What personally inspired you to pen Unafraid?

As I began exploring scripture, I found that over 140 times the Bible addresses fear — it is a major theme in scripture. Again and again, God tells his people, “Don’t be afraid!” This became the impetus for the book. I ended up surveying the congregation to see what their fears were, and I read everything I could get my hands on about fear. The book was the result of this study.

What is the first step in not allowing our fears to paralyze us?

In the book, I speak of four steps to keeping our fears from paralyzing us. I’ll mention just one of these: “Examine your assumptions in the light of the facts.” When people have the facts, it has a remarkable impact on their fear. At other times, it is confronting our fears — leaning into them. Therapists speak of this process as “extinction.” There are many other strategies I outline in Unafraid for finding courage and hope in the face of our fears.

Can we use our fears as a bridge to unity in troubled times?

Fear, like tragedy, has the capacity to unify people. Think back to the days following 9/11… we were Americans facing our fears and seeking to understand and address a common enemy. Yet, as often as not, fear can be one more vehicle for dividing us. Nearly every major debate that divides us today includes some element of fear on both sides of the divide.

We’ll never completely eradicate fear, nor should we — it plays an important part in our lives. But we can find ways to live with courage and hope despite our fears. That is what I’m hoping the book helps readers discover.

St. Luke’s presents Adam Hamilton | Thursday, March 15  | 7 p.m.

Hamilton will speak about and sign his book Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times. Tickets ($24) include a copy of the book. Purchase tickets here.