Crazy Love by Francis Chan

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Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
Does anyone here have any comments/reviews of the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan? Or for that matter, can anyone fill me in more on Chan himself? Is his doctrine solid? I used the search feature and I found a few threads where it seems debatable if Chan is calvinist.
I ask because I have several friends that have been talking up the book as being the greatest thing since sliced bread. I am considering reading it to be able to better engage them in discussion, but maybe someone can give me a cliffs note review and/or heads up so I don't waste my time if its garbage.
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
Does anyone here have any comments/reviews of the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan? Or for that matter, can anyone fill me in more on Chan himself?
Dear Andrew, first allow me to thank you for the opportunity to answer this question and set your concerns at ease. Given that Mr. Chan's books have sold, and it seems that commentary has been given in the review area of places like Amazon.com, etc. I can confidently answer Yes. Someone, somewhere has comments/reviews of said book and that someone, somewhere is capable of filling you in more on Chan himself. I am pleased that I have the information to give you. Blessings!

ahh, but I asked if anyone HERE, as in the PB, had any comments/reviews. While my second sentence did lack that qualifier, I presumed that the context and flow of the previous question, lent to an understanding of asking those on the PuritanBoard. My apologies for not being more specific.
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
ahh, but I asked if anyone HERE

Yes, which is why I subsequently edited before you posted your rebuttal! The little Grammar and Context Nazi within has been pinned up and bored today. ;)

wait, so I beat you?

Can someone please sticky this thread so it can be preserved? :D

In all seriousness, you have taught me well how to ask the question if anyone has ever.... I am forever indebted.
 

MarieP

Puritan Board Senior
Whether he's a Calvinist, I'm not sure. But he sure can bust some cool martial arts moves!!!
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Crazy Love
Here's the online video version of the book, just to see if you want to purchase it.
He pastors a church out in California and I believe he helped start a Bible college out there too.
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
I did find this review from Tim Challies, whom I usually trust. Challies actually gave it a good review.

He pastors a church out in California
Not anymore. Chan left the pastorate in Simi Valley because God told him to leave there and go plant a church in a bigger city. Chan says God told him to go to either NY, LA, or SF, but has not clarified to him yet. It is for these reasons that I am leary of some of his doctrine.
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
I am reading the book in a small group at church now. He seems quite solid doctrinally from what I've read so far. Challenging book, although written at a lower level.
 

jayce475

Puritan Board Freshman
The review by Gilley seems to suggest that Crazy Love is the product of an oversimplification of Christian living, wanting to live for Christ without actually being entirely/precisely sure of how to based on scriptures. I probably need to read the book to make any fair conclusions, but if this simplification is in fact what the book is, it's not surprising. Broad/neo/charismatic evangelicalism is filled with such and young believers are often properly challenged to "love God, follow God and serve God" without properly being taught how to do so.
 

raekwon

Puritan Board Junior
Here's a recent interview Chan did w/ Mark Driscoll & Joshua Harris regarding his leaving the pastorate of his current church. He says that he's remaining a member of that church as a non-staff elder. I hadn't heard previously (or in this video) anything about starting a new church in a bigger city, but maybe I missed something.

Hope this is helpful.

[video=vimeo;14452343]http://vimeo.com/14452343[/video]
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
I hadn't heard previously (or in this video) anything about starting a new church in a bigger city, but maybe I missed something.

Here you go Rae. I believe this is the actual clip of when he annouced his plans to his congregation. Also below is a letter Chan sent out to every member of the chuch. This all occurred back in April and there were discussions on some blogs about Chan and his decision to leave. This is where I first became aware of who Chan was.

[video=vimeo;11060330]http://vimeo.com/11060330[/video]

Dear Friends,

For those who have not heard, this past Sunday I announced to Cornerstone Church that I will be transitioning out of my ministry in Simi Valley. It was a rough Sunday as there were many different emotions floating around the room. In short, Lisa and I believe God is calling us to take a step of faith. We believe we are supposed to move into a major city such as LA, San Francisco, or New York. Every time I fly into a large city, I am struck by the sheer numbers and feel pulled to try ministering in that environment. I encourage you to listen to the podcast from this past weekend to hear more details. If for no other reason, my wife spoke some very powerful words that every believer needs to hear.

It has been an amazing 16 years as pastor of Cornerstone Church. When we started gathering, I doubt that any of us dared to dream that God would use this church to have such an impact on Simi Valley and the rest of the world. I think most of us were just hoping it would survive. God had bigger plans than we did. The Lord has truly shown us His grace, that we could be used as His instruments to bring glory to the name of Jesus.

The plan is that I would teach at Cornerstone through the end of May. During this time, I will be sharing the lessons most important to me. I have taught thousands of times over these years, and now I hope to re-emphasize what I see as most important. I will also be at our prayer meetings to beg our God to do even greater things in Simi after I leave. For those who have questions or just want to talk, you can catch me at the prayer meetings.

I’ll continue to write and give you more information as the Lord continues to guide the elders and me. Like I said at our services, I’m still not completely sure of everything, but it feels great to be living by faith.

Once again, here is my family’s rough plan for our future

April/May = speaking at Cornerstone
June/July = speaking around the U.S.
August/Sept = Praying and walking large cities to seek God’s leading.
Oct-Dec = Serving in a third world country
Jan 2011 = launch a new ministry as an extension of Cornerstone

Thanks to everyone who was a part of this amazing journey in Simi. Thanks for all the love and encouragement my family and I have received over the years.

Francis
source
 

FenderPriest

Puritan Board Junior
My thoughts about the book were like Challies'. Honestly, the book is worth the first three chapters in my opinion. The material after that is good. The book felt like a cross between Piper's Don't Waste Your Life and Tozer's Knowledge of the Holy, which means it was really helpful and inspiring. The chapter I least liked was the one Challies noted - I think ch. 7 (I listened to the book, so my positioning on material is vague) - where he talks about people who lived "radical" lives by moving to foreign places and great deeps of service. All fine and good stuff, but it always annoys me when authors send out these books that equate "radical" with "going to X 3rd world country" - as though radical living can't be seeking to be faithful followers of Christ in the cultural context that he saved us in. So, on that end, I'm afraid his personality in applying the material might derail people deeply affected by the book from applying it in their daily lives in meaningful ways unique to them. Otherwise, I was really helped by the book. A classic? Probably not, but worth the read and discussion, in my opinion.
 

Jared

Puritan Board Freshman
I read the book two years ago. I first heard of Chan through the Passion movement. He spoke at the 2006 Passion conference if I'm not mistaken, which was the last big Passion event in the US until this year.

I liked the book. He quotes Piper and Sproul in the book, which doesn't always mean anything, but for what it's worth...

He has always been, in my opinion, a closet-Calvinist. If you actually listen to his sermons though, he's not very closeted.

I attended his church that he recently stepped down from as pastor earlier this year. He was preaching in that service and he was talking about the holiness of God.

I think if I remember right he graduated from two of John MacArthur's Bible schools.

He will be speaking at this year's Deisiring God National Conference. I think more people would have talked aobut that, but the fact that Rick Warren is going to be there as well sort of eclipsed Chan's appearance at the conference.

That's most of what I know about him.

Also, check out his video "Fear God".
 

MRC

Puritan Board Freshman
His book confuses Law and Gospel throughout. I would suggest one would have a hard time "nailing" him down to a particular system of theology as his writing seems a bit all over the place. To me it seems that he has Calvin tendencies that maybe he has not taken the time to thoughtfully work out and so is theologically spoty.

For a good review, listen to:

Francis Chan’s Crazy Love - ReformedForum.org
 

larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
I did not like the book...couldn't really get into it at all.
I found it quite simplistic and underwhelming.
 

Ivan

Pastor
I did not like the book...couldn't really get into it at all. I found it quite simplistic and underwhelming.

I've never read anything by him and I heard him preach once at the Southern Baptist Pastor's Conference in Louisville, KY. Enjoyed the sermon, but I'm not a big fan. I'll get to hear him again in the DG Conference, along with Warren.
 

Hilasmos

Puritan Board Freshman
I liked the book. Despite what areas may lack depth or be underdeveloped, I felt it was a "simple to understand" appeal to take the words of Jesus and scripture literally (which, in my reading, is what living "radically" involves). I felt motivated to re-examine my own self-centerdness and lack of giving and care for others. The critical review linked above, in my opinion, didn't really ring true in my reading of it. I listened to some of his final sermons about leaving, and from reading two of his books, my impression of this (in at least one degree) is that he is practicing what he is preaching. He is purposely removing himself from the lime light of his current position and going to a place where he feels he can have a greater impact. Not that this should be the direction or pattern for everyone, but it takes some conviction to build one's empire and be willing to turn over all the "glory" of it to start over somewhere else where people don't already know who you are. So, apart from all the faults I am sure he does have, I found him living a life, and painting a worldview, that points to the value of Christ more than the "stuff" of this world. That's what I got from it, and in our culture it is a valuable message.
 

captivewill

Puritan Board Freshman
Does anyone here have any comments/reviews of the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan? Or for that matter, can anyone fill me in more on Chan himself? Is his doctrine solid? I used the search feature and I found a few threads where it seems debatable if Chan is calvinist.
I ask because I have several friends that have been talking up the book as being the greatest thing since sliced bread. I am considering reading it to be able to better engage them in discussion, but maybe someone can give me a cliffs note review and/or heads up so I don't waste my time if its garbage.

I read the book and tossed it out rather than pass it on to anyone else. Anyone holding up Shane Claiborne as a worthy model invites the speculation of being perhaps merely "crazy."
 
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