Francis Chan is a man obsessed – obsessed with (and possessed by) God’s love. The way God loves us doesn’t make sense at all – it’s crazy and causes him to do outlandish things like forgive people who wrong a holy God and turn their backs on his life-giving commands. Our only response should be to love him in return, a love that makes us seem crazy. But too often, Chan says, our response is more like a serving of lukewarm leftovers.
As I moved through the ten easy-to-read, difficult-to-do chapters of Crazy Love, I felt like Chan was inviting me to a gradual change in posture. Chapter One is entitled Stop Praying, in which Chan says we need to stop talking at God and simply start looking at God. He paints a picture of the sheer awesomeness of our Creator God, and sketches an image of insignificant man in contrast. Chapter Two reminds us of the fragility of this life, and the reality that, “in the movie of life, nothing matters except our God.” In the third chapter, Chan counters our insignificance and this sense of fragility with a long hard look at the outrageous love of God. From there, he moves on to our response to this great love. He challenges us to move from a tepid, half-hearted way of living and loving, to being obsessed. (Throughout the first few chapters, he points to several videos on his website which I highly recommend making time for).
Chapter Six was the turning point for me, where he reminds us that we need God to help us love God. “Something mysterious, even supernatural must happen in order for genuine love for God to grow in our hearts. The Holy Spirit has to move in our lives.” It’s not exactly news to me, but a truth that bears repeating again and again: I can’t transform myself.
The remainder of the book describes what it looks like to live this life of love. Here he takes an in depth look at Scriptural examples of this sold-out kind of love, followed by some amazing stories of crazy love in action today.
I found Francis Chan’s writing to be both unpretentious and full of vulnerable humility. I’d say it was an enjoyable read, but joy doesn’t exactly fit how I felt about this book. It was surprisingly soul-stirring, in a simple but deep way that still has me thinking. Chan’s thoughts seemed to tie in perfectly with a series our church is doing right now entitled Practice Resurrection – the reality being that Resurrection is more than a day – it’s a way of life. Each week we’re hearing stories of how different folks are practicing resurrection, and I’m wondering – what exactly does it look like for me to practice resurrection?