Personal Reflections on Crazy Love (Francis Chan)

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I don’t know if I can remember a book being as popular on a seminary campus (where folks already have to do a TON of reading) as Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Chan is a pastor in Simi Valley, CA. I’ve heard him speak live and he is just as engaging and hard-core in his preaching as he is in his writing.
Here is my question (as Francis is probably asking too): if so many people are reading this book (including myself, of course) and so many are saying “wow, that is such a great book; man, I love that book; ugh, that’s a hard book to read, it is kicking my butt” – then how will the local church look different? If people are reading it and being convicted by it – shouldn’t the church change in light of that conviction? Or are we (am I) doing to stop at conviction?
“In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him.” (29) Mary Kassian brought this up in Girls Gone Wise: we have to be intentional about feeding ourselves on God-things, not just shutting ourselves out from the world.
Piper has a similar subject matter in Future Grace: “When I am consumed by my problems – stressed out about my life, my family, and my job – I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God’s command to always rejoice. In other words, I have a right to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities.” (41) In about 8 days I’ll be driving to NC to start a new job and really a new phase of life. This has been one of the easiest transitions (just like the last one) of my life. Why? Because I have total confidence in the God that brought about the circumstances that led to this coming change. He is faithful.
I wrote this on the header of page 73: What would this look like? It was in response to: “Lukewarm people love God, but they do not love Him with all their heart, soul, and strength.”
I love pastors who use sarcasm. Its a grand use of the English language: “Some people claim that we can be Christians without necessarily becoming disciples. I wonder, then, why the last thing Jesus told us was to go into the world, making disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey all that He commanded? You’ll notice that He didn’t add, but hey, if that’s too much to ask, tell them to just become Christians – you know, the people who get to go to heaven without having to commit to anything.” (87)
“Leftovers are not merely inadequate; from God’s point of view (and lest we forget, His is the only one who matters), they are evil. Let’s stop calling it a busy schedule or bills or forgetfulness (me: or sleeping late or watching tv or reading other good books). It’s called EVIL. (92)
“As we love more genuinely and deeply, giving becomes the obvious and natural response. Taking and keeping for ourselves becomes unattractive and imprudent.” (120). This is one of my favorite quotes of all the book. This is what I want my life to be characterized by. Not so people can look at me and say, I want to be like her in my giving. No – but to mirror the grace of God in my life (dimly, I know).
I engaged in a conversation about this book with two friends today. We were talking about any problems that we might have with this book. This book calls for radical living, beyond many books that I have read. And I really like the last chapter. Francis doesn’t say “your life must look like this for you to be obeying God’s call to radical living”. He says “is this the most loving way to do life?”. That is what you need to ask yourself. Then however you answer that question will be a good indicator of the radical call on your life placed there by a majestic God.

  1. Tamara Thompson

    Thanks for sharing your reflections on this book Kim! I have found this book to be one of the most challenging books I've ever read. It is encouraging to hear so many Christians talk about their convictions from the book, because it opens up the discussion of holding one another accountable to change as a result. If nothing else, Chan's profile of the lukewarm should strike fear in our hearts! I don't want to EVER be lukewarm! Unfortunately, it was easy to visualize what "lukewarm" looks like in the church-it is all too much familiar, but I was absolutely driven when I started to ponder what the opposite would look like in our churches..starting with my own self first, of course! I pray that we all move from conviction and that the church does change in light of that conviction?