Monday, January 24, 2011

How I Read It: Crazy Love

A few thoughts after finishing Crazy Love by Francis Chan:

Quotable: "Maybe life's pretty good for you right now.  God has given you this good stuff so that you can show the world a person who enjoys blessings, but who is still totally obsessed with God.
Or maybe life is tough right now, and everything feels like a struggle.  God has allowed hard things in your life so you can show the world that your God is great and that knowing Him brings peace and joy even when life is hard." (p44)

My Title:  I'm not sure I would actually title this book Crazy Love.  A more content driven title would be something like "Because of our Relationship with God we Should Live Like the World Thinks Were Crazy."  (I suppose this is why Francis Chan is a published author and I am not.)  But really, I expected a bigger focus on God's love and how we should love.  Instead, it seems the main point of the book is living sacrificially because of our relationship with God.  (Which is still something I'm all for!)

All of the Hype That Your Money Can Buy:  So was it worth they hype?  I'll let you read it and decide for yourself.  But I think the hype surrounding this books says something about American Christianity.  Chan beings chapter five stating that he does not want to be "controversial or difficult to swallow".  And what is the concept that he is worried will be controversial?  "The thought of a person calling himself a 'Christian' without being a devoted follower of Christ is absurd." (p65)  Now I totally agree with this statement, but it did not seem controversial at all.  Suffice it to say, it's both sad and great that this book has sold over a million copies.  Sad because that many people did not know the aforementioned truth.  Great because now they do.

You Can Use This:  Chapter four contains a breakdown of what it looks like to live a 'lukewarm' spiritual life.  This section is a great tool for self examination as it puts in practical terms what it looks like to 'lukewarm' in different areas of your life.  I'll be using it for myself and probably to teach others as well.

I'm Still Wondering: How do I balance a Biblical desire to live sacrificially (giving as much of my resources to God's work as possible) with the desire to care for my family (both now and into the future)?  I know that I should give more away.  But I also know God has given me the ability to save money for cars, kids, etc.  This book pushed my thinking in that area, but I'm not sure where I landed.

If you read Crazy Love I'd love to hear from you.  What did you think of the book?  What did you think of how I read It?

2011 Personal Impact Ranking:  This is my ranking of how much personal impact each book I have read this year has on me.  It's pretty easy right now.
1. Crazy Love by Francis Chan

1 comment:

  1. I'm still working through it (my group is doing a chapter when we meet every two weeks so it takes a while even for a short book), but so far my thoughts echo your third paragraph. Everything in this book so far is true, and is a great reminder of how we are called to live. It's probably a good idea to read a book such as this periodically to remind ourselves of the gifts we're given and how we're called to live our lives in response. I applaud Chan for this.

    But as for the hype, as for all the people who say it changed their lives, etc., I have to wonder "what else are they reading?" I have to think that if people find this book to be such a big deal, there's a serious deficiency individually in our discipline to think through our faith and it's rational applications, and to commit to it; and corporately, in our instruction of believers, and willingness to call them out to a life of sacrificial giving and willful difficulty.

    Our evangelical church culture seems pretty outspoken about demonizing the prosperity gospel, yet we fall down ourselves in proclaiming that we are to follow Christ, and that following him is hard, is sacrificial, and downright painful at times. We fail this at the evangelism stage, and the instruction and discipleship stage.