Thursday, June 16, 2011

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan - A Summaview

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless GodCrazy Love is a book I've had on my "to read" list for quite some time. I wish I had gotten to it a lot sooner. Published in 2008 when Chan was serving as pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, CA, this book is not unlike David Platt's Radical in calling Christians to a lifestyle of total, sold-out obedience to a soverign God. Today, Chan's ministry is one of full-time writing and speaking and I'm greatly anticipating his next book, Erasing Hell: What God says about eternity and the things we made up, which releases in July.

I read this book because I am not immune to creeping staleness in my walk with God. There, I said it.

Dr. Jimmy Draper, former president of LifeWay Christian Resources, once said that the driest vocation spiritually a person could have is pastor of a local church. (He later amended his statement to say it was president of LifeWay.) What he's trying to say is that in the midst of doing "good stuff," it's easy to let our time with God slip. I agree with him. Preparation for Bible study, meetings that begin and end with perfunctory prayer, ministry, etc. can become substitutes for good, old-fashioned time with God. Chan gave me some new perspective on how to keep that freshness in my life - in this time of my life when I need it.

Chan says "the answer to religious complacency isn't working harder at a list of do's and don'ts - its falling in love with God." He's right. And just as being passionately in love with my wife and family drives me to make decisions that change the way I live, so should our relationship with God. So, get a copy of Crazy Love and read it. Meditate on it. Then, dive into God's Word again with a perspective that is from the heart of God.

The outline and summary of major concepts in the book are as follows:
  1. Stop Praying. Just pause and ponder the greatness of God
  2. You Might Not Finish This Chapter. Life is transient, short and unpredictable. Live, not selfishly, but as a servant, for He is all that matters.
  3. Crazy Love. The greatest good on this earth is God. He created you and wants you to love Him. while we need Him, we mostly avoid Him.. That's crazy.
  4. Profile of the Lukewarm. A log of things are good by themselves, but all of it together keeps us from living healthy, fruitful lives for God. [This was a powerful, insightful, and indicting chapter. I'm glad it didn't end here.]
  5. Serving Leftovers to a Holy God. Jesus' call to commitment is clear. He wants all or nothing. The thought of a person calling himself a "christian" without being a devoted follower of Christ is absurd.
  6. When You're in Love. There's nothing better than giving up everything and stepping in to a passionate love relationship with God.
  7. Your Best Life... Later. Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers. Downsize so others can upgrade for eternity.
  8. Profile of the Obsessed. What does it mean to be obsessed. It's not alt all about you. [This is a liberating chapter.]
  9. Who Really Lives That Way? Case studies of those who are obsessed.
  10. The Crux of the Matter. Learn to listen to and obey God. Love Him. Love others. That's the crux.
One last thing. www.crazylovebook.com has some great supplemental information for this book. Did I say you need to read this book? Thought so. I hope you will.

10 comments:

YadiSarai said...

I myself have this book on my "to read" list. Seeing your blog just reminded of how much I have been falling short of the glory of God.

Neal Cordle said...

I hope you'll be able to read it soon and find peace in living for Him.

shahanara said...

your blog is very fine!

Kelly Noel Rasmussen said...

At my college, there is a group that meets for bagels and reading before heading off to church, and this is the book they were covering. I only had the opportunity to read a chapter, but it was amazing. I saw this on your blog, and I just liked the coincidence, I guess.

Anyway, thank you, and I might just check out his new book!

Neal Cordle said...

Kelly, I hope you will... it's a great read.

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babithababa said...

Crazy LOve , I have not read . But you have commented on the book in the right manner , so I think I would love further reading .....thanks .

Ray Ruppert said...

Francis Chan has some great comments. See http://ray-ruppert.blogspot.com/ for my Bible studies.