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Crazy Love: Francis Chan review

December 16, 2013

The goal of the post is simple; to attempt to do an honest review of Francis Chan by comparing what he has to say to the Word of God. Unfortunately, we live in a culture that is obsessed with subjective feelings and whatever makes people feel good. The plan is to walk you through the substance of what Francis Chan teaches apart from all of the emotionalism that too often clouds our minds.

This isn’t a very easy task because the easiest thing in the world is to take a very small selection and use it to misrepresent Chan rather than providing an accurate picture of him. On the other hand, it would take hundreds of pages in order to evaluate everything Chan has every taught or wrote. In order to attempt to be as fair as possible, this review will be based off of two sources which I feel are consistent with the other times that I have heard him teach. The first will be his well-loved book “Crazy Love” and the other will be an article that he wrote called “Failure to Help the Poor Could Send You to Hell”.

Let’s begin with a simple overview of the book.

Crazy Love

Francis Chan makes the purpose of his book pretty clear right from the beginning; this book was prompted by a serious problem that Chan sees in the mainstream of American Christianity. In his words in the preface, people are saying that they “believe in God, just not in organized religion” and he thinks that people wouldn’t say that “if the church truly lived like we are called to live.”(pgs 21-22) His call is that we should think about how the Bible calls us to live so we stop giving people excuses to reject God.

He starts off on the right track. It should be noted that it is not enough to simply see the correct problem but you also need to have the right solution. In the first chapter of this book, Chan argues that the main problem with American Christianity is that it doesn’t have an accurate view of God; therefore the solution is that we need to have a right view of God.

The next chapter is spent on stressing the fleeting mortality of humanity and that our own fragileness should cause us to cling to and trust God for everything in life. One of the problems of American Christianity is that many people experience worry and stress. We experience worry because “we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what is happening in our lives.” And we experience stress because “the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace towards others, or our tight grip of control.”(pg 42) The solution? To remember God and to have faith in who He is and what He has promised us.

Chan made it clear in the preface that the first three chapters were the foundation for the entire book and so to sum up the foundation, he begins to speak about the love of God. In order to clarify the problem, Chan utilizes his own relationship with his earthly father as an example of how we all grow up and have trouble relating to God as our father. We don’t truly understand what that kind of relationship looks like due to the damage that our human father has wrought on our lives. His solution is that we should realize that God both wants us and pursues us, so we should be willing to trust that He does, in fact, love us.

In the rest of the book, Chan calls his readers to examine themselves. To do this he speaks of being lukewarm, what loving God really looks like, and what should motivate us to live a life “obsessed” with Christ. He ends the book by giving us some stories from people that he sees great examples of the type of life that he is calling for.

A Critique

All I have attempted to do so far is to give you a fair overview of Chan’s book and the thoughts that he is trying to convey through his book. However, I need to actually take some of what Chan says and begin to pull it apart and compare it to scripture to see if it holds up under scrutiny.

One of the things that I will readily grant to Francis Chan is that his motivation behind this book seems to be a good one. However, no matter how great the motivation, what was actually said matters. Not what might have been meant by the author or how we might be able to portray it in a good light but the actual meaning that he is conveying to his readers.

Twisting Scripture

One of the things that should always be evaluated when reading Christian authors is how well they handle scripture and if they do so consistently. One of the big problems in this book (and in the subsequent article) is the mishandling of God’s Word.

Probably one of the biggest examples of how Francis Chan twists Scripture is seen in his handling of Matthew 25 and the Great White Throne Judgment. Both in chapter 7 of his book and in the article “Failure To Help The Poor Could Send You To Hell”, the twisting of this passage seems to be central to the problem behind his theology.

“Christ condemns people to eternal punishment because they did not care for him during their lives on this earth. “I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.” (pgs 117-118)

“Put simply, failing to help the poor could damn you to hell.” 1

These are very bold, clear statements on how Francis Chan views how one goes to Hell and how one avoids it. I have to ask the question, if failing to help the poor sends you to hell, could you prevent that from happening by helping the poor? Can you get Christ to send you to heaven by feeding, clothing and looking after the poor? Here is more of what Chan said in his article…

“Let’s keep the teeth of both truths. There’s a literal hell, and helping the poor is essential. Not only did Jesus teach both of these truths, He saw them as necessary and interrelated.” 2

It is pretty clear from Chan’s writing that he sees helping the poor as an essential element and that it is connected directly to the issue of Hell. He mentions in his article about how people try to qualify this and to “fix Jesus’ shaky theology” but his push is to take Jesus at His word.

This simply is a twisting and a misunderstanding of what Jesus is talking about in the parable in Matthew 25. Because I am trying to keep this review as short as possible, I won’t take the time to walk through the entire passage but will limit myself to making two points from the text.

1) The first question is, on what basis do some go to eternal life and others go to eternal punishment? If we were to simply read Francis Chan’s treatment of this text, we would have to assume that it is on the basis of works. Clearly the ones who go to heaven have done those things that are worthy of commendation while those going to hell are those who have done those things which are worth of condemnation. If the goats on the left had simply done the things that the sheep on Jesus’ right had done, then perhaps they too could have escaped eternal punishment.

What many people miss is a little verse right at the beginning of the parable where the judgment actually takes place. “Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” (Mat 25:32) The basis for separation here in the beginning is not on the basis of what each of these have done but what they are. If you follow the progression of the story, those who are ontologically sheep do good works, are commended and go to eternal life. Those who are ontologically goats do not do good works, are condemned and go to eternal punishment. Since we know that only those of faith can please God, we can easily see that this judgment is an issue of faith and not of works. This of course is consistent with how Jesus uses the term “sheep”. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28)
People don’t become sheep because they follow Christ; rather they follow because they are sheep. What they are proceeds what they do and in the same way, the sheep in Matthew 25 do not become sheep by helping the poor; rather they help the poor because they are Christ’s sheep. Dogs bark, ducks quack, and sheep do good works.

If you need more proof that these action by the sheep flow out of their nature then I would ask you to consider the fact that the sheep are surprised when Christ commends them of doing good works. Sheep don’t keep track of how many good works they do because it flows from them naturally.

2) The other important thing we need to consider in this passage is, who are the poor that Jesus refers to?

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:40). So we see here that Jesus isn’t talking about the poor in general. Instead He makes it clear that He is speaking about a very specific group of individuals and we must ask, who does Jesus consider to be His brothers?

And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:49-50) It is very clear that Jesus is speaking of how sheep have natural love, affection and care for their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are poor. The goats on the other hand, have no love for the followers and disciples of Christ.

The reason I think that it is important to mention this last fact is because Francis Chan makes no mention of this in his book or in the body of his article. I do need to mention that there is a note at the bottom of the article in fine print that makes mention of the fact that Jesus is “talking about impoverished Christians, not any poor person”. The question is, why doesn’t he make mention of this in his article and why does his article imply the opposite of what he admits in the “fine print”? In fact, in his book on page 118, the application he makes is that our lives would look very different if we took these words seriously and we thought of “each person I came into contact with as Christ.” It is seems that he understands what the passage says and yet contradicts that understanding because it doesn’t help the point that he is trying to make.

“If we believe that, as Jesus said, the two greatest commands are to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind” and to “love your neighbor as yourself,” then this passage has a lot to teach us. Basically, Christ is connecting the command to “love God” with the command to “love your neighbor.” By loving the “least of these”, we are loving God Himself.” (pg 118)

This is in the same context of Chan’s discussion of Matthew 25, where Chan brings in the two greatest commandments. What is clear is that Chan is connecting the “helping the poor” in Matthew 25 to “loving God” in Matthew 22:37. What he seems to be missing is that loving God is the fulfillment of the Law. Chan suggests that if we love “the least of these” (with no discussion about who these actually are) than we will be Loving God and fulfilling the greatest commandment. If this is the case, how can he not be telling us that salvation comes through obedience to the Law and not by Grace?

This seems to be Chan’s consistent argument inside and outside of his book. If you help the poor, you are loving God, therefore you have eternal life. You refuse to help the poor, you do not truly love God, and therefore you get eternal punishment.

Now, I don’t think that Chan believes he is teaching works righteousness. He realizes the radical nature of what he is saying and clarifies what he believes by saying…

“Perhaps it sounds as though I believe you have to work your way to Jesus. I don’t. I fully believe that we are saved by grace, through faith, by the gift of God, and that faith manifests itself through our actions.” (pg 95)

and

“The fact is that I need God to help me love God.” (pg 104)

Every once in a while, Chan comes back in a tries to make it clear that his goal is not to teach works righteousness. The problem with this is that many of his comments and major points in his book are centered around what you must do in order to gain God’s favor or to keep from falling on His bad side. While I am glad he says that he believes it is all by grace and that he needs God’s help, these statements only act to confuse the reader. In both of these places, these wonderful, biblical statements directly contradict everything else that he teaches in those chapters.

 “God wants our best, deserves our best, and demands our best. From the beginning of time, He has been clear that some offerings are acceptable and others are not. Just ask Cain, upon whose offering God “did not look with favor.” (Genesis 4:5) (pgs 90-91)

This particular quote is from Chapter 5 where Chan argues that Jesus wants “all or nothing” from his followers. (pg 85) You really have to wonder at this point if Chan understands the concept of the imputed righteousness of Christ. Paul talks in Philippians 3 about having being righteous through faith and not anything that he has done. Chan, however, seems to think that the only way we can offer something to God is if it is our absolute best. The example that he uses is that of Cain and Abel. We all know the story right? Abel brought the very best, therefore God accepted him but Cain didn’t bring the best, therefore God rejected him; right?

One of the nice things about the New Testament is that it helps us to interpret events that happened in the Old Testament. Take Hebrews 11:4 for example. “By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.” According to the clear testimony of Scripture, Abel offering was more acceptable than Cain’s for only one reason, Faith. Faith is the determining factor between our offerings (of service) being acceptable to God or not.

Sure, we give effort and seek to do our best for God but it isn’t our effort that God approves of; it’s our faith that God looks to.

Other passages that are mishandled are Ephesians 2 and Jeremiah 1 (page 59) and Ephesians 1 (page 61) as well as others but in the spirit of brevity, I will move on.

A Religion of Works?

“If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream.” (pg 95)

In light of some of the others stuff that I have been talking about, I thought that it might be good for me to quickly point out one more thing before moving on. This isn’t in the same category of twisting Scripture and yet I think that it explains why Chan looks at Scripture the way that he does. Clearly Chan sees the Christian life as one of working hard to swim against the current. Doesn’t just reading the quote not only make you tired, but also bring about a little bit of despair? If that is the Christian life, then who will have the willpower to survive until the end? And will not the person who makes it, whoever he might be, be able to boast that he was strong enough and willful enough to push on when everyone else around him was giving up?

Now, it is absolutely true that we are moving upstream and that when we stop moving toward God, we begin to move away. The problem with Chan’s analogy is that we don’t move upstream under our own power. First we have to have our hearts changed so that we even want to go upstream, then we are given the power of the Holy Spirit to do so. Maybe a better analogy would be that of a motorized boat. When we try paddling against the stream (under our own power) we fail but when we let the power of the Holy Spirit help direct our lives, the motor, we are freed up to move towards God and we don’t have to fall into despair because of our own inability.

Strange Love

One of the things that struck me the most as I read through this book was the discussion (or lack thereof) of the topic of Love. Now, when I read the title “Crazy Love” with the understanding that it was a Christian who wrote this book, what I assume to have presented to me in a large portion of the book is the doctrine of the atonement. I expect to hear about the incarnation, death, burial, and resurrection of God on the behalf of sinful man. The kind of Love that would drive the Creator of the universe to humble himself by becoming a man is a Crazy kind of Love. But this was the one thing not talked about in this book.

Now you can find mention of the Gospel but that is not the same as the proclamation of the Gospel. You can find “Gospel nuggets” in this book but not Gospel chapters. In fact, many of the mentions of the Gospel are absolutely lost in Chan’s conversation about how we need to totally surrendered to God or helping the poor.

But what about the times that he does talk about Love? What is he trying to convey to his readers about the topic of Love?

In his chapter titled “when you’re in love”, Chan spends some time talking about how his wife’s mother, Clara, loved God. Based on how he saw Clara loved God, Francis Chan suggests that we act “toward God the way we act toward people we’re madly in love with.” (pg 100)

Now the first problem that I have with this is that when we discuss love, what we need to have discussed is God’s love for His people and not our love for Him. Our love is shallow, finite, and flawed and can be at best a response to God’s love. God’s love, on the other hand, is rich, infinite, perfect, and full of Grace. The only thing truly worth spending our time on is God’s love and yet Francis Chan focuses on our love for God.

The second problem that I have is that Jesus is not my girlfriend. If my love ever degrades to the kind of love that I have for a loved one, then I would do well to have my mind once more transformed by the Word of God. The love that we have for God should always contain within it the element of a finite, created being returning love to an Eternal, Almighty Creator. We show our love by devotion and worship, not by holding hands and chatting while gazing into each other’s eyes.

The type of love that Chan puts forth in this book is that of two giddy teenagers. He ignores the categories of the Creator and the creature, which are categories that must enter into any discussion of theology.

Abusing Love

Because the book promotes itself as a book on love simply by the title that it was given, I think that it would be good to continue to look at the way that the topic was treated throughout the rest of the book.

“Would you describe yourself as totally in Love with Jesus Christ?” (pg 68)

This again is an example of how the topic of love is continually introduced throughout this book. Not only does this fail to get to the real heart of love in Christianity, but it continues to portray the girlfriend/boyfriend type love that we saw just a little bit ago.

The point that I need to make, and have made before, is that Love is the sum of the Law. We are not called to be “totally in Love with Jesus”; we are called to have faith in Jesus. The result of faith is then the Fruit of the Spirit, which would include love for God and man. Even then, our love is imperfect and we will only have total and complete love for Christ when he returns in glory or He calls us home.

 “Lukewarm people love God, but they do not love Him with all the heart, soul, and strength. They would be quick to assure you that they try to love God that much, but that sort of total devotion isn’t really possible for the average person; it’s only for pastors and missionaries and radicals.” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38) (pg 73)

Chan spent an entire chapter in his book where he discusses what would be a “Lukewarm” Christian. This fit with the general call of the book, namely to evaluate yourself to see if you are living in the way that God has called His people to live. While it is good to seek some self-reflection, quotes like the one above demonstrate once again that Chan is somewhat confused about how the bible speaks of a believer.

According to Chan, if you do not love God with all your heart, soul, and strength, then you are lukewarm. What he doesn’t seem to understand is that this command from Matthew 22:37-38 is the summary of the entire Law. In order for someone to be able to claim that they love God in this way, they would have to equally be able to claim that they have perfectly obeyed every single aspect of the Law of God, which no man can do. What Chan is really saying is that unless you can claim to be utterly sinless, you are lukewarm. The problem is only compounded a few pages later.

To put it plainly, churchgoers who are “lukewarm” are not Christians. We will not see them in heaven.” (pg 84)

Chan is making it absolutely clear to his readers that for someone to be lukewarm is a serious matter; indeed it is even a matter of salvation. Now I do not disagree with his statement that lukewarm people are not actually Christians; I think that Revelation 3 is pretty clear on that point. What I do disagree with is Chan’s definition of what makes someone lukewarm. The lukewarm person in Scripture is someone who is self-sufficient and they “need nothing” from God or anyone else. (Revelation 3:15-18) Chan’s definition, on the other hand, is that a lukewarm Christian is one who doesn’t perfectly obey the Law. There is no discussion in this chapter about the idea that it is a matter of Faith in Christ that distinguishes the true believer from the lukewarm.

Chan spends a great deal of time calling his readers to self-reflection on the Law but he never offers them the Gospel as the solution for our shortcomings. What is “Crazy Love” all about? How we need to simply obey God by loving our neighbor, because if we don’t, not only will we fail to reach the world around us, but we won’t be saved.

“Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing.” (pg 85)

Proceeding this quote, Chan spends a great deal of time in discussing the “lukewarm” and after this statement, he moves into a discussion about the parable of the soils.

The question you must ask yourself is, have you given everything? Do you sin? Do you love God perfectly? No fallen son or daughter of Adam has ever given all they are to God. While we live on this earth and no matter how hard we try, we will never be able to obtain to the level of commitment that Chan seems to be calling us to. Where is the discussion about how God loved the ungodly and sent them a Savior? This book seems to settle on commanding Christians to do what the bible says no one can do and avoiding the Gospel and any real discussion of the topic of Love.

“Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15). And our question quickly becomes even more unthinkable: “Can I go to heaven without truly and faithfully loving Jesus?”” (pg 86)

This again is how Francis Chan discusses love and again I ask you, have you obeyed the commands that Jesus gave? “If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:10) None of us has perfectly obeyed Jesus’ commands so none of us can say that we have been true and faithful in our love for Jesus. Chan seems to be demanding some sense of moral perfection from us without recognizing that the bible clearly teaches that we can do no such thing. We do not go to heaven based on the faithfulness of our love for Christ, but rather based on Christ’s love for us. We go to heaven because “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

 “God’s definition of what matters is pretty straightforward. He measures our lives by how we love.” (pg 93)

“… God assesses our lives based on how we love.” (pg 94)

This again misses the fact that time and again, the thing that is set forth as most important in the New Testament is FAITH in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and flows from faith. He doesn’t measure our lives based on how well we are able to fulfill the Law through love of God and neighbor. This is a common problem that runs throughout this book; namely, that Francis Chan continually confuses the Gospel with the implications of the Gospel and faith with the fruit of faith.

Radical Faith

Another major problem in this book is the way that Francis Chan speaks about faith. Throughout this book, he promotes the idea of “radical faith” or “radical Christian living” that speaks of giving extravagantly and living dangerously.

“God put me in Simi Valley, California, to lead a church of comfortable people into lives of risk and adventure.” (pg 21)

Francis Chan opens his book by mentioning how God called him to lead his church to extremes in helping others through time, money and our abilities. It is extremely unfortunate that none if this is actually connected to the proclamation of the Gospel. We should be willing to go to extremes to proclaim the truth to a dying world and yet it seems as though Chan’s church is focused on humanitarian efforts that while good, are missing the main point of Jesus’ teachings.

Secondly, it should be noted that nowhere does Jesus call us to live lives full of risk and adventure. While we are warned that we might face persecution and that our belief in Christ might cause separation from our loved ones, nowhere does the bible talk about risk and adventure.

“But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.(1 Thessalonians 4:10-12)

Paul very clearly is leading the Church to live in a way that totally contradicts how Chan talks about the Christian life in this book.

“If life were stable, I’d never need God’s help.” (pg 45)

This is in the context of willing to step out and take risks rather than being ruled by the fear of not have everything under control. According to Francis Chan, the only times that we really can say that we are relying God and His power in our lives in when we are trying to do something that is impossible for us to accomplish.

I would readily admit that there are many things that are impossible for us to do and we are utterly dependent upon God for those things. Salvation, regeneration, and even faith are impossible for us to accomplish and we need God’s help. However, there are many things that we do in our daily lives that are ‘humanly’ possible and yet we should be willing to realize that we need God to help us do those things. One of the best examples I heard was from a preacher named Paul Washer. He was talking to a young man once and reminded him that unless God granted him the strength, he would be utterly incapable of doing something as simple as tying his own shoes; or taking his next breath for that matter.

Francis Chan is an open advocate of this new type of “radical Christianity” that seems to think that unless you are selling everything you own, moving to a foreign nation, or doing something ‘radical’ then we aren’t really living the Christian life. There is no room in this theology for the father who goes to the same job every day and works a simple job in order to provide for his family. What about Paul’s exhortation to work quietly with your hands?

“Luke warm people are continually concerned with playing it safe; they are slaves to the god of control. This focus on safe living keeps them from sacrificing and risking for God.” (pg 77)

I would again point out the fact that the type of life that Francis Chan condemns, Paul says is the type of life we should strive for. The type of life of risk, adventure, and ‘not playing it safe’ is nowhere commended or commanded in scripture.

Conclusion

While I am extremely glad that Francis Chan affirms that we are “saved by grace, through faith, by the gift of God, and that faith manifests itself through our actions”, my concern is that this view isn’t carried across to everything else that he discusses. The majority of his conclusions do nothing more than display a fundamental confusion of Law and Gospel and the implications of the Gospel. While his desire for helping the poor is commendable, his exhortation is based off of a misreading of Matthew 25 and not from a heart changed by the Gospel.

One of the most disappointing things about this book is its lack of a true discussion of Love. The Love of God revealed in the incarnation is one of the greatest displays of God’s Love and yet it is the one topic that Chan avoids. Instead, Chan spends his time in exhorting people to obey the Law of God. All you need to do is Love, which is the fulfillment of the Law. God wants your best, deserves your best, and demands your best; so get busy. Do these things or God will consider you to be lukewarm and you will not enter heaven.

Interspersed between all of these harsh commands, Chan gives us sappy stories and shallow theology which tends to attract the youthful side of American Evangelicalism. The talk of ‘radical’ living captures the hearts and imaginations of young people but unfortunately has no basis in Scripture.

While this last quote borders on being harsh, I think that it is in general, a fair overview of this book, and indeed much of Francis Chan’s theology. I also think that I have provided enough evidence in this review to support some of the claims made in this quote.

Crazy Love lacks balance, solid arguments and careful exegesis, draws bad conclusions, is poorly written and redundant, skips from topic to topic with little explanation, is inconsistent and contradictory, comes across arrogantly, motivates by fear and guilt, and offers outlandish and in some cases clearly unbelievable stories.  Chan apparently ministers among people who do not or cannot challenge his pronouncements (see his response to criticism on p. 136).  Too bad, for I sense that Chan truly loves Christ and wants others to have the same enthusiasm.  But his approach lacks grace, is too close to legalism and is frequently unbiblical. 3

I am afraid that I cannot recommend this book as either an accurate discussion of Love or as being beneficial to Christian life. The best that could come out of this book is some honest self-reflection but even in this, the convoluted, contradictory statements that Chan makes causes more confusion then it does clarity.

Notes

  1. Francis Chan “Failure to help the poor could send you to Hell” http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/156101-francis-chan-on-hell-hatred-tongues-of-fire-and-racism.html
  2. Ibid, (The emphasis here is mine) This is from the same argument as the first quote where he points out that some try to reject a literal hell while the other side ignores what sends people there.
  3. http://www.svchapel.org/resources/book-reviews/4-christian-living/663-crazy-love-by-francis-chan
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4 Comments
  1. Kendra L permalink

    I appreciate your critical reviews. If for no other reason, I appreciate that you document your sources, page numbers, etc. So many people don’t do that. You help me think.

    Maybe you could do Jesus Calling by Sarah Young sometime. Lots of people I know and respect think it is a great book (and one of them gave it to me as a gift) but every time I pick it up, I feel uncomfortable with her first-person writing as Jesus, her premise of divine revelation, and her comments in the introduction about why she wrote the book in the first place. I’ve never made it past the first couple pages.

    • I will give that book a look at the very least. I have another book review that I need to do first but I will try to get around to it for you.

  2. Amanda permalink

    I have to utterly and completely disagree with your review. I am an avid reader of the likes of Frances Chan, David Platt, John Piper and the such. But I will read just about any book recommended. I read them thoughtfully, critically, and attempt to hold them against God’s word to compare. And Because of this, I feel compelled to respond. Crazy Love is not a book about working to earn God’s favor. In the book Chan references God’s “awesome love” for us throughout and how serving God’s people is our proper response to that love. God does call us to stand out. Look at The New Commandment of John 13:34. He wants our love for others to make us stand out. In 1 Thessalonians 4:10-12, references how they know great brotherly love, urges them to continue this and to not meddle in each others affairs and not depend on richer Christians for money, but to support themselves. Not how we need to be in the background of life. This review feels biased and quite frankly, a justification of a lukewarm life, which the Bible unarguably warns against.

  3. Josh permalink

    After reading Francis Chan, I’ve noticed that his soteriology is almost identical to Roman Catholicism. They also teach that a person is saved by grace through faith in Christ…but not grace ALONE, faith ALONE and not Christ ALONE. Like Chan, Roman Catholics teach that if a person is going to be saved from hell they need to have their own inherent righteousness (they deny the imputed righteousness of Christ received by faith alone). They also, like Chan, teach that it is God who gives us the ability or strength (or whatever you want to call it) to accomplish this inherent righteousness and so be saved. This is where their doctrine of “infused righteousness” comes in. Remember how Chan admitted that he needed God to help him love God? And that we MUST love God with all our hearts in order to be saved? Sound familiar? Since it is God that gives them the ability to love God and perform the necessary works of charity to obtain salvation, they deny they teach works righteousness (also like Chan). But at least in Roman Catholic theology the baptized person who hasn’t committed any “mortal sins” will still go to purgatory until they have a perfect inherent righteousness and move on to heaven. In Francis Chan, the person without the required amount of inherent righteousness goes straight to hell.

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Giving God glory in all things.... 1 Cor. 10:31

Pyromaniacs

Giving God glory in all things.... 1 Cor. 10:31

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