Customer Reviews for

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

34 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

It's not for the faint of heart

I enjoyed the book because it highlighted much of what we go through as Christians who want more but remain in the passive state of routine. It was motivational because it asserts the fact that there is more of God to experience if we want to. Feeling guilty because of ...
I enjoyed the book because it highlighted much of what we go through as Christians who want more but remain in the passive state of routine. It was motivational because it asserts the fact that there is more of God to experience if we want to. Feeling guilty because of what he says is not what I perceive is his intention but rather he relates his own grief and guilt that took him from where he used to be to where he is and where he is going.His guilt was his relationship with his father, for each of us it's something else. It was sincerely refreshing to be encouraged to move forward when sometimes your own church doesn't foster that kind of deep search for a personal relationship. Unfortunately many churches are so concerned with what their members can give that sometimes the personal relationship between them and God is lacking. This book blocks you from pointing fingers. This about you and your relationship with God, and what you want it to be like, what it should be like.

I enjoyed every moment of it.

posted by Zbee on May 14, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

59 out of 97 people found this review helpful.

CRAZY LOVE by Francis Chan

Some neighbors told me about this book. They seemed to have been thrown into consternation by reading it. So I picked up a copy.

The author states his purpose on p. 21: "This book is written for those who want more Jesus. I hope reading this book will convince yo...
Some neighbors told me about this book. They seemed to have been thrown into consternation by reading it. So I picked up a copy.

The author states his purpose on p. 21: "This book is written for those who want more Jesus. I hope reading this book will convince you of something: that by surrendering yourself totally to God's purposes, He will bring you the most pleasure in this life and the next."

He then goes on to berate his readers. He seems to assume that they are not of the group for whom he has said he had written. P. 22: "The core problem isn't the fact that we're lukewarm,... The crux of it all is why we are this way, and it's because we have an inaccurate view of God."

The book follows this pattern as the author does a good cop, bad cop routine, lifting his readers' spirits, then bringing them crashing down. I feel that there is frustration in his writing - a frustration that I have felt as a pastor and which my congregation probably also sensed in my preaching. We all want to see our flocks walking closer to God, but instead see many living a passive Christianity. I fear books such as this have little positive effect.

The first few chapters alternate between great statements about the majesty of God and the readers' passive understanding of Him. The author challenges the readers to understand that "The greatest good on this earth is God" and to love Him. All good stuff!

In ch. 4, "Profile of the Lukewarm," the author does his bad cop routine. He gives what he claims is "a description of what halfhearted, distracted, partially committed, lukewarm people can look like" and challenges his readers to see if they fit the description. He cites passages seemingly selected at random, most of which are not even aimed at professing Christians and NONE of which use the word lukewarm. Any of us could look through these passages and find some fault or faults of ours there.

In ch. 5 he says: "... a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there's no such thing ... churchgoers who are lukewarm are not Christians. We will not see them in heaven." He quotes Rev. 3:15-18, a portion of the letter from the risen Christ to the church at Laodicea, the ONLY passage where the word lukewarm is used in the Bible. The addressees are, as the author argues, not saved people. The logic is faulty. In ch. 4, he defines lukewarm so as to include most of us. Now we're told we are not going to heaven.

After frightening his readers, he then switches to his good cop routine. He says, "I do not want true believers to doubt their salvation as they read this book."

The next few chapters continue the roller coaster ride: doubt - assurance - doubt - assurance.

Apparently Pastor Chan is uncomfortable with his use of guilt and fear as a motivator. He keeps introducing pologies: "Perhaps it sounds as though I believe you have to work your way to Jesus. I don't. I fully believe that we are saved by grace, through faith, ... My fear in writing the previous chapter is that it only evokes in you fear and guilt ... actions driven by fear and guilt are not an antidote to lukewarm, selfish, comfortable living."

I believe Chan's desires are correct; he wants his readers totally committed to Christ. There is much truth to be gained from reading this book, but I would not recommend it. The style is manipulative!

For a fuller review see: http://billball.blogspot.com/2010/05/crazy-love.html

posted by billball on May 12, 2010

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  • Posted May 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    CRAZY LOVE by Francis Chan

    Some neighbors told me about this book. They seemed to have been thrown into consternation by reading it. So I picked up a copy.

    The author states his purpose on p. 21: "This book is written for those who want more Jesus. I hope reading this book will convince you of something: that by surrendering yourself totally to God's purposes, He will bring you the most pleasure in this life and the next."

    He then goes on to berate his readers. He seems to assume that they are not of the group for whom he has said he had written. P. 22: "The core problem isn't the fact that we're lukewarm,... The crux of it all is why we are this way, and it's because we have an inaccurate view of God."

    The book follows this pattern as the author does a good cop, bad cop routine, lifting his readers' spirits, then bringing them crashing down. I feel that there is frustration in his writing - a frustration that I have felt as a pastor and which my congregation probably also sensed in my preaching. We all want to see our flocks walking closer to God, but instead see many living a passive Christianity. I fear books such as this have little positive effect.

    The first few chapters alternate between great statements about the majesty of God and the readers' passive understanding of Him. The author challenges the readers to understand that "The greatest good on this earth is God" and to love Him. All good stuff!

    In ch. 4, "Profile of the Lukewarm," the author does his bad cop routine. He gives what he claims is "a description of what halfhearted, distracted, partially committed, lukewarm people can look like" and challenges his readers to see if they fit the description. He cites passages seemingly selected at random, most of which are not even aimed at professing Christians and NONE of which use the word lukewarm. Any of us could look through these passages and find some fault or faults of ours there.

    In ch. 5 he says: "... a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there's no such thing ... churchgoers who are lukewarm are not Christians. We will not see them in heaven." He quotes Rev. 3:15-18, a portion of the letter from the risen Christ to the church at Laodicea, the ONLY passage where the word lukewarm is used in the Bible. The addressees are, as the author argues, not saved people. The logic is faulty. In ch. 4, he defines lukewarm so as to include most of us. Now we're told we are not going to heaven.

    After frightening his readers, he then switches to his good cop routine. He says, "I do not want true believers to doubt their salvation as they read this book."

    The next few chapters continue the roller coaster ride: doubt - assurance - doubt - assurance.

    Apparently Pastor Chan is uncomfortable with his use of guilt and fear as a motivator. He keeps introducing pologies: "Perhaps it sounds as though I believe you have to work your way to Jesus. I don't. I fully believe that we are saved by grace, through faith, ... My fear in writing the previous chapter is that it only evokes in you fear and guilt ... actions driven by fear and guilt are not an antidote to lukewarm, selfish, comfortable living."

    I believe Chan's desires are correct; he wants his readers totally committed to Christ. There is much truth to be gained from reading this book, but I would not recommend it. The style is manipulative!

    For a fuller review see: http://billball.blogspot.com/2010/05/crazy-love.html

    59 out of 97 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 7, 2011

    Wanted to love it, but couldn't

    I love Francis Chan. I have heard him speak many times and he always is very insightful. This book has some good insights, however, the book's approach to talking about the topics is very disjointed and difficult to read.

    The first chapter tells you to go online and watch a video. I bought this book to read while "getting away" from technology and felt cheated that I was missing out on a part of the book because of that. I felt like this book would be great as a series of sermons, but it was not so great as a book.

    I couldn't finish it so I can't bear to give it more than 2 stars, but I know that there are a lot of people out there who will find value in reading this book.

    9 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2013

    Sunny

    *she ambles in, yawning.*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    Not an inspiring read

    Thought the premise was a given. Too pedantic.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    Cant wait

    I just watched videos about francis chan he has much wisdom and knowledge. I camt waitto get this book!!!!!!!!!!! Lord bless all

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2011

    eh, i felt judged

    I totally respect Chan as a speaker and teacher and like his sermons but his book was a bit dull. I felt like it was kinda repetitive. I got about half way through and quit when he started talking about the "profile of lukewarm" and "profile of the obsessed" I felt like he doesn't necessarily put God in a box but puts people in a box. I really felt like he stereo types "the American church" as if were all the same and all a bunch of bunch of hypocrites who don't actually love God or have a passion for his kingdom but are just looking for a sense of purpose! I totally felt judged. As for the rest of the book eh it was okay but nothing to tweet about.

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  • Posted June 15, 2011

    Chan's unfinished thoughts invite a slippery slope to legalism

    This book reads like a brainstorming session intended to bring the Christian life into contemporary focus. Like most brainstorming sessions, it can invigorate the reader and open up new avenues and ideas. But by itself, a spaghetti-splattered board of brainstormed ideas can be more oppressive than the problems they purport to solve.

    In this case, the spaghetti that sticks is aimed inadvertently at the laity of the suburban American Church. As a member of the same, I was convicted and inspired at times, but in the end, I am gravely disappointed at the book's ultimate lack of rigor and curiosity.

    Between this book and its accompanying DVD, Chan will have cast a jaundiced eye on such banal activities as purchasing insurance, home-ownership, and play-going. That last bit about watching a play when Christ returns was just absurd enough to wake me out of the book's spell.

    Chan's method in this book is to strike up a bold concept in a shocking manner, and then follow it with a specific anecdote. The anecdotes are genuinely moving (praise God for these), but he never revisits the logic or consequence of the concepts he raises. The pattern is a see-saw of high-brow concepts juxtaposed with utilitarian examples, as if Chan's personal experiences were to somehow suffice as the diligent, conclusive examination of the preceding concept. Adding to the overall feeling of sophistry, in the last chapter he effectively recants any conclusions to which he might have misled the reader.

    What seems to be missing is the concept of the Christian as salt. Salt is an additive. It brings flavor to its context. It is not a context unto itself. There is an inevitable navel-gazing attitude that is propagated by this book. It is not Chan's frailty alone, for such is the human component that we have always brought into the Church. Which apostle is greater, which gift of the spirit is more desirable, etc. Chan's Grandma Clara is no different to me than such arguments of infinite regression. Paul made tents, Joseph of Arimathea was a wealthy landowner, but Grandma Clara rises above both because she'd rather not even deign to watch a play. Just like the Marxist in-graciously ignores the labor of homemaking, this book forgets that the body of the Church is made of many parts, and some of those parts are not dependent on the church payroll.

    All of this led me to feel that I had read some version of "Chicken Soup for the Minister's Soul". I pray that Chan doesn't actually harbor the unspoken vanity that his book implies in its intellectual vacuums. I'd hate to think that he should be enslaved to an infinite regression of good works.

    A dangerous read for a Christian that is not firmly humbled by God's limitless grace.

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  • Posted May 2, 2011

    Toxic Message

    This is a very disappointing book. It suggests that we, as Christians are not good enough in any way, shape or form regarding our relationship to God. This is exactly the kind of toxic message that has sent a lot of people running from their religion and the faith they knew as kids as if their hair was on fire. I'm being kind when I say disappointng. This is a negative message. I will even delete it from my nook to not have the negative energy anywhere near me.

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