Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Book Review 2013... #5 Crazy Love by Francis Chan

How this book came to me:  A year or so ago I read a few quotes from this book that an aunt of mine had posted on facebook and asked her if I could borrow it.  She sent me a copy and told me to keep it.  I've read it once before and passed it along to a couple friends.  I have it back now and am reading through again, this time watching the short videos that are suggested by the author. 

Nutshell Synopsis:  Crazy Love is a call to live a life of love, sacrifice and obedience in response to the love that God has for us, His creation.  If you are comfortable with your life as it is, don't read this book.  There are quite a few moments of "Ouch!  Those are my toes you stepped on!". It assumes the reader has a fundamental belief that the Bible is the inspired word of God.   

Quotes from the book:

"God is the only Being who is good, and the standards are set by Him.  Because God hates sin, He has to punish those guilty of sin.  Maybe that's not an appealing standard.  But to put it bluntly, when you get your own universe, you can make your own standards.  When we disagree, let's not assume it's His reasoning that needs correction."

"How is it possible that we live life as though it is about us?...  Frankly, you need to get over yourself."

"When we face the holy God, "nice" isn't what we will be concerned with, and it definitely wasn't what He will be thinking about.  Any compliments you received on earth will be gone; all that will be left for you is truth.  The church in Sardis had a great reputation, but it didn't matter.  Jesus said to them, "I know your deeds;  you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead"  (Rev. 3:1)  All that matters is the reality of who we are before God... Perhaps that sounds harsh, but harsh words and the loving truth often go hand in hand."

"The greatest good on this earth is God.  Period.  God's one goal for us is Himself."

"As I see it, a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there's no such thing.  To put it plainly, churchgoers who are "lukewarm" are not Christians.  We will not see them in heaven."

"I believe that much of the American churchgoing population, while not specifically swimming downstream, is slowly floating away from Christ."

"We each need to discover for ourselves how to live this day in faithful surrender to God as we "continue to work out [our] faith with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12)"

"... we've developed a habit of listening to the Word of God and not obeying it."

More Info:  Crazy Love exposes the lukewarm Christian and reveals attributes of those who are obsessed with following Christ. 

Reading Level:  Easy, but the subject matter is supremely serious.  The author asks us to question whether or not we are on the "narrow way" or have hearts of "good soil" and he isn't very gentle about it. He acknowledges that it is difficult but that now is the time to decide.   

Re-readability:  This is my second read-through, so, yes.  It is worth reading again.  Probably many times to help us focus and look intently into our hearts and, perhaps more importantly, the way we live our lives.

Lasting Impressions: I'll be honest, it is as easy for me to feel convicted about something in my life that needs to change and then stay just as I am, as it is for anyone else.  Since the first time I read this book about a year or so ago I have wrestled with God on more than one occasion about more than one issue and have found myself submitting more readily and with more joy.  Does that mean I do ALL the time?  By no means!  I have a streak of rebellion in my heart that shocks even me sometimes. 
Now, I don't really believe that God forces us to go anywhere or change anything in our hearts against our will.  He will leave us in whatever unregenerate condition we want Him to.  To me, the above cartoon illustrates that God will take us where He wants us but only we can choose if we want it to change us. 
I'll leave you with one last quote...
"Let's face it.  We're willing to make changes in our lives only if we think it affects our salvation.  This is why I have so many people ask me questions like, Can I divorce my wife and still go to heaven?  Do I have to be baptized to be saved?  Am I a Christian even if I am having sex with my girlfriend?  If I commit suicide, can I still go to heaven?  If I'm ashamed to talk about Christ, is he really going to deny knowing me?
To me, these questions are tragic because they reveal much about the state of our hearts.  They demonstrate that our concern is more about going to heaven than loving the King.  Jesus said "If you love me, you will obey what I command." (John 14:15) And our question quickly becomes more unthinkable:  Can I go to heaven without truly and faithfully loving Jesus?
I don't see anywhere in Scripture how the answer to that question could be yes." 

No comments:

Post a Comment