Thursday, August 27, 2009

Crazy Love by Francis Chan: Book Review

I had picked up Francis Chan's Crazy Love several times in different stores, wondering if it worth the time or is Chan going to be another "cool" young preacher wanting to redefine Jesus and God, not that either can be defined adequately in human terms and language. So I didn't get it. Not long ago, I saw the audio book offered free of charge and took advantage of it. It rested on my hard drive for a while, then one day I started listening. Three days later, I was done.

I was pleasantly surprised at the content of this book. Chan effectively interweaves scripture with stories from ordinary people outside the Bible to illustrate his point of Crazy Love, God's crazy love for us and the crazy love we are to have of Him. For those who are engaged by the visual, Chan has video clips that can be found on his book website( to accompany the book. This book can start anyone thinking about the bigger things in life. Even if you are not a Christian, there is much here to be considered. Each reader (or listener as was the case with me) will take away different points of impact, so I will focus on what captured my heart and mind.

Early in the book, Chan reminds us that in 50 years no one will remember you or me and they will not care what jobs we had, what car we drove, etc. This is a point that is terrifying (what am I doing that matters beyond my years of life?) and reassuring (I can be free to live differently and radically for God). In talking about the parable of the sower in Matthew 13, Chan makes a stinging statement: "Don't assume you are the good soil." Like many of you reading this, I immediately want to assume the best of myself even though I know I display many traits of the unfavorable soils. Chan dedicates a chapter to a lengthy discussion of lukewarm Christians and what characterizes their lives. Again, this was hard to read, since I saw my face in more of these than I am comfortable admitting, though I just did. Oops! The point Chan is trying to put forth is living in radical obedience and following of Christ.

Here are just a few statement and questions to give you a taste of the book:

  • Half-hearted following is not following at all.

  • We are comfortable with the little bit of God we have.

  • Are you really willing to say to God that He can have anything He wants?

  • Actively running to Christ is getting fulfillment in Him alone; Wholehearted surrender is the only way to please God.

  • Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers.

  • Allow God to be creative with you.

  • What are you doing right now that requires faith?

  • Would anything you are doing now be different if you didn't believe in God?

Chan states his purpose toward the end of the book : "I wrote this book because much of our talk doesn't match our lives." Ouch!

I was pleased that Chan addresses the importance of how believers live without embracing a gospel that makes Jesus to be just a social worker. The book is a call to radical love for God. I recommend this book because of it's ability to get you thinking about the daily living of the gospel with others. Crazy Love will be helpful for individual growth or group study.

1 comment:

Art said...

Thanks. Helpful review. I just broke down and ordered this book last week and pre-ordered his next book, Forgotten God. Too many people who's opinions I respect, such as yours, for me to keep ignoring this book!