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Customer Review

62 of 69 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Title is NO reflection of the subject of the book, September 29, 2010
This review is from: Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God (Paperback)
I thought this book was going to be about God's love. It is not. I'm honestly not sure why on Earth it was named Crazy Love--the book talks almost nothing about love.

Others have already said it well, but I'll add my 2 cents.

First off, if you struggle at all with believing God's love for you, or His forgiveness, or if you struggle with feeling insignificant, please, PLEASE do not read this book. It will leave you feeling nothing but despair.

In Chan's world, lukewarm people are not saved, and almost everyone is lukewarm. You are doomed. If you live a life of quiet, but wholehearted, dedication to God it doesn't matter. You are only saved if someone else can look at your life and see radical change.

In Chan's view of Christianity--

--If you are a stay at home mom prayerfully and sacrificially giving your all to raise children who will know Jesus while you strive to have a godly marriage, that is not enough. You are lukewarm.

--If you go to work each day and try to honor God in your ho-hum job, and make just enough to feed and care for your family and manage to pay all your bills, but have nothing left over to "radically give", that is not enough. You are lukewarm.

--If you struggle every day to overcome sin, and with God's help you are able to stay out of the gutter, or out of addiction, but you don't experience some huge, radical change, then that is not enough. You are lukewarm.

Remember, Chan says that you are NOT saved if you are lukewarm... (I would like to read some hermeneutical scholarship on Jesus' words that He will spit them out of his mouth-- I don't know if it is a statement of one's eternal salvation or not. ??).

About halfway through the book, Chan tosses a perfunctory nod to grace. I get the idea that in his view of God and salvation, grace plays a very minor role.

Basically, rather than believing that God cares about the direction of the heart--whether or not you have given over yourself to Christ and are trying to lead a life free of sin-- Francis Chan apparently believes that that it's all about what you do THAT OTHERS CAN SEE. It is works-based, "For Show" Christianity, where the transformation of the heart matters little and outward behavior is everything.

Yes, I believe wholeheartedly that our behavior will change as we bear the fruit of the Spirit. I also know (from Scripture) that God cares deeply about how we act and what we do. But Chan has swung the pendulum so far in the direction of actions that he has left no place for the SLOW, SOMETIMES LIFELONG, TRANSFORMATION THAT THE MAJORITY OF US EXPERIENCE.

Francis Chan makes the critical mistake of elevating one part of Scripture (Rev. 3:15) over other parts of Scripture (every verse that talks about grace and mercy). All of Scripture must be taken together and heeded as a cohesive whole.

Finally, since I started my review with what NOT to read, I want to give a couple of recommendation for books that are GOOD to read and that I sincerely believe will help you in being a true follower of Jesus Christ.
#1 --I strongly recommend Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer. This is a book everyone should read.
#2--Pursuit of God (also by Tozer). A great, balanced, scriptural presentation of what it means to follow Jesus Christ.
#3--What's So Amazing About Grace (by Philip Yancey)-- Yancey paints a realistic and beautiful portrait of what grace looks like in the real world.
#4--My Utmost for His Highest (by Oswald Chambers) -- an excellent treatise on how to live as a Christian.
#5--The New Testament of the Bible.

God is crazy in love with you - believe it - but don't expect this book to tell you that. Find the truth in the WHOLE of Scripture instead.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 2, 2010 5:06:53 PM PDT
R. Larson says:
What book did you read. I know what I read says what the New Testament says but in a wake up way. Too many people look at material needs and not helping others. I love my church and struggle if I miss a service. Our pastor has the same passion as Chan. 90% of the people I know that say they are Christian but I don't see them as true Christians. I don't see them feeding the homeless. I see them looking at other races as being less then them. I don't hear them spreading the word of Jesus. I'm not perfect but Crazy Love was the extra shock I needed to remind me,,,, push me to become a better Christian.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2010 10:58:07 AM PDT
B. Boedecker says:
"push me to become a better Christian"

That is exactly what is wrong with Crazy Love! The outcome of Chan's twisted theology encourages people to change themselves, to try harder, to be a better Christian. Though this sounds good it is a dead end that encourages works from the flesh and will stifle spiritual growth. All the books reccomended by this reviewer are essential reads for all Christians and I hope if anyone hasn't read them they pick them up. The response that will come from reading these works will be a person wanting to be closer to God and a wake-up to desire the presence of God more in your life. A desire to have the power of God to be exhibited through oneself. A godly life is the result of prayer and reading the word, and of a submission to God as the king of your life which results in the prayerful plea for God to dethrone you and take-over. Works are the outcome of these things,and being a "better Christian" is an outcome of these things, not a means to. As Paul says in Galations walking in the spirit fulfills the law, and it does so without any effort on our part. There is no "trying." The Christian walks in freedom and is lead by the spirit, through an active seeking of God's presence in their lives.

"What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease"

These words from the hymn In Christ Alone say it all. The Christian life is not trying it is not struggle nor striving, it is peace and as Paul proclaims time and again it is freedom.

"We are to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect, not by struggle and effort, but by the impartation of that which is Perfect" - Oswald Chambers

Books like Chan's miss the mark and push people into works offering which will never help us grow. We need to pray that God overtakes our lives, that he works through us not us working for him. That is the model for the Christian life, God indwelling man, and the more we ask him to "invade"us as Tozer would say, the more we look like a "better Christian." And also, the easier life becomes because we are forever freed and changed from the inside where living a Godly life becomes more effortless with every passing day.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2010 7:32:34 PM PST
H. Bauer says:
Right on the money with your comments Boedecker---thanks! And thank you for warning people about this unbiblical book "Crazy Love."

Simply by Grace: An Introduction to God's Life-Changing Gift

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 25, 2011 12:29:20 PM PDT
LH says:
I truly hear what you all are saying but I have to agree with R. Larson. I don't think it's a bad thing to strive to become a better Christian. To me, it's no different than striving to become a better mother, wife, friend, whatever. I can only speak for myself; I have been a major, big-time coaster, coasting along happy with my salvation and not really giving a rat's ass about anyone else's needs outside of my immediate family. And I feel myself squirming in my seat at how --yes, God still loves me -- but at how he made me for more than just coasting along. I imagine it must be the way a parent would feel at seeing their child not making any effort to improve themselves. Improve themselves, not to prove their love to their parent, but to accomplish the purpose for which they were put on Earth.

Anyhoo, listen, as I said earlier, I really do hear you. The lukewarm Christian stuff in Chapter 3 (or was it 4) made me feel crappy...but I think Francis is trying to wake a slumbering church.

Posted on May 14, 2012 4:42:20 PM PDT
"First off, if you struggle at all with believing God's love for you, or His forgiveness, or if you struggle with feeling insignificant, please, PLEASE do not read this book. It will leave you feeling nothing but despair."
Yes, that's me--I don't need this book; I need to better understand the love of God so I may love Him and others better. This faith is NOT about striving--that is done in the flesh and not in the Spirit. I want to walk in the Spirit as much as possible which means I depend on the Lord for grace and mercy knowing I can do nothing in my own strength but only through Him who transforms me. I don't need another book telling me how I am not good enough--I need grace. Striving involves acts of the flesh/natural man while true transformation depends on the Spirit--yes we have to obey God and listen to the Spirit--but all of us struggle with that daily. I must say that my old church focused on missions and works outside of the church while many of its members had failing marriages and messed up kids--yet there were never sermons about being a godly spouse and loving your kids and training them up in the Lord. The way I see it, a lot of Christians need to have their own houses in order before they expend all of their energy trying to please God and win His favor through works, after all, Colossians 2-3 tell us that trying to earn God's favor in that way is wrong if it is being done out of obligation rather than love for God. One cannot will themselves to love God but must seek the Lord for that. I am seeking daily, and I depend on His grace for it. I am a long way from where I want to be, but He is growing me--and only He can. If I go serve the homeless without love I am a clanging cymbal, but if I do it by the Spirit, then I am pleasing Him--because it is for Him and not self-serving or prideful. Thanks for your recommendations and comments. It is my heart's desire to love God and others more deeply, and so I will seek Him as to what to study and read next.
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