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54 of 63 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Works based theology, May 18, 2009
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This review is from: Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God (Paperback)
When I first started the book I was impressed, even though the first two chapters are pretty basic. However, now that I'm almost finished the book, I really question whether or not Mr. Chan has a graced based theology or a works based theology. He repeatedly says we're saved by grace, but then he also repeatedly says you won't get into heaven if you don't do this or that. The basis for true Christian theology is so simple, (accepted grace leads to salvation leads to change in your life), but Mr. Chan seems to want to make it difficult. In Chapter 4, where he spells out what he believes a lukewarm Christian is like, he may actually step into the judgement seat.
This book does have me taking a good hard look at God's place in my life, thinking about His extravagant love and how I love Him and realizing that I should be serving better, and that's a good thing. However, I think the works based theology is really an overwhelming theme and that's really not something I could promote.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 23, 2009 4:34:30 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 30, 2009 11:20:12 PM PDT]

Posted on May 29, 2009 10:11:26 AM PDT
Unfortunately this comment is like so many in what many call "americanized christianity" where the belief is that one's life does not have to show energy of action in order to demonstrate actual change. Even James said that faith without works is dead... Works will not save you this is true, but the works that you do, demonstrate the condition of the heart. We feel that we don't have to do anything other than accept Christ and move forward. This is not only silly, but unfounded and unbiblical. Many many times we are told that in order to walk with Christ it requires a lifestyle change, while it is a process nonetheless it is required. To teach differently is to show contempt for the Lord as well as those who might be listening.

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2009 4:34:44 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 30, 2009 11:18:52 PM PDT]

Posted on Jun 1, 2009 2:46:07 PM PDT
T. Atkins says:
I am also one who reject a works based theology. However, I cannot comment on the book as I have not read it. On the other hand, it is certainly true that a grace based theology that does not produce works is a sham at best. As George MacDonald says, and I tend to agree with him, faith is a near equivalent to obedience to the living Christ on a daily basis. Without doing and making all theology alive and practical the most perfect theology in our minds merely decieves us.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 8:19:33 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 18, 2009 8:27:43 AM PDT
Anette Acker says:
Francis Chan is a much-needed voice in our lukewarm culture, and I really appreciated his book! However, I agree that he comes close to legalism in the examples he gives of people giving away everything. 1 Cor. 13:3 says that if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, but I have not love, it profits me nothing. So the act of giving means nothing from an eternal perspective; what matters is whether it's an expression of the Spirit of love within us. A Christian who doesn't abide in Christ could be inspired by Chan's examples and make an extravagant gift, but that's not necessarily the kind of faith expressing itself in love that God is looking for.

But Chan is absolutely right that we won't get to Heaven unless our faith expresses itself in obedience. Grace is the forgiveness of sins, the welcome into God's holy presence, and the power to overcome our sins. Read the Bible, and you won't need to take Chan's word for it. Again, I really appreciate his courageous stance against cheap grace, and I loved the book! Just a little wary of the examples, because they can mislead an immature believer.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 20, 2012 4:06:18 PM PDT
Mary LTRN says:
Please let me clarify. I agree that faith without works is dead. But relying or works to prove your worthiness is a trap. Jesus saved us before we drew our first breath. Our works are an expression of gratitude, not a means to enter heaven. I agree that we should be living out our faith, I just don't agree that anything we do saves us. Otherwise, we wouldn't need a saviour, we could just do it all ourselves.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 6:18:39 PM PST
Aaron says:
And Francis Chan doesn't believe that we are saved by works either! His book clearly points out that if we are saved then we will have works that demonstrate our faith just as James 2:14-26 points out and he NEVER said that we "won't get into heaven if we don't do this or that." Telling people that if they have true faith then their life will surely show it is not the same as preaching salvation by works. Your review is an unfair caricature of Chan's book and what he teaches.
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