Crazy Love… Crazy for reading it?

For some reason I haven’t been able to enjoy Christian books too much. I typically make it a rule not to read too many ‘popular’ Christian books. You know the ones that I’m talking about – they either have the word ‘revolution’ or ‘generation’ in them. Because to me, these books are volumes that keep restating the same thing over and over and over… it’s like the smoke alarm going off in your home… you get the message, no need to hear it again. And I’ll be honest, in some ways Francis Chan’s ‘Crazy Love’ doesn’t say anything new at all, and will most likely be a restatement of sermons you have been hearing forever.

But…

Chan has an ability to connect emotions with these truths. He goes beyond the neglect of the heart that some theologians and pastors seems to do, by using a keen gift to help these age old truths resonate deep within your spirit. Crazy Love is about looking at what Jesus says, and then painting a very basic picture of what the Christian life would look like for modern day Americans who want to be real with the words of our savior. Chan hits the nail on the head when he admits that we too often hear stories of people that are radically living for God, and we assume that they are some sort of super Christians who wear capes while taking communion and holding baptismal services every time they go to WAL MART. But the fact of the matter is: The Sermon on the Mount should be Christianity 101… ouch.

The book is very simply written and steers clear of any Christian jargon (this is a PLUS! Who the heck knows what ‘asking Jesus into your heart, accepting him, soaking, or ‘the anointing’ means anyway?) And each chapter is prefaced with an online video made by Chan that prepares your mind for the reading… I found that they were a fantastic way to keep me focused on the material and gave me food for thought throughout the day.

A quick word of warning: I very rarely will point out theological issues I have with a book, but… Chan is an advocate of ‘Lordship Salvation’ and thinks that a Christian must ‘prove’ their faith with good works, and that a disciple and a Christian are the same thing. For a response to why I think this is WRONG and HARMFUL check out a lesson I gave at church.

Check out parts 1 and 2 as well if you are interested.

Overall, Crazy Love was an enjoyable, challenging book that didn’t ‘teach’ me anything, but got me to take a closer look at my life and ask myself: What am I doing right now that requires faith?

3rd shelf of 5.

If You Like Reading, You Need To Read This Book

“Excuse me if I enjoy myself rather obviously!” he said to Gregory, smiling. “I don’t often have the luck to have a dream like this. It is new to me for a nightmare to lead to a lobster. It is commonly the other way.”

A couple of weekends ago I had the absolute pleasure of reading a real button clicker (I was reading the book on my kindle). One of my closest friends who is an avid non fiction reader told me to check out a crime/suspense novel written by one of my favorite authors: G.K. Chesterton. (For a brief intro on Chesterton, the only thing that needs to be said is that C.S. Lewis considered him to be one of his greatest influences). Even though it was a book written over a hundred years ago, I ordered it (for free) on my kindle. I was taking a relaxing weekend away in Austin with my wife while sitting in a delightful, rustic coffee shop completely unaware of how much the book would blow me away.

‘The Man who was Thursday’ is a difficult book to write a review for, because it is packed with twists and turns from the get go, and to be perfectly honest I just don’t want to give anything away (this is assuming of course that those of you who have been reading my reviews are accepting every post as gold, and laboriously following through with my supreme recommendations). The book opens with a debate between two philosophers: Syme, and Gregory, who both have remarkable secrets that are revealed quickly. The rest of the novel is the unraveling of the secrets, and one man’s adventure to bring a secret society of anarchists to justice. It is a remarkable page turner that explores the motifs of loneliness, friendship, and individuality, but keep in mind that the novel is written by a DEEP Catholic thinker, and will inevitably turn towards a resolution that magnifies the Father that Chesterton devoutly worshiped. The tale of secret societies will have you shouting, nail biting, page turning, along with sleep-losing.

I am very hesitant to give books such a high praise, but this one was instantly a favorite. Chesterton’s enchanting writing will leave you spellbound, and with a goofy grin on your face, as he is no stranger to sarcasm, wit, and satire. The stunning conclusion will leave you in a state of raw contemplation, and perhaps even confusion (unless you are of the higher echelons of society with a powerful intellect… if you’re reading my reviews, don’t worry,  you most likely fall into such a category).  But great novels, in my opinion, always do this. If you’re looking for sheer entertainment, this book is for you. But if that is ALL you’re looking for, steer clear of this psychological thriller.

5 of 5… easily.