Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Crazy Love by Francis Chan

Note: after writing this I started reading the next chapter and Francis addressed the issue I wrote about: I've included a quote at the end.

I've been reading this book on my Kindle. The main theme is that because God is so big and awesome, we should be motivated to move out into the world and serve Him in radical ways. Once again, an author rails on the church for not doing its job.

Well, not the churches I know. So I guess in my case he's preaching to the choir. The churches I know are actively involved in serving in so many ways, spanning crisis pregnancy/pro-life/adoption to buying a well for Africa to helping the poor in New York City and Chicago to sending missionaries to every continent. Individuals within the church are actively supporting and serving in many ways themselves.

The truth is, we can always do better. There's no excuse for sitting around trying to build up our own castles. We should always be looking for more radical ways to serve to the point of suffering, and not shrink back. But let's not blame the church as a whole and make everyone feel guilty. Let's build one another up and as Paul does in his letters, encourage believers to press on, grow, and glorify God more and more.

I'm not saying I don't like this book in general, just not the blaming part. We need church leaders to motivate us and I think Francis has a lot of good things to say that do just that. So would I recommend this book? Of course. It's solid truth in terms of who God is and what we're called to do in light of the gospel. Hey, I like this guy. Who can't help but be drawn to a younger more hipsterish preacher who's a surfer and takes a radical step by leaving a huge congregation and starting a new ministry to the poor in LA? So don't avoid the book based on this post; read it for yourself and see what you think.

In the chapter following his challenge to the church, Francis quotes John Piper and then says "My fear in writing the previous chapter is that it only evokes in you fear and guilt. Personal experience has taught me that actions driven by fear and guilt are not an antidote to lukewarm, selfish, comfortable living. I hope you realize instead that the answer is love."

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