Monday, August 1, 2011

Review of Crazy Love

It is rather hard for me to admit that at this point in my academic career I have never written a book review/report. So please bear with me as I try to give a balanced review of Francis Chan’s Crazy Love.

In this book Chan tries to bring us closer to Jesus by showing that it is not a lack of love on His part but on our own. Throughout the book he speaks of us living a Christian life of mediocrity and refers to the church in Laodicea in the book of Revelation to draw comparison to today. Chan uses chapter one to paint a portrait of Heaven and how it should be viewed. He uses the descriptions that are found in the books of Isaiah and Revelation. He summarizes his views this way, “Both of these serve a purpose. John’s helps us imagine what the throne room of God looks like while Isaiah’s reminds what our only response to such a God should be.”

A useful tool that Chan uses to draw in the modern reader is a set of videos found here they cover and give an overview of each chapter. Crazy Love is written in Chan’s trademark style, it is very conversational in feel while being very thought provoking and informative. He strings together stories from his own life, scriptural references, and also includes a chapter full of biographical sketches of those who pursued to love God the same way he loves us.

In regards to our busyness of life Chan says, “Most of us have too much in our lives. As David Goetz writes, “Too much of the good life ends up being toxic, deforming us spiritually.” A lot of things are good by themselves, but all of it together keeps us from living healthy, fruitful lives for God.”  Throughout chapter four he draws conclusions and gives some very specific examples of what lukewarm people look like. Some of them that stand out to me are, “Lukewarm people choose what is popular over what is right when they are in conflict.” “Lukewarm people don’t really want to be saved from their sin; they want to only to be saved from the penalty of their sin.” The one thing that stood out to me the most was, “Lukewarm people probably drink and swear less than average, but besides that, they really aren’t any different from your typical unbeliever. They equate their partially sanitized lives with holiness, but they couldn’t be more wrong.” This last quote came like a shot across my bow, because there are times when I look back over may past and live like this.

Chan does implicitly say that he does not want true believers to read this book and doubt their salvation. He points out that our lives as a whole should be in pursuit of God not just merely the scraps we feel we can spare. Francis declares, “Following Christ isn’t something that can be done halfheartedly or on the side. It is not a label we can display when it is useful. It must be central to everything we do and are.”

Do you often feel like you should feel differently about your faith? If you do you are not alone, I often feel like my faith is inadequate. The only way to solve this is to love God more; nothing else is acceptable to him. Chan says the best way to achieve this is by, “It is a remarkable cycle; our prayers for more love result in love, which naturally causes us to pray more, which results in more love…”

As you grow in this love of God, I hope as Francis does that you would become more obsessed about Him. Have you ever noticed anyone who is obsessed about a specific thing they are fully consumed by it, this is what God wants from us. Francis does a very good job painting the picture of the love God has for us and those who loved him fully and unabashedly. In the end while he tried to answer the questions of how do we apply it to ourselves I felt like I was left with more questions than answers.

I would recommend this book to new believers as well as those who have been in the faith for awhile each should find something to encourage, or discourage (the negative parts of being lukewarm).

After reading this book he has helped me remember my first love, and keep watch over the things that could hurt me. I pray you all would get something out of this book as well.