Crazy Love, Overwhelmed by a Relentless God written by Francis Chan is one of those books that a serious and thoughtful Christian cannot read without knowing that their individual sanctification has a lot more upside potential than we had perhaps previously thought. As one who holds to the concept of “progressive sanctification,” which I acknowledge is not universally held within Christendom, this book seems to speak directly to that point, with humbling examples of how out of touch we are with reality when we think we are seriously and consistently walking in the way of Christ in our day to day lives, irrespective of how devoutly we think we live our faith.
All 10 chapters of this book are terrific, and make penetrating points about the outward evidence of our faith. But none are perhaps stronger than chapter 4, titled “Profile of the Lukewarm.” Just a few of the examples of “the lukewarm” are:
Lukewarm People give money to charity and the church…as long as it does not impinge on their standard of living.
Lukewarm People are moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act.
Lukewarm People seldom share their faith with their neighbors, co-workers or friends.
Lukewarm People gauge their morality, or “goodness” by comparing themselves to the secular world.
Lukewarm People love God, but not with all their heart, soul and strength.
Lukewarm People love others but do not seek to love others as much as they love themselves.
Lukewarm People will serve God and others, but there are limits to how far they will go or how much time, money, and energy they are willing to give.
Lukewarm People think about life on earth much more often than eternity in heaven.
Lukewarm People are thankful for their luxuries and comforts, and rarely consider trying to give as much as possible to the poor.
And there are more!
Chan’s chapter titled “Profile of the Obsessed,” as you might expect from its title, is the antidote to being lukewarm. And to the degree that the profile of the lukewarm describes you (me), the less likely you (I) will be able to identify affirmatively with the obsessed.
This book is simultaneously easy and difficult to read. In terms of its size, format and writing style it is very reader friendly, but the content is incredibly convicting, as you might have sensed from the examples cited above. Chan is an engaging person, both in print and in the videos that are referenced in the book and which can be viewed for free on the Internet. I recommend this book without reservation, to any and all readers, especially those who come to it humbly and with a willingness to be called-out, but also encouraged and stirred up. (Heb. 10: 24)