In Unafraid, selections from nearly thirty years of timeless, straightforward sermons are grouped according to the church year (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost) beginning with Christmas 1939. Reconstructed from Harald Ibsen's sermon notes by his daughter Joy, each sermon is followed by a listener's story (some autobiographical, some fictional) showing the relationship of the message to that person's life.
To experience "The Living Word" between pew and pulpit creates a heightened awareness of the critical dynamic between pastor and parishioner, teacher and student, author and reader.
The Ibsen sermons and the stories serve as a spiritual dialogue addressing questions such as: What is the truth about our lives? What is the main task of parenting? How does one respond to evil? Why do we continue to engage in warfare? Did God want Jesus (and now us) to suffer? How do we know when the Holy Spirit is present? What is the downfall of official religion?
Listeners' stories begin when the author, a "replacement child," is in her mother's womb, and extend to church members confronting huge personal issues: career choices, marriage difficulties, child-rearing problems, addiction, financial crises, war, terminal illness, grief, pride, jealousy, regret, loss of faith, etc. Thoughtful, honest interpretation of Scripture as it relates to everyday life is essential if we are to live in a community, "unafraid," enjoying "a simple life, a merry heart." What could be richer? At a time when church membership is dwindling and ethnic identity alternately wanes and flourishes, Unafraid increases awareness of the significance of the Church in the lives of its members.