothing particularly remarkable about this book, it is well-written and easy to read and understand. I did not, however, enjoy this book at this time. I couldn’t figure out what the purpose of the book was. The title is “Nothing to Fear”, but this didn’t feel like a book about fear. It felt like a huge brain dump of everything Mr. Black feels or thinks about God, faith and prayer. It’s very wide in scope, which can sometimes be a good thing. In this case, however, it felt confusing and it was difficult for me to get engaged.
Structurally the book is laid out like a series of sermons including chapter headings such as “Prepare to Be Sent” or “Thrive in a Predatory World”. Each chapter includes several of what Mr. Black calls “fearless principles” and each chapter ends with a “purposeful prayer”. At the end of the book there is a discussion guide.
There’s nothing wrong with this book from my perspective. I didn’t read anything that I didn’t agree with. I simply didn’t read anything that made me want to say “YES!” or that made me want to share the information with anyone else. I like to read books that make me think, help me with something I struggle with, grow my faith, help me to understand someone else’s perspective, or grow my understanding of a particular topic. This book didn’t do any of that for me.
I can see how this book could be a great resource for new pastors looking for sermon material. It could also be a great resource for newer Christians who want to know some of the basic ideas or beliefs of the Christian faith (although I would also say that this has a very significant Baptist slant in terms of theology).
Overall, it’s well-written but very basic. I wish Mr. Black had chosen one main theme to write about rather than trying to cover everything all in one book. This wasn’t my favorite book I’ve read, but definitely wasn’t the worst either – kind of middle of the road for me.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.