Crazy Love: Overwhelmed By A Relentless Love
By: Francis Chan with Danae Yankoski
Every once and awhile a book comes along that becomes a “fad” within Christianity. Recent examples include books such as The Shack and The Purpose Driven Life. Crazy Love, I believe, falls into this same category. Go to any bookstore and they’ll definitely have a few extra copies. They fly off the shelves. People are buying, reading it, talking about it, holding Bible studies over it and posting tons of reviews of it. One thing sets it apart from the other Christian “fad books.” Namely, it’s not garbage! Books that gain this status are almost always ear tickling dribble. The Shack, for example, is a non-Christian book filled with heresy that clearly reveal the false faith of it’s author. The Purpose Driven Life is a shallow and inadequacy presentation of the Christian life with a weak watered-down seeker sensitive “gospel.” Crazy Love actually affirms the Christian faith from a Christian worldview.
To start with I had no interest in this book. I knew it was becoming a fad and didn’t care. In fact, because of the poor track record of these fad books I actively wanted not to read it! But, due to peer pressure, I was persuaded to take a look. After looking at it I saw nothing to set this book apart from the usual heretical and\or weak popular books. The only thing that made me decide it might be O.K. was an endorsement in the front cover by Kirk Cameron. Cameron, for anyone who doesn’t know, is a former TV star who was saved and now has teamed with evangelist Ray Comfort to produce several solid Christian books and The Way Of The Master television program. Knowing that Cameron was into solid doctrine and not a compromiser added to the peer pressure (plus the book was sale) I broke down and bought it. I thought I was probably making a mistake, I was wrong.
The authors do a competent job. They aren’t difficult to follow or understand. It’s on an any-person level. They teach nothing but orthodox Christian doctrine (and I’m pleased to say seem to uphold a literal Genesis as well!). The subtitle I think is flawed though. Overwhelmed By A Relentless Love is not good subtitle because although the book deals with the love of God it’s not the primary focus of the book. It was certainly not an adequate dealing with the love of God. If this were the authors intent they failed. No in depth look at the love of God is complete without a thorough exposition of the Incarnation of Christ and His death for sinners as well as the complete evilness and unworthiness of those for whom Christ died. It’s not void of the Cross but the more you understand the Cross and your unworthiness the more you understand the love of God.
The central theme of this book, despite what the subtitle might suggest, is to call people to a closer devotion to God. How does the author suggest we do this? By faith and repentance. He doesn’t focus on what God can do for you. He calls sinners to repent and trust the Savior. He spends a good deal of this book affirming the doctrine of Lordship Salvation. This is why many reviews of this book wrongly claim Chan is teaching works salvation. Lordship Salvation teaches that true faith always is accompanied by repentance and submission to Christ. Opponents hear “faith and…” and immediately panic. But Lordship Salvation is not teaching “faith and…” but rather “faith then.” Biblically, if a person bears no fruit, is not obedient to Christ and not living a life consistent with their profession of faith their faith is false. Opponents are confusing the results of salvation with the means of salvation, then, and so wrongly accuse those, like Chan, who affirm Lordship Salvation of works salvation. If you’ve read any of these reviews, rest assured, Chan is only being accused of this for affirming the true Gospel!
This book is challenging and potentially life changing. I would recommend it to anyone who is a younger Christian. An older Christian is likely to understand these things already but could still be challenged to a new devotion to the Lordship of Christ through it’s pages. I was skeptical at best when reading this book but after reading a thoroughly orthodox book and a relevant subject I’m skeptical no more. I was quite surprised.