I must be the last person in the Christian blogosphere to get around to reading Crazy Love. I promised myself to write a review — probably the last review — of the book when I finished it this week, but I’m sure my words would be lost in the sea of reviews out there; and I really don’t have anything unique to add, other than Crazy Love is certainly worthy of the numbers of people who have read, and are continuing to read the book.
So instead, I’ll post here a profile of the author that appeared a few days ago at my other blog, Christianity 201.
If you keep an eye on bestseller lists, and if there’s an author who has resonated with a whole lot of people at once, for whatever reason, you ought to check out what that author has to say.
It definitely applies to Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love and the more recent Forgotten God. Though published in 2008, it’s at the top of many lists for 2010. A lot of people still don’t know him however, and I think another dimension to an author’s popularity — without embracing celebrity culture, something Chan himself would despise — is to check out other resources that help you to get to know the heart of the author.
Especially if you can see and hear that author speak. What a difference to then be able to read the author’s printed works and hear the author’s voice inside your head as you read or imagine their smile or the spark of passion you see in their eyes. But — and this is important — to also know more background as to where the author is coming from.
If you want to play this out with reference to Francis Chan, there’s a little 4-minute video that really says it all. Again, I’m probably the last person in the Christian blogosphere to refer to this, but in case you haven’t seen it…
Sometimes certain natural giftedness plays out and certain authors and music artists simply work their way up the “success” ladder of Christian influence. However, there are other times that I believe people are justified — even if it can be a little cliché — to say that God has “raised up” certain people with a unique message for our particular place in history. The message of Crazy Love is a message that can never be repeated enough; and Chan brings a fresh treatment that 21st Century readers — along with people who have heard him speak at live events — can connect with.
If you’ve got 55 minutes to invest, here’s a recent message where Francis returned to Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California after seven months away. (If you’re on dial-up or have a slow connection, scroll down to the second link, which is audio only.)
If your time is very limited, after an intimate time of getting re-acquainted with his former congregation, the sermon begins at 16:47. Sort of. But then you’d be missing what it looks like when a pastor is truly in love with his congregation. Maybe you’d do better to only watch the first 17 minutes! Please remember, I’m not posting this because it’s the best Francis Chan sermon out there — though I do think it’s good — I’m posting this because it reveals his heart.
This link below is for people who get frustrated with slower connections and lagging video; it’s simply the audio of the same sermon. Enjoy.