If we can compare reading a book to a boxing match then the first few chapters of Crazy Love is Chan feeling us out, throwing a few calculated punches but for the most part just dancing around while we try to get a bead on him. Then, around about chapter four, he lands the first punch that lets us know he means business. In fact, after beginning the book I was almost underwhelmed and found myself wondering what the fuss was all about. Then he began to hit me where it hurt. In the chapter entitled "Profile of the Lukewarm" he goes on for 12 pages describing various images of what it looks like to be a lukewarm Christian. At the conclusion of the chapter I found myself in the corner of the ring wondering what the number was of that bus that just ran me over.
As the bout continues the blows keep coming from every conceivable direction but the knockout came in chapter nine when he put, of all things, real names and lives with his exhortation to live completely abandoned and in love with God. You see, in chapter eight Chan outlines what it means to live as one obsessed with Christ. By all accounts he sets a pretty high standard and leaves us asking the question, "Who could live like that?" Enter chapter nine. Any time we are faced with the example set by our brothers and sisters in Christ it is a humbling experience. To know that there are those who have truly sold-out to God and are living each and every day on nothing more than His promises.
Now, let me talk a little bit more in the way of review. First of all, Crazy Love is a well-written book, there is no doubt about that. Chan doesn't seem to be in the business of trying to make a certain page-count so the pace is brisk without him repeating himself and beating the proverbial dead horses that some do. In that same vein, he lets the Scripture do the heavy lifting while he shed insight on the passages. I appreciate his liberal use of Biblical passages because, as Christians, that is our standard not someone's opinion. Also, Chan makes it clear, especially in the last chapter, that he is not suggesting that we should all fit into one of the examples he has given. God calls us all to do different things and live in different ways. He puts it this way;
Should you put your house on the market today and downsize? Maybe. Should you quit your job? Maybe. Or perhaps God wants you to work harder at your job and be His witness there. Does He want you to move to another city or another country? Maybe. Perhaps He wants you to stay put and open your eyes to the needs of your neighbors.
I so appreciate an author who doesn't say, "This is how others have done it and this is how you're supposed to do it." The fact of the matter is, there are some broad imperatives that we find in Scripture like, "Love your neighbor as yourself." How God wants that to look in our lives may be different for each of us. Francis Chan seems to understand that and that is one of the beauties of this book. So, if your looking for a serious critique of Western Christianity and a book that will challenge what culture has fed you, then this is a great starting point. You may find that it goes against the grain of what makes you comfortable but that is part of growing in Christ and being in love with Him.
Other books by Francis Chan: Forgotten God: Reversing our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit.
Similar books: The Road to Reality by K.P Yohannan.
Link to book on Christianbook.com
|Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God |
By Francis Chan with Danae Yankoski