Author: Francis Chan
Publisher: David C. Cook
Pages: 192 pages
Genre: Christian Living
“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