Monday, September 12, 2016

Auntie's 2016 Bookworm Challenge 10

Book: Crazy Love.

Author: Francis Chan

Info: Copyright 2013:  Colorado Springs, CODavid C, Cook.

Where acquired: LifeWay Purchase

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 hashtags): # # 

What it's about:  Do we love God like crazy?  Chan uses scripture, stories, and his experiences to show the reader where they are lacking in their love for Christ and declares that believers can go from lukewarm to red hot for God.

Favorite Quotes:

"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.'" - p. 87

"When you are pursuing love, running toward Christ, you do not have the opportunity to wonder, Am I doing this right?  or Did I serve enough this week?  When you are running toward Christ, you are freed up to serve, love, and give thanks without guilt, worry, or fear.  As long as you are running, you are safe." - p. 104

"Something's wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers." p. 112

"If one person 'wastes' away his day by spending hours connecting with God, and the other person believes he is too busy or has better things to do than worship the Creator and Sustainer, who is the crazy one?" - p. 133

"Our view of the Holy Spirit is too small.  The Holy Spirit is the One who changes the church, but we have to remember that that Holy Spirit lives in us.  It is individual people living Spirit-filled lives that will change the church." - p. 171

What I Liked:
  • His "Profile of the Lukewarm" in chapter 4 was an eye opener.
  • The stories of faith he shared were compelling,
  • The author's premise was formidable though his execution was sorely lacking.
What I didn’t like: 
  • I approached the purchase of this book with much trepidation.  I hardly ever purchase brand new books from authors I have not previously  read.  People from diverse ages and stages recommended it, so I figured I wasn't getting a one-sided view of the text.  Crazy Love fell way short of my expectations.  My hope was that the content of the book would be a presentation of the love story between us and God; how crazy His love is for us, and how we can show our crazy love for Him in a more meaningful and intimate way.  That ain't what I got.  The main problem with Chan's book is that it is full of mixed messages, plus he targets one audience; middle and upperclass churchgoers who put more faith in their money than in the God they claim to serve.  I am not that audience.  He spends most of the book bashing the rich, or practically anyone who owns more than one pair of socks.  He says that he's not saying that we need to work harder and give more to earn God's love while saying that we need to work harder and give more to earn God's love.  God's grace is a mere afterthought.  Sorry, Brother Chan, I'm looking for more intimacy with God, not more work that keeps me away from Him.
  • The story of "Brooke" on page 50 is very suspect.  Why would a 14 year old girl be out driving alone?  The story sounds overhyped and bogus, or the wording is awkwardly misleading.
  • I'm quite disturbed that Chan takes on the role of judge and decides on people's eternal destination.  He says he doesn't want people to doubt their salvation while wording his chapters as if to say that everyone is lukewarm and should doubt their salvation.  Yes, being perpetually lukewarm in spirit is dangerous, but quite frankly, if someone lukewarm is reading his book, it's not because they want to stay that way.  Revelation 3:14-22 was written to the church of Laodicea.  They were believers who had lost their fire for Christ.  God urged them to repent and come to Him for what they needed to get back on the right path.  He warned them out of love, not because He was itching to dish out some harsh judgment.  Verse 19 of that same chapter says, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."
  • I'm troubled by Chan's message that in order for others to be served and blessed, someone else has to have less--as if to say God wasn't smart enough to put enough resources on the planet for everyone.  Yes, we who follow Christ should be extravagant givers, and no, God is not pleased with selfishness.  The point is that we shouldn't be ashamed of what God has given us, but to be more than willing to share it and to glorify God with it. 
  • When it came down to the "how," Chan gives the Prince answer, "You're on your own!"  This book totally beats down the reader, yet never builds him back up.
Takeaway:  Going through this book was quite a depressing experience and I was left very empty.  The only joy came from the wonderful book discussions I had with my sister-in-blog Annie.  I do feel as though I flushed $16 down the potty (yeah, $16 and the book wasn't even hardcover!), but hey, I'll keep the book in my collection for when I become one of those middle class people he hates so much.  I can guarantee that my time will not be spent in hoarding my blessings...then or now.

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