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Fear of the Other: No Fear in Love

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  232 ratings  ·  37 reviews
In this no non-sense book, reliable spiritual guide, Will Willimon, invites readers to consider the gospel command to love (and not merely tolerate) those considered to be "Other" or outside mainstream Christian culture. Rooted in the faith of Israel and the Christian story and vision, Willimon brings a Wesleyan perspective to bear on what may be the hardest thing for peop ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by Abingdon Press
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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Paul Fike
Aug 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Although this is a short book (91 pages), it is challenging read for the conscientious follower of Jesus. Do not read if you are comfortable in your understandings of "others," and do not want to be shaken up. Highly recommended. ...more
T. Randall
Aug 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A new challenge from Willimon

Bishop Willimon has a reputation among his fans and non-fans for being a Wesleyan curmudgeon, if not a tad sarcastic curmudgeon. That is once more the case in his newest book, Fear Of The Other. Of course, it's that curmudgeonly approach that draws you to his writing - the reader knows that he/she will be irked and/or pricked by something he says. He thanks Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, and Sen. Ted Cruz for providing the rationale for writing this book. Already with
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written, succinct, valuable in the conversation on race.
Terrell Clemmons
Jan 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book is a heavy political diatribe that essentially assumes anyone who voted for Donald Trump is a racist, whether or not they realize it.

Willimon prioritizes politics over faithfulness to Scripture, and in some places flatly controverts Scripture.

Pass on this one, unless you're a geek like me who reads books you disagree with in order to draw out what's wrong with them.
Jul 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Most certainly, not everyone will agree on the premise of this book. However, everyone should thoughtfully consider the points Willimon has to make. Timely advice for sure in an age that is so filled with fear and hate.
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'd never heard of this author before, and wanted to see what he was saying as part of the church I attend's book study (they have a Bible study as well).

The book seems to pull a lot from the parable of the Good Samaritan, as that parable has a Jew being saved by the Other, whom he hated.
There's also learning to fear like Christians - learning to recognize the knee-jerk reaction of fear and then deciding whether or not it is warranted.
Learning to love the other in church, because in churches t
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it
In presenting our church with sisters and brothers whom we fear as the Other, God is not only testing us but giving us a gracious opportunity to recover the adventure of discipleship.

Love of neighbor validates that we are loving the true and living God rather some godlet of our own concoction.

“For God so loved the world…” It all belongs to God. No one is foreign to this expansive embrace. There may be people who are strangers to me; they are not strangers to God. There may be those who are enemi
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
An indispensable aid to remove the log out of one's eye. Willamon states that one of the "goals of Christian preaching is to render the listener as other." This is done in an attempt to move the hearer towards a posture of not just hospitality but empathetic action. Such action is to be done on an individual level for sure, nevertheless, chapter four provides some very creative ideas to seed such action in the soil of community. ...more
Feb 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
I had to read this book for a small group discussion. If not for them, I wouldn't have read passed Ch. 1. While I appreciated the challenge presented, I felt the book was not well-written. I do feel I will be more sensitive toward those different from me. This really is Willimon's goal. ...more
John Brocato
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book challenges us to think about how we see the Other and how Jesus would handle the situation. I wrestle with some of what Bishop Willimon wrote as living the way Jesus would want us to is a challenge. Definitely a must read for people who want to grow in their Christian walk.
Gary Gomes
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Having read Bishop Willimon's "Why I am a United Methodist" I was familar with his writing style. This was a quick read but well worth it. I found the analysis on how we react to "the other" and how Christ showed us to act to be excellent. I think I will be quoting this book in future sermons. ...more
Adam Wickliffe
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A relevant read in these trying times, the "other" in Biblical times was just as ostracized as the "other" is feared today. Willimon shows that love conquers hate and overcomes those who want us to see "others" as undesirables in our society. ...more
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Will Wiilmon always makes me think and helps me see in new ways. I don't always appreciate what God is saying through him, but thank God he says it! ...more
Lisa Lewton
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Our council read and discussed this book at the start of meetings. It was a good springboard for discussion. I’m glad we read it.
Cindy Cox
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enjoying the discussions my Sunday School group is having about this book. Thoughtful and challenging.
Janis Edwards
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very short, easy reading, but very thought provoking. Some very powerful self exploration.
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: shalom
Prophetic. This preaches.
Cheryle Totten
Jun 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Difficult read, found I had to frequently reread portions to understand what author is saying. Book group read resulted in interesting group discussions.
Alice Yoder
Oct 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Although an introvert at heart, I have learned to extend myself in certain circumstances, therefore, there are very, very few "others" that I encounter. We studied this book in Bible Study, and I used the metaphor of "opening the door to different circumstances and situations".

Be open to the possibility of a relationship with "others".
Cathy Sweeney
Jun 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Cathy by: Cokesbury catalog
Writing from the perspective of a culture of fear - 'fear speak' heard from media, politicians, and others - retired UMC Bishop and professor of Christian practice at Duke Divinity School, Willimon uses practical examples of how fear comes into our lives, and how we react to that fear.

The book is short (106 pages, including the introduction), but contains many examples for the Christian to understand how our faith in Jesus Christ helps us to combat our fears, and rely on Him. The fear specifical
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is actually a re-read. I read it originally for a book review in 2016. Given the volatility of late in society especially towards the 'other', I decided to read it again. It is still a wonderful, clear eyed missive. It doesn't even crack 100 pages but it is full of wisdom, thoughtfulness and usable advice. ...more
Emory Daniels
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Will We Love or Fear Others?

“Fear of the Other: No Fear in Love” is one of the finest Christian books published in 2016 if not the finest in the 21st century. Only 90 pages long, “Fear of the Other” is a powerful read that challenges from cover to cover, shakes up our orthodoxy, and forces us to look at common Biblical passages in a fresh way.
The book is based on the core Christian truth that we should love one anOther. Willimon discusses why we fear the Other instead of loving all Others, and t
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good discussion starter. Timely. But I do feel that I am the choir he is preaching to.
George Love
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I remember how much I loved Resident Aliens the first time I read it. And how much I have referred back to it over the years. From William Willimon, half of the Resident Aliens team, comes Fear of the Other. It's a brief work, but it is dynamite. It is absolutely on point in our world right now. It is provocative, challenging and encouraging. It shows how irrelevant we may allow our faith to become and how very relevant our faith may be. It is not a collection of comfortable musings, it is a cha ...more
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this in order to prep for my sermon on loving our enemies. I wish I could just read the whole book from the pulpit. It's an important read for Christians, especially now. ...more
Jason Stanley
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
True to form, Bishop Willimon approaches theological themes in a no-nonsense and gutsy matter. This little book (less than 100 pages) is the Bishop’s response to the rhetoric of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. “If not for them,” Willimon writes, “I would not have been asked to write this book.”

Willimon shows no fear in addressing current social topics. He covers it all. The desire for a bigger wall across the border to keep out Hispanics. The call to keep Muslims out of the country. The exclusion of
Ph. D.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This powerful little book speaks to the heart of the fear that hinders us from embracing "the other." Spoiler alert: in the last chapter, Willimon drops a bombshell -- Jesus is "the other." The only way to truly meet Jesus is to seek him in the humans who seem most different to us. And the same fear that hold us back from welcoming other humans into our hearts restrains and paralyzes us from opening the door to God's knocking. Thank you, Jesus, for your perfect love that casts out fear.

Fear of t
Dave McNeely
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is extremely concise (99 pages total), which suits it ideally for a wide audience. Willimon does a great job at offering a quick and insightful overview of a Christian view of and posture toward the "Other," including the Other who is God and the most frightening Other of all, ourselves. This book would make for a great Pentecost read and is timely in light of political and ecclesiological fears. ...more
Erin Beall
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was expecting great things from this book, and I was not disappointed. Unexpected pleasures came, too: Who knew there was still something fresh and new and surprising to say about the parables of the Prodigal Son and the Good Samaritan? Somehow, the Bishop pulls it off. 5 stars for this quick (though not quite painless) read.
Daniel Weir
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

We live in a time when fear of the Other is rampant. Bishop Willimon does deny that this fear is natural, but he offers us a vision of how our being disciples of Jesus the Other can free us from this fear.
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The Reverend Dr. William H. Willimon is Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry at the Divinity School, Duke University. He served eight years as Bishop of the North Alabama Conference of The United Methodist Church, where he led the 157,000 Methodists and 792 pastors in North Alabama. For twenty years prior to the episcopacy, he was Dean of the Chapel and Professor of Christian Ministry a ...more

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