Monday, May 18, 2009

Crazy Love Review

Author: Francis Chan

Publisher: David C. Cook

Pages: 192 pages

Price: $8.15

Genre: Christian Living

Quick Summary:

“When you are wildly in love with someone, it changes everything”, reads the back cover. It is Chan’s hope that those reading this book might rediscover the amazing love of God and that we might live in such a way to reflect that. Chan’s hope is that we might be crazy in love with Jesus. As he says in the preface this book is for, “those who want more of Jesus. It is for those who are bored with what American Christianity offers. It is for those who don’t want to plateau, those who would rather die before their convictions do.”

How does Chan hope to give us more of Jesus? In the first three chapters he gives us a primer on the amazing love of God and the greatness of the God that is love. Then he moves to our response. He gives us a profile of the lukewarm and rebukes us for giving leftovers to God. Then he begins painting a picture of what a life that is obsessed with Jesus looks like. He closes by giving us real-life examples and encouraging us to respond today.

What I Liked:

This is the first book that I have read that encouraged you to put down the book and check out a video on the internet. The book is definitely “hip” and the website only helps to strengthen the book; I would love to see more of this in the future.

The test of any good book is not your opinion after you close the last page but how it has shaped your life. I must say that after reading this book my eyes have been more open and it has been used by God to stir more of a heart for Him and for those around me. Because I am in the group that “this book is for” it did in fact reach me. I am convicted by the message of this book. However…

What I Disliked:

Something sits wrong with me as far as recommending this book. I want to charge legalism—but that’s not true. I want to say he needed to focus on grace more—but I don’t think that was his point. The thing that bothers me is that Chan says that those that are “lukewarm” are not Christians; I agree with that statement. But what I wish he would have done after this chapter is shared the freeness of the gospel. People are lukewarm because they do not understand the freeness and beauty of Jesus (see Revelation 3). I fear that a churched unbeliever would be convicted (and rightly so) by the chapter on lukewarm Christianity and then read the rest of the book and think that the cure is to do things.

In my opinion Chan is writing more to the church at Ephesus than he is the church of Laodicea. If we are guilty of losing our first love then the answer is to do the works you did at first. But if we are the church at Laodicea then the answer is come to Jesus not so much feed the hungry.

Should You Buy It?

I wrestled with how to review this book. For me personally it has rocked my world. It has convicted me deeply and it has caused me to rethink certain things in my life. So, if you are in the position that Chan described then I would wholeheartedly suggest this book. But I really fear suggesting this book for an unbeliever or even a stagnant believer/potential unbeliever. At the end of the day I would say buy it, but read it alongside Jerry Bridges’ Transforming Grace.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


  1. sounds good...I haven't read it so I shouldn't comment ;-)--however I am too tempted. I wonder about the lukewarm statement. But I think our life is about relationship to Jesus and some wonder if we have this relationship with Christ how can we not be on fire? We are encountering the living God. It will not leave us unchanged. But as in all relationships we can become distant and weaker at times in our relationship. There is the World, the Flesh, and the Devil that want to lead us away from this close walk...all would dim our view of Him...we can quench the Spirit of God. The reason we need to be encouraged in the faith as Hebrews is about is because of the reality of what happens in living in this world. Sanctification is a time process--since we are not glorified yet there will be times of weakness and lukewarmness, don't you think?

  2. nannykim,

    I totally agree with your comment about seasons of weakness and lukewarmness. Thankfully, Chan would assert the same thing. He acknowledges that we have seasons like these and need to repent of them.

  3. Thanks Mike for your honest review of the book "Crazy Love." I, too, had problems with the "lukewarm" comments in the book. There's an article review which discusses the book and those comments in greater detail @

  4. check out for the lastest christian headline new.

  5. Good review. Check out mine here:

  6. There is a new link to the article review of Crazy Love mentioned above. The article is called "Balanced Love." It can be found on the Free Grace Alliance web site:

  7. I'll allow the drive-by link to the review from the Free Grace Alliance...but I want to alert my readers to the fact that I wholeheartedly disagree with much of the teaching on that website.

  8. Our Church choir is currently reading Crazy Love. I wrestled at first with reading the book for many reasons (too busy, already teach Sunday School and a Bible study don't have the time didn't want to have to buy another book... etc) But then I reasoned in my heart that maybe there was a lesson in there that the Devil really didn't want me to learn so I began. I do agree with your reasoning that this would confuse the unbeliever and even make the idea of becoming a Christian seem too out of their grasp as Chan focuses so much on giving up everything. This can be so daunting for a new Christian or and unbeliever.
    As a seasoned Christian my heart has been pricked. I have realized that though we are so heavily involved and giving of our time talents and money to God and the church, that I was lacking a certain "heart" matter in truly loving my God. I haven't completed the book quite yet and I look forward to seeing what the rest of the book has in store. But even now I am struggling with the 'guilt' ideas put forth in the book even as an avid worker/seeker of Christ.

  9. Anon,

    I hope you continue to read and enjoy the book. I'd also suggest picking up a copy of David Platt's book: Radical.



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