Crazy Love

ibgcommontitledetailimageloaderCrazy Love
Francis Chan
Published in 2008
ISBN 9781434768513

Review by Kevin Stern

Crazy Love by Francis Chan may be my favorite read this year. Chan has cut to the heart of the Christian life – God is amazing and we are here to serve him. You will want to read the first few chapters a second time. Chapter one gives a look at a big God. For a sample, visit here and look at the “Awe Factor” video. It’s tough not to be moved by thinking of a God so amazing, who cares for us in a small corner of his universe. Each chapter has a mini video to introduce that chapter. The second chapter, “You Might Not Finish This Chapter,” talks about our human frailty. The third chapter talks about God’s love for us.

The remainder of the book is a look at how all this impacts your life. Let me warn you, though: This is not for the faint-hearted. Chan doesn’t pull any punches in the quest to have you examine your life. He leads by example in pastoring a church that gives over half its budget to helping the poor.

Crazy Love was a quick read with short chapters and an engaging style, but it will be working on me for a long time to come.


4 thoughts on “Crazy Love

  1. Hi, I’ve noticed that you’ve blogged about Crazy Love, by Francis Chan. Just wanted you to know that the videos to accompany the book are now available to download at:

    Also, a Crazy Love small group dvd with never-before-seen content will be available in January. Because of your wonderful blog post about the book, I’d like to offer you a free pre-release copy of the dvd to review. Please email me your address, and I’d be happy to send it. Thanks!

  2. I’m surprised you were not offended by the comment on p. 84 of this book, Kevin!

    “To put it plainly, churchgoers who are ‘lukewarm’ are not Christians.”

    Many of the standards the author employs to say that someone is not a Christian have to deal with money. If you haven’t given your all, in terms of money, time, energy, then you’re not going to heaven, according to this book. If there are “any limits to how far they will go or how much time, energy, or money they are willing to give” (p. 74), then people are lukewarm and therefore not Christians.

    “willing to” do x. When did the Lord say that “willing to” do x, was by itself a such a commendable litmus test that it distinguished the believer from unbeliever, whereas the record of who actually did x does not!

    This is yet another example of a series of books advocating a system of watered-down lawkeeping as the entrance requirement for heaven, rather than trusting Christ.

    • Larry

      I think you’ve raised an important point. I think that Francis Chan is describing what Christians look like, not how they become Christian. If he was telling us how to come to Christ and that the path was in doing good works, I would agree with you. However, he describes someone’s heart and life as being evidence of their already having been saved. In that sense, how you spend your time and money is a good indicator of whether or not you’re Christian.

      I believe 1 John and the Hebrews warning passages all give the message that if you aren’t living as a Christian, you may not be one. Jesus, in Matthew 7:15-23, states that not everyone who believes they are saved are necessarily Christian. These passages are talking about “lukewarm” Christians–people calling themselves believers, but not showing it in their lifestyles. The indicator of their faith is their fruit. A person not taking up their cross and following Christ (which includes being willing to do so) has no business calling themselves Christian.

  3. I don’t think you addressed the concern. The specific quotation reveals that the author believes that anyone with “ANY LIMITS to how far they will go or how much time, energy, or money they are willing to give” (p. 74) is lukewarm and therefore not a Christian (p. 84). This is far different than your standard of just “not showing it.” How many Christian people do you know have NO limits on how far they will go, even geographically? How many Christian people have NO limits on their time, effort or money they’re willing to give? You’re not saying, in saying that there must be fruit, what this book is saying. That’s why I quoted the specifics for you. We should be quite well aware of the need for fruit. We should be quite well aware, also, as the Lord told Peter regarding his supposed willingness to die for Him on the night that Peter later denied Him, that he would be denying Him, not dying for Him. This bragging about willingness is what Jesus’ in His last night before dying rebuked.

    On the supposed division between requirements for becoming and requirements for calling oneself a believer, we see from the book how boasting is not excluded. I wish I had the earplugs on when the book sounded the trumpets on the amount of money they budgeted for this and that! We see how pride and exclusion of those who are not “willing” go together.

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