Welcome to CoCo’s Chitchat! This month, I’ll be reviewing the book Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan.
I originally picked this book up from a used book store because…why not? And then I discovered it was on Brett Harris’s Must-Read list for Christian teens and was excited to know that I owned a copy (perfect for underlining and taking notes). I’ll say right off the bat that it’s a great read–definitely recommend!
Here’s the blurb:
Have you ever wondered if we’re missing it? It’s crazy if you think about it. The God of the universe — the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and e-minor — loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss.
Whether you’ve verbalized it yet or not . . . we all know something’s wrong.
Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo? Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions? God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn’t working harder at a list of do’s and don’ts — it’s falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love, as Francis describes it, you will never be the same.
Because when you’re wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.
This is without a doubt a book that will make you think, and I would recommend reading it as a devotional book (as I did). There are also free videos available online that Chapter One directs you to watch, which really adds to the interactive/think-for-yourself nature of the book. And because my church has a subscription to RightNow Media, I was able to watch additional videos as I read each chapter.
To be honest, I read chapter one and was less than impressed with the content because it was on a subject I had heard my whole life: a few of the attributes of God and how big and great He is. However, looking back on the chapter, I think my indifference came more from a flaw in my personal mindset rather than the content itself. I actually really appreciate books that go back to the basics and encourage the reader not to just brush it off as something they already know. I would recommend going into it with an open mind and asking God to change your perspective (watching the videos helps with that!).
Once I got into it, I really loved it and looked forward to reading a chapter each night! It’s simple reading syntax-wise, but certainly profound content-wise. It will challenge you in your faith and make you question everything you know about what it means to be a Christian (in a good way). It explores topics such as the reality of death, the luke-warm nature of the Church, and why it’s so important to view our lives through the context of the gospel. It has the title Crazy Love because it challenges Christians to take their faith from a religion to a relationship–walking with God on an intimate level and living as if we deeply and truly love Him.
There are plenty of Scripture quotations throughout the book–which I appreciate because the author shows a high respect for the Word of God and grounds his writing in biblical truth. Chan doesn’t just ramble on about his thoughts, but gives you Scripture and just enough commentary to challenge your interpretation of the text. As he mentions in one of the videos (and possibly the book as well), the American church can sometimes do things simply because “that’s how it’s done” rather than because it’s biblical. But Chan challenges the reader to rethink how we’ve been living for Christ and see if our practices do indeed align with Scripture.
There is one chapter titled “Profile of the Lukewarm” that outlines some of the problems with modern Christians. I found it challenging, but also encouraging because it affirmed a lot of what I’m doing personally. Reading that chapter reassured me that, although I might be “crazy” for going to Bible college, it’s going to be worth it. It was a reminder that what I’m doing for the Lord is not in vain, while also convicting me of some areas that need improvement. Here are a few lines that stuck out to me:
I quickly found that the American church is a difficult place to fit in if you want to live out New Testament Christianity.
Lukewarm people call ‘radical’ what Jesus expected of all His followers.
Can I get an amen?
After reading the book, I kind of just wanted to drop everything and move into a tiny house. XD It will make you question materialism and comfort in life, that’s for sure. I was talking to my pen pal a couple days after finishing it about how much stuff I have and how blessed I am to live in the country I do. It’s just mind-blowing to think that Jesus says “Come. Follow Me,” and that the disciples actually did it! And that is what we are called to even today–total surrender. You can deny it all you want, but as Chan says he encourages people to do, if you read the gospels for yourself you will not find anything that supports otherwise. We are called to love God with all our heart, mind, and soul.
All in all, it’s a fantastic book and I wish it were longer so I could keep reading. If you’re in a rut, stagnant in your faith, or looking for help returning to your first Love, I 100% recommend this book. You will not regret it!
Just as the preface says: “This book is written for those who want more 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.”
Whatever season of life you find yourself in, give it a read and I think you’ll find yourself longing to know more of who Jesus is and what it means to live for Him.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve 1) read this book, 2) plan to read this book, or 3) have any thoughts on this review. I’d love to hear from you!
P.S. This book was chosen for review from a poll on my Instagram, but from now on only my email subscribers will be able to vote! If you’re interested in choosing future reviews (and receiving other exclusive content), consider joining my email list. I’d love to have you 😉
God bless! ❤
In Christ now and always,