Friday, March 18, 2011

Book Review: Crazy Love by Francis Chan

Several people I love and respect highly recommended this book to me. And I understand why they did, but I just didn’t care for this book. This book is written as an in-your-face exhortation to get comfy cozy American Christians to break free from the status quo of lukewarm faith. Which I get. And I’m sure is needed. But as someone who has been outside the edgy, sarcastic, in-your-face style of pretty much EVERYTHING in America for quite some time now, I just kind of found it way over-the-top. Which again, maybe is needed to get people’s attention, but I just wasn’t so much connecting with it. For instance, some of the chapter titles include “Stop Praying,” “You Might Not Finish This Chapter,” and “Serving Leftovers to a Holy God.” I get it, I do. But I don’t really like it. 

I believe wholeheartedly that Chan is right when he says things like, “On the average day, we live caught up in ourselves. On the average day, we don’t consider God very much. On the average day, we forget that our life truly is a vapor.” He’s right that in light of the infinite goodness of the free gift of salvation much of how many people live as comfy cozy American Christians is selfish and prideful and lazy. I think he’s right in saying that “the goals of American Christianity are often a nice marriage, children who don’t swear, and good church attendance. Taking the words of Christ literally and seriously is rarely considered. That’s for the “radicals” who are “unbalanced” and who go “overboard.” Most of us want a balanced life that we can control, that is safe, and that does not involve suffering.” I appreciate how he ties it all back to love and a loving relationship with our Creator and Savior. I appreciate (some of) the message, but I dislike the method. And that’s fine. I don’t know that as a missionary I’m particularly the intended audience for this kind of book, but a few particular points did bring conviction and elicit some thought. So, take that for what it’s worth, and if you read it, let me know what you think.

1 comment:

Christina said...

I read it about a year and a half ago and though I thought it was pretty good when I read it, I honestly don't remember much about it now. It didn't really stick with me. I find Shane Claiborne's books (The Irresistible Revolution and Jesus for President) more challenging when it comes to breaking out of the blahs of American evangelical Christianity and thinking deeply about what Jesus actually preached.

I totally agree with you about the "edgy, sarcastic, in-your-face style" that is so dominant right now, and I especially hate it in Christian books!