I’ve just finished reading CRAZY LOVE by Francis Chan. Several people recommended it to me, and seeing the impact it’s had on their lives, I was really excited to read it. Its message of breaking free from luke-warm Christianity is SO important.
Still, I can’t help but feel that the book is missing something. I can’t put my finger on it, but Chan’s way of explaining things didn’t impact me as I wanted and expected it to. He quotes scripture and the brilliant words of Christian authors who have forever changed my thoughts and heart, so I wanted to love what he wrote.
I just didn’t.
A.W. Tozer’s KNOWLEDGE OF THE HOLY and John Piper‘s DON’T WASTE YOUR LIFE are both books that I’ve read in the past year and that instructed me and stirred my affections for my Abba. Chan takes ideas and even direct quotes from both of those books, so I don’t want to imply in any way that CRAZY LOVE is a bad book or that its content is in any way incorrect. God has used the book in amazing ways – He’s used Chan in amazing ways – but I can’t recommend that anyone read allusions to Tozer and Piper when it’s better just to buy their books to start with.
For me, CRAZY LOVE was too simplified, too condensed and too diluted. The reason I loved KNOWLEDGE OF THE HOLY and DON’T WASTE YOUR LIFE is that they attempt to explain what they admit is impossible to fully explain. CRAZY LOVE just seemed to be the Reader’s Digest version to me, and I want more.
I want a book that is about God. CRAZY LOVE is a book about following God… which may seem like the same thing, but it isn’t. The difference between them is so reflective of my own struggles that I can’t tell people it’s a good idea to read about following God because there’s too much emphasis on ME when I read it and not enough emphasis on HIM. Rather than describing what a person who knows God is like, we ought to be explaining who God is and letting that picture of perfection move people. Telling people not to be lukewarm is a perfect way to get them thinking about themselves. It’s just enough about God that it seems great… it’s just enough of Him that a person can believe himself saved without actually ever knowing Him.
So I guess that my recommendation is to read the Bible and supplement it with the two amazing books we have in KNOWLEDGE OF THE HOLY and DON’T WASTE YOUR LIFE. They inspired and instructed Francis Chan, so why not us too?