Crazy Love – a book review

I finished reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan about two weeks ago now, and I’ve spent the past ten days or so processing all the information he presented.  I originally choose this book as a possible study for the upcoming ladies Bible study season at church, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to use it.

If you’ve never read the book I encourage you to do so.  It’s an easy read with large print and wide margins.  But be prepared to have your idea of authentic Christianity shaken up a bit.   Each chapter deals with certain misconceptions Christians have cultivated over the past couple of centuries, and he uses God’s word to counter those misconceptions.

Misconceptions such as how/why/what we pray about; how we’re to really love others; what service is really all about; what God really wants you to do with your money (and no, the book doesn’t tell you to give it all to the church!); and what authentic Christianity really looks like in every day life.  In some chapters I found myself shaking my head in total agreement, and in other chapters I was horrified at how easily and blindly I’d fallen into the trap of deception.

For me, chapter 4 was the ringer.  I’ve said many times that I’m a realist, and I don’t have a problem with calling something what it is.  I appreciate honesty more than anything; even critical and hurtful honesty.  In chapter 4 Francis paints a pretty harsh and accurate picture of a ‘lukewarm Christian’.  As I read through the chapter I found myself reflecting on my own poor behavior, attitude, and complacency.  I was mortified…I fit the description of a lukewarm Christian to a T.  Yikes!!!  Chapter 5 was equally as cutting.  I discovered that I’ve been content with serving ‘leftovers’ to God throughout my Christian walk.  In some ways, after reading this book I felt like I wasn’t sure I had the right to even call myself a Christian!  Thank goodness for God’s unfailing grace.

Despite the ‘wounds’ I sustained I’m very glad I read the book.  It has challenged me to think beyond myself and our local church.  It has changed my focus from what do I need/want/deserve in my Christian life to ‘what are the needs of the lost, and how can I meet them?’  I want to be known as an ‘obsessed’ Christian, not just another Christian.  I want to serve the needs of others in a way that really shows them that Jesus loves them and cares about them; and I want them to know that He really does want a relationship with them.  I don’t want the world to see me as just another person who gets up early on Sunday mornings and rushes out the door to sit in a comfy little building and sing a few songs and then come home and forget about Jesus the rest of the week.  I want to really touch the life of someone who might not have ever had the privilege of encountering Christ.  I want to love the unlovable, and serve those who can never return that service.  I want to demonstrate a crazy, unabandoned kind of love for the lost, poor, dying, weak, and hurting.  I’m tired of being a complacent and comfortable Christian.  What about you?

Crazy Love.  It’s radical.  It’s challenging.  It’s real.  Read it.  You’ll be glad you did.

“When people make changes in their lives like this {living Christ instead of just spouting Christian ideals}, it carries greater impact than when they merely make impassioned declarations.  The world needs Christians who don’t tolerate the complacency of their own lives.” (pg. 172)


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