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White Horse Inn: Conversational Theology

Losing Our Sanity: What We’re Afraid Of

People today are living in a constant state of fear. The fight or flight instinct has become a routine way of life, subverting fact gathering and fact checking, and causing careful deliberation, logical thought, and empathy towards others to take a holiday. In this first episode discussing Michael Horton’s new book, Recovering Our Sanity: How the Fear of God Conquers the Fears That Divide Us, the WHI hosts consider both the gift of fear and its manipulation. They discuss what we fear and why, and how the gospel of Christ offers an alternate perspective on what threatens us. Michael Horton also reflects on how his emergency heart surgery earlier this year has continued to shape his thoughts on fear and its antidote.


God equipped us with endorphins to face fears with a flight-or-fight response. However, he did not design us to live in a perpetual state of emergency. Nevertheless, that is how many of us are living today: bracing ourselves for the next gale, the next catastrophe. . . . But this is not healthy for individuals or for the communities we live in. When people live like a deer frozen in the headlights, our natural flight-or-fight instinct subverts our fact-gathering (and fact-checking), causing careful deliberation, logical thought, and empathy towards others to all take a holiday. Sadly, this exceptional instinct has become our routine way of life.

Michael Horton (Recovering Our Sanity, p. 2)


  • Michael Horton is White Horse Inn’s founder and co-host. In addition to serving as a J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary California, he is a minister in the United Reformed Churches. He is the author of more than 30 books.
  • Justin Holcomb is a senior fellow with Sola Media’s Theo Global. He also serves as a professor and Episcopal priest. He is the author or editor of more than 20 books.
  • Bob Hiller is the senior pastor of Community Lutheran Church in Escondido, California. He is also the author of Finding Christ in the Straw.

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More from this Series: Recovering Our Sanity

  1. Losing Our Sanity: What We’re Afraid Of Listen Now ›
  2. Fear Not: Moving From Terror to Trust Listen Now ›
  3. Overcoming the Fear of the Other Listen Now ›
  4. Recovering the Fear of God in the Church Listen Now ›