Thursday, January 20, 2011

Book Review: Crazy Love

Author: Francis Chancrazy love
Colorado Springs, David C. Cook Publishing, 2008
Number of pages: 186

"Am I showing God the kind of crazy love that I ought to be showing him?" asks Pastor and New York Time best selling author, Francis Chan. "...God has become so familiar to us that He becomes common." He wrote Crazy Love to give some perspective to a church whose members are in the comfortable habit of avoiding the things that make God mad.

An online video accompanies each chapter of Crazy Love. In each video, Chan gives a brief talk expanding on the concepts in the book. It's a nice personal touch that challenges a reader to take steps to put the ideas presented in the book into action rather than passively processing and adding to our culture's over-abundance of information about God.

The first chapter of the book is called "Stop Praying." Chan sets a sober tone as he writes, "The wise man comes to God without saying a word and stands in awe of Him." And then Chan wisely and eloquently describes to the reader how awesome God is.

In following chapters, Chan describes how fleeting and insignificant one human's life on earth is. "On the average day, we live caught up in ourselves... we forget that our life truly is a vapor," he writes. He contrasts our earthly dads with our Heavenly Father, and in one chapter, Chan painfully profiles the lukewarm believer. He pulls no punches. It is impossible for an honest reader to come through unscathed.

Chan strategically knows the reader is raw and in a mode of self-examination when he informs him that most of us offer God our leftovers rather than our best. In chapter six, quoting John Piper, Chan asks this question: "If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?" The real question the author is asking is do you love Jesus or are you only motivated to be good so you can live in His heaven?

"When we work for Christ out of obligation, it feels like work," writes Chan. "But when we truly love Christ, our work is a manifestation of that love, and it feels like love." Chan conveys contagious passion as he writes about the topic of the Love of God. He challenges readers to respond to God with the love and adoration He deserves. "Right now a hundred million angels are praising God's name; He certainly doesn't need to beg or plead with us. We should be the ones begging to worship in His presence," he says.

Chan boldly calls on the church in America to leave the safe middle ground and to passionately give ourselves over to the God who loves us so much. “God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.”

After you read this book you will want to keep a few copies on hand to pass around to friends. Discussion topics and prayer points are built in to the books pages and online videos. This is not a book that will collect dust on the back of a shelf. The pain you'll feel early in the book causes the same kind of soreness that comes from a good workout. The tears you shed will open your heart to love Jesus with sincere intimacy. “When you are wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.”

1 comment:

Kenny said...

Thanks! I enjoyed your review and the book! The book prompts serious self examination. Not at all squishy as the title may cause one to think.