The Stuff Christians Like Book Club - Francis Chan - Crazy Love
Today, we're going to talk about the first two chapters of Francis Chan's book, "Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God." If you read it, great. If you didn't, there's still time to join the SCLBC because we won't discuss the next section (chapters 3-5) until Wednesday, January 28th. You can buy the book here at Amazon.com or get it at your local library.
My hope is that this won't be me writing a book review and folks then responding to that book review. I'd rather treat this like a discussion, as if we all got together in someone's living room and just started talking about the book. So let's throw out some questions for each other, be honest about the things we liked, the things we were challenged by, the sections we would challenge etc.
The first chunk of Crazy Love - Pages 1 -52
I'll go first in simple numerical fashion:
1. Did you read the preface and the foreword?
2. I loved that Chan says upfront on page 18, "Don't worry-this isn't another book written to bash churches." I'm pretty tired of the whole "church as a pinata" approach to things.
3. I liked that on page 20, he described his initial church teachings as "incomplete" and not "incorrect." I think about that a lot because I'm afraid that as I mature I'll look back on something I wrote on a blog or a book and say, "Wow, I was really wrong about that." But I think to some degree, the more time we spend with God, the more time we spend in the Bible, the more we mature and hopefully grow passed our initial thoughts.
4. Did you go watch the online videos when the book told you to? I did eventually, but not right away. Sometimes I wasn't near a computer when I was reading it.
5. "God will not be tolerated," a statement on page 28, was really challenging to me.
6. "We don't get to decide who God is," on page 31 rocked me a little. All too often I wake up in the morning and try to dress up God like Mister Potatohead, "OK God, today, you're going to be a super helpful generous God. Here's a wheelbarrow to carry all the gifts you're going to give me." But I don't get to decide who He is.
7. I wanted to side hug the sentence, "Isn’t it a comfort to worship a God we cannot exaggerate?" (Page 31.)
8. I didn't love the soda can/ocean analogy on page 32. I felt like some of the other analogies in the book were a lot stronger.
9. "As much as we want God to explain himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us." (Page 33) Do you ever do that? I do it all the time. "God, why hasn't this job come through yet, why is so and so being such a punk to me, why haven't you rescued me from this situation?" I think it's good to honestly and openly ask God questions, but demanding answers is a whole other thing. What answers do you demand from God?
10. I struggle with worry. I'm getting better at handling stress and worry, but anxiety is still a drug I sometimes try to get high on. Chan's section about worry starting on page 40 was great. From his excuse of "I couldn't really help it that I was the worrying kind" to his thought, "When I am consumed by my problems – stressed out about my life, my family, and my job – I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God's command to always rejoice," I was blown away. Am I the only one that missed that "rejoice" is a command?
11. I liked the movie extra analogy on page 42. I remember sitting on a train going through Italy once and looking out the window at all the villages and people speeding by and thinking, "None of these people know I exist or how important my silly problems and challenges are. Maybe I'm one small person in a much bigger story." Going to the beach always makes me feel like an extra because the grandness of God feels overwhelming there in a good way.
12. I wanted to clap when I read this section on page 45, "If life were stable, I'd never need God's help. Since it's not, I reach out for Him regularly. I am thankful for the unknowns and that I don’t have control, because it makes me run to God." I want to live that way and sometimes I do. But sometimes, I hate the unknowns, and think that if I was a "real Christian," I'd have a better plan for life and would have it all "figured out." Do you ever feel that way or do you embrace the unknowns like Chan?
13. The story of Stan Gerlach on page 46 made me cry, especially the line, "One second he was confessing Jesus; a second later, Jesus was confessing him!"
14. 1 Corinthians 3:15 is a tough verse to swallow: "If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames." I've never thought about the idea that I could lead a quiet Christian life and end up "as one escaping through the flames." Have you?
Those are the things I would say if I were sitting on a flowered hand me down couch in my living room.
Did you like the first two chapters? Was there anything you loved or hated?
Introduce yourself if you don’t mind with your first comment. First name and city, state, country. (If you’re comfortable with that)
I’m Jon and I live in Alpharetta, Georgia which is in the United States.
Let's talk about the book.