Monday, August 25, 2008

Crazy Love

I’m on a roll lately with picking really great books to read. CrazyLove is my latest read and it is fantastic. Francis Chan is a pastor / author who just recently exploded onto the evangelical scene, mostly, I think, because of the guys at Catalyst who have brought Chan in to speak a few times. But this guy is the real thing and he doesn’t hold anything back in his challenge to Christians. For me, the main thrust of the message is this: you can’t use your church as an excuse for not living the way Jesus taught us, and showed us, to live. In chapter after chapter, Chan lays out all of the reasons why we should love God with every ounce of our being and model our devotion and commitment after Jesus—in our time, money, talent, everything. And he’s not just teaching it, he’s living it. Chan sold his house and moved into one half as big to free up his funds to give to the poor (just one example of many that prove this guy gets it).

I think Chan accomplished what many of us in the ‘burbs thought Shane Claiborne couldn’t with “The Irresistible Revolution.” Even though Shane is just a regular guy, his specific calling had a polarizing effect on his suburban readers. But Chan’s the pastor of a mega church (like it or not), and he claims to be teaching the same stuff to his church as he is writing in this book. If that’s true (and I have no reason to believe it’s not), then it’s a wonder that he’s still got an audience in the wealthy community he’s teaching / reaching out to. Anyway, he appears to be proving that you can do this "way of Jesus" stuff in the burbs.

My only major issue with Chan is his eschatology (theology of the afterlife). Having just finished “Surprised by Hope” by N.T. Wright, I found myself cringing at all of Chan’s references to our glorious eternity in heaven. If you haven’t read “Surprised by Hope” (yet), my comments here may confuse you. But, I pray that more and more church leaders will begin to convey a more accurate/Biblical picture of life after death and, in Wright’s words, “life after life after death.” Wright’s insights in “Surprised by Hope”, applied to Chan’s references to the afterlife, would have actually made Chan’s book better!

Anyway, go get “CrazyLove” and read it. It’s another quick read, and if you let it, it will challenge you to make changes to your life that will honor God and draw you into a deeper love of our Savior.

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