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Posted May 12, 2010
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
61 out of 101 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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.
35 out of 38 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
If you've been feeling like something is missing in your life, read this sensational book! This book has changed and enriched my understanding of what it means to "love thy neighbor as thyself" and forced me to examine my heart, my faith, and my walk with Jesus. READ IT!!
19 out of 22 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 15, 2010
For our staff retreat we used this book as a time to get away from the day to day stress of working at a faith-based domestic violence shelter. We were challenged and brought closer to the God that loves us. The Christian faith is verb, not to sit quietly within the walls of a building. A must read for people of all faiths.
16 out of 19 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The book does indeed promote a works-type salvation. This line of thinking appears to come out of a teaching called "lordship salvation," popularized by the release of the book, "The Gospel According to Jesus," by John MacArthur in the late '80s. Basically, it posits that the simple gospel message of Acts 16:30-31, John 3:16-18, Romans 4:5, Titus 3:5, and Ephesians 2:8-9 is not good enough for salvation. A true believer must also make God "the Lord of his life." Anyone who doesn't, is lost! But where does that leave the Corinthian church who were backslidden believers, but believers indeed, according to Paul (Paul refers to them as "sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy," 1 Cor. 1:2; he also calls them "brothers" several times throughout 1 Corinthians, although worldly or carnal ones---1 Cor. 3:1-3). What about the prodigal son who was a son when he was living with his father; he remained a son throughout the lengthy time that he strayed away, and was still a son when he returned home to the father. Or how about Lot, who lived in a backslidden condition his entire adult life, yet Peter commends him as a righteous man in 2 Peter 2:7. Chapter 5 of "Crazy Love," in my opinion, was especially mean-spirited and judgmental; If taken literally, it appears to send a large portion of the evangelical church (perhaps even the majority), labeled as "lukewarm" to hell. The book sets up a false dichotomy between believers who are sold-out to God vs. the average churchgoer who doesn't appear to be very committed or on-fire for the Lord. Guess where the second group is going? To quote Chan, pp. 83-84, "As I see it, a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there is no such thing. To put it plainly, churchgoers who are 'lukewarm' are not Christians. We will not see them in heaven."
14 out of 26 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Francis Chan really tells it like it is. He doesn't sugar-coat the terrible consequences of lukewarmness. He takes watered down Christianity head on in this Bible-based account of the awesome love of God. If you don't feel uncomfortable while reading this book, you need to take a very serious look at where you stand with God, or where you think you stand with God. This book is so needed in this day and age, especially in America, where for the most part, we've become totally apathetic about the world around us(the poor, the hungry and forgotten)because we are so comfortable. This is not a feel-good book, but it is a liberating book. It's an honest account of where many of us who call ourselves Christians get to answer the tough questions about our sincerity and commitment to the Lord. I wish every bible-believing, Jesus-confessing Christian could get their hands on this book. I'm giving this book as a gift to as many friends and family that I can afford. READ IT!!!
13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 15, 2011
I read this book and was completely turned off. I consider myself a Christian and I believe that we are saved though the grace of God...we just have to have faith. Chang pulls quotes from the Bible and completely takes them out of context to make a point that has absolutely nothing to do with the quote...trying to guilt us into being Christians. If you read this book, make sure you have your bible next to you...it will clarify his incorrect use of passages throughout the book.
I do not recommend this book at all. Read the Bible instead!
11 out of 15 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 21, 2009
Francis does a wonderful job of motivating and inspiring the reader to really look at their life and focus on the important issues of being a Christian. We can be so weighed down by the world that we don't even know that our daily attitude and outlook is tainted. Francis reminds us of God's Word and commandments to us to follow Christ with our whole heart. A challenging, truthful, and thought out book that can change your life if you're honest with yourself.
10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 7, 2011
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I love this book. I truly believe it has helped to change my life and the way I look at the world, myself, and my King. It is now my favorite book and I plan to read it again and again. Chan opened my eyes to God's overwhlming love for me and how this should affect my life. If you don't want a change in your life I would not recommend this book. This is also a book you do not just want to skim through. If you read this book, be prepared to have to sit and think and meditate on the truths Chan illustrates. This is a great investment for your own library and is also the perfect gift for friends and family.
7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 31, 2011
I have recently been overhauling my faith for renewal and a friend recommended this book. I must admit I am fortunate to have conviction through the Holy Spirit and salvation through the blood of Jesus. After reading this book, giving Chan the benefit of the doubt, I sensed a feeling of worthlessness. Someone in despiration could very easily be driven away from God. This book is not meant for those that are weakened or searching for the love of Christ to comfort and guide them. Crazy Love is a good title. I am sure it has its place, but only a certain target audience. I would recommend Max Lucado for the encouragement and true understanding.
6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 4, 2009
Salvation is simple and basic it is about believing and putting your faith in Christ. There should be growth though. I don't see anywhere within Chans teachings that say you have to do good works to be saved. He is simply opening up the eyes of thousands of American Christians who are sitting back in the pews and doing nothing about their faith. We are called as Christians to live a higher life of integrity and a life devoted to service to God and man. We as Christians should be making this world a better place for sure. Not just coming to church on Sundays and leaving unchanged. Those people might be saved to say the least but its not about heaven or hell its about the kingdom of God on earth right now in the heart of every believer. Too many people put an emphasis on heaven and hell with no emphasis on social justice. Jesus was all about social justice. The goal for the believer is to become more and more like the lord Christ. This is why Paul was irritated by the Corithian church. Yes he never said they were not saved, in his words you are right , they were saved. But he was calling them to a holy life, holy means separated not accepting the status quo of secular society. This is what Chan preaches, a call to action to live the life that god has planned for us since before we were in the womb. That life is the life of a PASSIONATE WORLD CHANGER!!!
6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I didn't expect this book to be so challenging to me. I was very happy with the reading, and encourage any Christian to read the book with an open heart and mind. My hope is that it will both enlighten and challenge you to draw closer to God, as it has me.
I also recommend "When God Stopped Keeping Score" that takes a revealing look at the power of forgiveness. If you have ever been bound by anger, guilt, hurt or pain, this book is for you.
5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 7, 2010
Crazy Love by Francis Chan is an inspirational book, which in the scheme of things really changed my life and can change many other people's lives. It is a book on how to live your life to the fullest through our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. It gives us examples on what are known as "lukewarm Christians", referring to those who are just trying to get by in life and not being fully dedicated. Crazy Love also gives examples of how people have been changed and it causes them to do great things for the kingdom.
Crazy Love is a great book and I recommend it to everyone. It gives us a chance to look inside ourselves and "fix" our lives accordingly to how Christ wants us to live. This book is for the most part an easy read and does not take very long to finish. If you want a lifestyle change I would recommend on starting it off with reading Crazy Love.
3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 17, 2013
Do you just love Jesus or are you in-love with Jesus? This book will help you to understand the difference. **Warning** This book is not for the light or feint of heart. Each chapter is very heavy and will challenge everything you understand about being together with Jesus and demonstrating that to those around you. Francis Chan takes you on a journey that personally relates to life around you. You will laugh with him and you will cry. If you are ready to encounter Jesus like you never have before then this is the book for you!
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 5, 2013
I think this book does a great job of inspiring Christians to take their faith seriously. Other reviewers feel that Chan is promoting a 'salvation by works' message. I didn't perceive that message. The message I heard was that if you're saved (meaning God has called you to himself to spend eternity with him), then contemplate the depth and breadth of what that and respond to it. Other reviewers contend that Chan is without basis to say there are Christians who don't take their faith seriously, or who don't fully appreciate the gift of salvation, or who don't live their lives as if they do. Perhaps Chan was only speaking about me. I need to be reminded and encouraged, as Chan does in this book, to appreciate who God is and what he has done, and then respond.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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