Stephan Bauman Rediscovering FAITH in a Culture Plagued by FEAR


Stephan Bauman is an award-winning author who has written for various publications including and previously served for 20 years in humanitarian work with World Relief. In his new book “Break Open the Sky, “he provides a unique perspective on how the rampant fear in our culture affects our faith. He challenges readers to a vibrant, authentic, risky faith: “When our faith is passive, safe, void of risk, it loses its witness to a world that is increasingly jaded and skeptical. It forfeits its potential to awaken, or reawaken, a dying culture. Safe religion becomes self-absorbed, sentimental, esoteric, or, worse, superstitious,” Bauman says. More details follow. He’s available for interviews starting June 5. Brett Benson, WaterBrook & Multnomah

An Invitation to Rediscover Courageous Faith in
an Age Plagued by Fear

Break Open the Sky: Saving Our Faith from a Culture of Fear
by Stephan Bauman

Our faith has fallen prey to a culture of fear, leaving many not only afraid, but on edge, even disillusioned. We face a defining moment. Will we cave in to fear or rise in faith? Stephan Bauman, former president of World Relief, has seen firsthand in some of the most difficult places in the world how it is possible to embrace love in the face of fear. His latest book, Break Open the Sky: Saving Our Faith from a Culture of Fear (Multnomah, May 23, 2017), is an invitation to live out what matters most during an age thirsty for answers.

Bauman describes his book as “an expedition into living a life of authentic faith, free from the fear that so often plagues our faith communities. We can either turn away or choose to be brave. The journey is not for the faint of heart.”

He knows what it means to leave a secure, safe place and become an emissary of hope in the midst of fear and uncertainty. Bauman left a successful business career to live in Africa, directing relief and development programs with World Relief for nearly a decade. He was regularly confronted with difficult decisions while living and working in some of the most intense environments in the world.

In Break Open the Sky, Bauman explores three main themes:

TRUTH: He examines the central teachings of Jesus, including the Sermon on the Mount, and shows how they are more relevant than ever in our post-truth culture. Additionally, he tackles suffering in the life of a believer. “As we encounter grace through suffering, we are drawn close to the heart of the living God,” he says.

LOVE: Bauman looks at how we so easily misunderstand love’s true nature and source, why faith is meaningless without it, and how it can become the foundation for a different way of living in a world increasingly bereft of love. He lives to see Christians rise to the biblical call of love and justice and he shares numerous inspiring stories that show how Christians and churches around the world—from the U.S. to Cambodia—are reaching out with love and hospitality to refugees, modern-day slaves and others in need. “We are at our best—as a people, a church, a community and a nation—not when we fear but when we love with gentle strength,” Bauman notes.

RISK: He explains how authentic faith and genuine love catapult us toward a life we’ve dreamed about but often don’t have the courage to live.

Bauman points out that “we must pursue this call together, not alone, within the community of faith, as broken and disillusioned as we may be.”

About the Author:
Stephan Bauman lives to see people everywhere rise to the biblical call of love and justice. He transitioned from a career in the Fortune 100 sector to Africa where he directed relief and development programs for nearly a decade before serving as President and CEO of World Relief, an international relief and development organization serving more five million vulnerable people each year. Today Bauman is the Executive Director of a philanthropic foundation serving the least resourced and accessible places of the world.

He is the author of: Break Open the Sky: Saving Our Faith from a Culture of Fear (Multnomah, May 23, 2017), Possible: A Blueprint for Changing How We Change the World (Multnomah 2015), and Seeking Refuge: On the Shores of the Global Refugee Crisis (Moody 2016), for which he received a 2017 award of merit from Christianity Today. Bauman considers his African friends his most influential teachers, and his wife, Belinda, his most important mentor. He has written articles for Relevant, The Washington Post, Fox News, and U.S. News & World Report. He and his family live near Grand Rapids, Michigan, and enjoy the woods, the arts and late night conversations with friends.

For more information, visit and

Praise for Break Open the Sky:
“We live in a brave new world where terrorism, racism, and bigotry drive an engine of fear in our society and within our churches. Bauman tackles these topics head-on, compelling us by God’s love and exciting us by his grace to reject fear, embrace risk, and rediscover faith to care for people in the shadows. Break Open the Sky is a much-needed and valuable work that speaks to our current landscape in a fresh, new way.”
—Ed Stetzer, Billy Graham Distinguished Endowed Chair for Church, Mission, and Evangelism, Wheaton College

“Stephan has been an eyewitness to real fear factors that have disrupted lives and derailed nations. With this book Stephan delivers a rich treasure trove of personalities and stories accumulated in his journey through this globe’s minefield of violence, disaster, and disregard. This book is an entertaining and thought-provoking travel guide offering a way to joy in the midst of insecurity.”
—Steve Haas, catalyst, World Vision

“Humanitarian Stephan Bauman has witnessed love conquering fears, but he has also seen fear stymie faith’s best intentions. His lessons from his life of global service can help us shed our fears and reawaken our commitments to that ‘sociological impossibility,’ the global Christian community.”
—David Neff, former editor in chief of Christianity Today (retired)

Download Chapter 1:

Click to access BREAK-OPEN-THE-SKY.pdf