I heard about Francis Chan long before I ever heard or read him directly. A pastor who was actually honest about the struggle of biblical church leadership in America. It sounds ridiculous, but pastors and church leaders face the temptation of pragmatism (instead of biblicity) in order to grow their church, their influence and their career. It’s not that the pastors have evil motives; it’s just that following the Jesus of the Bible is so radical that many church-goers would rather not.
Chan’s book, Crazy Love, is stellar. It challenges, encourages and basically dares you to take the leap required to follow Jesus wholeheartedly. Being religious, following the right list of do’s and do-not’s simply will not bring the full life that Jesus offers. Neither will it be attractive to the 90% of people in America who claim to know a Christian. If following Jesus is the best life possible, why aren’t those people noticing it in the Christians they know?
Chan tackles these issues without being condemning. He offers help and encouragement. This book is wonderfully uplifting for Christians who deeply desire to live for Jesus.
Here’s some fly quotes, with page numbers:
- 20, “…I’ve never felt more alive, and neither has Cornerstone Church. It’s exhilarating to be part of a group of believers who are willing to think biblically rather than conventionally, to be part of a body where radical living is becoming the norm.”
- 30, quoting Tozer, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us…”
- 42, “Worry implies that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives. Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control. Basically, these two behaviors communicate that it’s okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional” (Tell me that’s not conviction!!)
- 68, “The goals of American Christianity are often a nice marriage, children who don’t swear, and good church attendance. Taking the words of Christ literally and seriously is rarely considered. That’s for the “radicals” who are “unbalanced” and who go “overboard.” Most of us want a balanced life that we can control, that is safe, and that does not involve suffering.”
- 84, “To put it plainly, churchgoers who are “lukewarm” are not Christians. We will not see them in heaven.”
That last quote is so awesomely dangerous. Go ahead, pick up this book, you won’t regret it.
pages read= 186 ~ year to date= 4734 ~ 2009 goal=9,000 ~ (53%)