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Amy is co-host and blogger for both Stand Up for the Truth and Naomi's Table, two ministries that give her the opportunity to write and talk about Jesus all day long. She has written, produced and broadcast in the realm of television and radio news, magazine business journals and marketing materials. She continues her freelance work as a writer and social media consultant.

Book Review: Crazy Love

Many of you have asked us about Francis Chan, and we know he sure seems like a nice person. When one examines the fruits or tests the spirit, it should never be based on a person’s good deeds (even our best deeds are rags to God), or their personality or humbleness. It all comes down to this: How does the teacher handle the Word of God? And like a good tree bears good fruit, who are his/her spiritual mentors?

Over at Truth or Trend, Jenna Guerette has prepared a chapter-by-chapter review of Crazy love that tests the spirits and the fruits. Let us know what you think in the comments section.
Flight back to Houston: Crazy Love, Pretzels, ...

Crazy Love/ Francis Chan Book Review (Trend of Austerity)

First of all, I found this book to be a difficult read.  It was written in a choppy manner that left me at some points quite confused.  I agree with Francis on very few ideas.  These include the awesomeness of God, the attributes of God, and the wonders of his creation.  The one or two times that Francis mentions salvation by faith in Christ alone through grace alone is another area that he and I agree.  Although I think that he has doubts about this doctrine which I will explain further.  Sadly, there is little else in this book that would allow me to be in agreement with his ideas.

If I hadn’t ordered this book on my Kindle it would be resting in my garbage can right now.  Francis does not

English: Francis Chan at Catalyst West 2009

Francis Chan

handle scripture rightly and he has such a poor exegesis of major passages that he uses to underpin this book.  He does not give credit to any concordance or Bible commentary in his bibliography and I don’t believe that this is something that was overlooked.  I honestly don’t believe he used these tools.  He also quotes from people who are definitely unsaved as though they are Christians and actually have something to say to God’s people for their edification.  He also esteems highly the works of those who dabble in mysticism, monasticism, and the emergent movement.

Let me start by examining his preface.  Francis believes that “By surrendering yourself totally to God’s purposes, He will bring you the most pleasure in this life and the next.”  He never really explains what pleasure we will receive in this life and I believe that the cost of following Christ results in pain and not pleasure.  The Bible tells us that we will be persecuted. (John 15:18-20)  Francis also wishes for us to become “giving churches” so that we can alleviate the suffering in the world and change the reputation of His bride in America.  First of all the mission of any Christian is to share the gospel and pray that the Holy Spirit will work through us to bring the unsaved into a right relationship with God through Jesus’ atoning work on the cross.  The suffering in the world is a direct result of sin.  Which should we be more concerned about?  The sin or the suffering?  Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost – should we not follow in his footsteps?  As for the reputation of the church in America/Canada, should we be concerned with what the world thinks of us?  I think not.  They will always hate us.

Francis begins his butchering of scripture in Chapter 2.  1 Cor. 10:31 “So whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  This, according to Francis means that you need to get over yourself.  Actually, this verse is discussing Christian liberty.  When it is read in context it is advising Christians not to abuse their liberties to make a brother stumble.  This would bring dishonour to God.  In the next chapter, Francis explains that we are Christ’s inheritance.  He does this using the verse Eph. 1:18  “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened;  that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of His inheritance in the saints.”  Actually, Paul is talking about our inheritance that is ours in Christ.  Not vice versa – this can also be noted in Eph. 1:11 “In Him we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will…”

I would consider chapter four to be one of the most confusing in the entire book.  The lukewarm churchgoers that he describes cannot be believers.  Although he holds them to account for their actions like they are believers.  Throughout this chapter Francis tells us not to assume that we are good soil. ” Now, all those who call themselves believers should test themselves to see that they are in the faith.” (2 Cor. 13:5)  But then he starts a certain line of questioning which seems to approve of works righteousness.  He asks, “Are you satisfied with being godly enough to get yourself to heaven, or to look good in comparison to others?”  Quite frankly this is very strange indeed.  No one is actually godly enough to get to heaven.  Only through repentance and trusting in the atoning sacrifice of Christ can one be saved (the doctrine of imputation).   Any works that we do after we are saved are only through the Holy Spirit working through us to make us more like Christ (the doctrine of sanctification).
In chapter five, he finally clarifies that lukewarm churchgoers are not Christians.  This is the chapter where those who have wealth start taking a beating.  Francis says that “whether we acknowledge our wealth or not, being rich is a serious disadvantage spiritually.”  Really?  That statement puzzles me as there are many devoted followers in the Bible who were wealthy.  Think of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David, and Solomon from the Old Testament.  In the New Testament there is Joseph of Arimathea, Mary and Martha and Lazarus, Philemon, Barnabas, Cornelius, Lydia, and the Ethiopian that Phillip baptizes.  Francis goes on to use a quote from William Wilberforce, “Prosperity hardens the heart.”  Toward what?  I suspect this has to do with the subject of slavery and that many of the wealthy of England were prosperous because of it.  They had hardened their hearts against the atrocities of slavery because their wealth depended on it.
Predictably, Francis goes to the encounter that Jesus has with the rich young ruler (Luke 18 : 22-24)  This young man wanted to inherit eternal life.  Jesus knew that this young man worshipped wealth.  He had money and he loved the money. (Please keep in mind that you can be poor and still love money)  Jesus decided to test him and asked him to sell all that he had and give it to the poor.  Now Jesus is not setting up some new parameters for salvation.  He is not teaching salvation by philanthropy.  He was demanding that the young man give Him first place in his life.  Well the rich young ruler walks away and Jesus makes a statement about how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God (Mark 10:24)  (Keep in mind it is those who trust in riches).  Jesus goes on to say that it is easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.  Here Jesus is highlighting the fact that it is impossible for anyone to be saved by merit.
The Jews believed that a wealthy person could purchase redemption through the giving of alms, sacrifices, and offerings.  Also it was commonly thought at this time that wealth was an indication of God’s approval and therefore the wealthy were the most likely to attain heaven.  Jesus is destroying these beliefs by making it known that salvation is entirely the gracious work of God.  So when the disciples ask Him in Luke 18:26 ” Who then can be saved?”, He answers “The things that are impossible with men are possible with God.”  Jesus is showing that no man merits salvation it is a gift from God.  This verse does not indicate that the wealthy are not able to be saved or that to be wealthy is a sin.

From here Francis takes yet another passage of scripture out of context.  He moves on to Luke 19 and the story of the rich tax collector named Zaccheus.  Francis considers this proof that the impossible has just become possible (Luke 18:27).  A rich man has become saved.  Zaccheus was repentant of his sin.  He had made his wealth through ill-gotten gain and he knew it.  He decided to make amends for his sin by paying back people he had wronged four-fold.  This was the fruit of his conversion and not the condition of his salvation.

Next Francis takes us to Malachi where Israel is apparently offering God leftovers.  In fact Israel has become a wicked nation that hasn’t kept God’s laws and could actually care less about pleasing God.  I would have to call them unbelievers.  Francis goes on to say that God doesn’t want their worship in Malachi 1 because it is leftovers.  No, He doesn’t want their worship because they are unrepentant sinners.  Francis says that God measures our lives by how we love.  Well I would go further than that.  I would say that he would measure our lives by our outward fruit and that indicates our inward condition.  He is able to measure whether or not we are walking in the Spirit by the fruits of the Spirit manifested in us (Gal. 5:22-26).

I am unclear as to whether Francis believes one can lose their salvation.  On one hand he says that you don’t have to work your way to Jesus but on the other hand he says “that pursuing Christ is like swimming upstream.  When we stop swimming or actively following Him we automatically begin to be swept downstream.”    Well, I praise God that He holds out a hand through the power of the Holy Spirit for us to hold onto or under that theology all of us would be swept downstream.  At this point Francis throws in a quote for our edification.

This quote is presumably from a believer – right?  Wrong!  It is from Henri Nouwen who was a Roman Catholic priest.  Not only that he was into mysticism and was a homosexual.
Near the end of this chapter, Francis says that Jesus said that the road is narrow and few will actually find it.  This is true.  But then he drops the bombshell that even fewer of these people on the narrow way will be rich.  Huh?  What does wealth have to do with it?  Then just when he has you totally confused he throws in a little fear and doubt.  He ends the chapter by saying “don’t assume you are the good soil;  don’t assume you are one of the few on the narrow way.”  Yikes!  Sounds ominous and really could make a true believer doubt their salvation.  Francis seems to think that when it comes to being a Christian it’s best to never assure anyone that they are in the faith.
On to chapter six where Francis takes yet another passage of scripture out of context.  We return to Malachi.  This time it is Chapter 3:10.  God invites His people , the Israelites, to test Him.  If they will honour Him by giving Him that which is due in a show of true repentance then he will shower them with abundance, protect them from locusts and they would be the delight of the nations.  He was allowing them to test Him – a one time offer.  This was not setting a precedent for us.  In fact in Luke 3:12 Jesus is being tempted by Satan and says “It is said, You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”
Now Francis decides to open an invitation for calamity.  He says “If you really want to experience God’s supernatural provision, then do as He says.  Test Him.  Give more than you can manage, and see how He responds.”  Huh?  What if He has already given us supernatural provision?  Our homes, our jobs, our material possessions, – our very lives!!   I guess this isn’t enough – now we have to test Him.  What about being thankful for the provisions we already have and being a good steward with what we’ve been given.(Luke 16:10-12)
In chapter seven Francis decides to expound Matthew 25:42-43, 45.  This passage is talking about the final judgment where the wicked are told that even though they had the means they did nothing to help the least of Christ’s followers.  These wicked people are unrepentant sinners who never knew Christ and rejected His calling.  Next Francis turns to 1 John 3 : 16-20.  These verses talk about what true love is and that it is about sacrificial giving to another Christian’s needs and helping those who need it.  This is appropriate.  But then he goes to Luke 12:33 where Jesus says to “Sell your possessions and give to the needy…” Believers in the early church did sell their possessions to help the poorer brethren.  But this verse should not be taken as a prohibition against all earthly possessions.  Peter’s words to Ananias in Acts 5:4 make it clear that the selling of one’s possessions is optional.

Further in the chapter, Francis encourages us to “trust Him (God) so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.  Once again he is inviting us to test God.  He extols a man who gave his house to the church and moved back into his parent’s home.  He also praises a friend who upon losing his job gave more to God rather than less.  But what if some well meaning Christian disposes of all his worldly goods and is in financial trouble?  He can’t pay his creditors and claims bankruptcy.  What kind of witness is this?  Francis wants us to look at ourselves to determine what a life wholly surrendered to God would look like.  Apparently serving in the Church, working faithfully at a job, raising a family, being a godly spouse, a faithful steward of our possessions, a giver of time, money etc. isn’t radical enough for Francis.  Why do I say this?   Because the stories of the people he celebrates in the next chapter do not describe the average working “Joe Christian”.  You know the ones that actually support the missionaries that he mentions.  The ones that make their ministry possible.

Chapter nine contains the stories of people that Francis feels are living radically enough for his tastes.  This includes the dubious story of a man named “Rings”.  Apparently, Rings is a chain-smoker who lives in the cab of his pick-up in downtown Ocean Beach, California.  He receives a monthly check (from the government?)  which he uses to make meals for his fellow homeless buddies.  Francis says, “He tells them that God is the One who told him to feed others with his money,(Rings is receiving personal revelation) and it’s because God loves each of them.”  Francis goes on to say, “This man gives everything he has to others – literally everything – because he knows he has nothing that wasn’t given to him by God.”  I would venture to disagree as “Rings” definitely keeps back some smokes money.  Also, if this is a welfare cheque than the American people are actually the ones giving the money.  If “Rings” doesn’t earn it, than he’s not really sacrificing a thing.

Another person that Francis extols is a man by the name of Shane Claiborne.  He’s been described an a dreadlocked Mother Theresa.  He wrote a book called the “Irresistible Revolution”  and has founded a group of new monks called the Simple Way.  It is a form of new monasticism.  As you can guess, Shane gives away just about everything he has.  Not only that, Shane is a huge supporter of mysticism.  His mentor is Tony Campolo. Shane believes that just because someone might experience God a different way i.e. Islam, doesn’t mean that they are going to Hell.  By the way, that book that he wrote was co-authored by a man named Jonathan Wilson – Hartgrove.  Jonathan is a leader in the new monastic movement and was a speaker at the Wild Goose Festival in North Carolina earlier this year.  At this festival there was music, yoga, liberal talks and the embracing of gays and lesbians.

Francis kicks off  chapter 10 with a witty quote from Annie Dillard.  Annie Dillard is an award winning author who has used Hinduism, Buddhism and even Eskimo religions in her writings. She says she either has no religion or many religions.  Definitely not saved. Also in chapter 10, Francis puts selling possessions on par with baptism, repentance, and sharing the gospel.  Francis says:  “After the apostle Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, people were cut to the heart and said … ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’” (Act 2:37)  The first church responded with immediate action: repentance, baptism, selling possessions, sharing the gospel.  But the people were actually cut to heart regarding their sin.  Peter answered their question (what shall we do?) by saying that they must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus. (Acts 2:38)  Later on in the chapter (Acts 2: 44,45)  do the people sell their possessions to assist the poorer brethren.   The text further indicates that they did not sell their principal residences but sold extra land and possessions.  They gave what was feasible and didn’t leave themselves destitute.

Francis doesn’t really give any clear direction as to where the average Christian is supposed to go from here. I’m left with the question “What’s radical enough for Francis?”  Obviously, the average Christian life is not godly enough for him.  He seems to promote works righteousness and esteems the giving of possessions above all else.  Even to the point of praising people that do not believe in the true gospel e.g. Shane Claiborne.  He also quotes unbelievers, including a homosexual.  I speculate that Francis is in a state of spiritual crisis where he isn’t really sure what he believes.  Unfortunately, he is trying to bring true believers down with him.  I encourage all believers to rest in the doctrine of imputation.  This sets us apart from other religions who rely on works for salvation.  Working in the local church, being a faithful steward of your money, sharing the gospel with others, raising godly children, loving your spouse, and honouring God in all you do is radical and crazy enough.
The Resources I used are as follows:

Crazy Love by author Francis Chan, The NKJV John MacArthur Bible, The ESV Bible, and The Big Book of Bible Difficulties by authors Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe.

 

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17 Responses to “Book Review: Crazy Love”

  1. Denise P #

    Thank you for your honest and thorough review of Francis Chan's "Crazy Love." I started to read this last year and could not get through more than a couple chapters. I was profoundly affected by the fact that Francis cheapens God's sacrifice by making it seem that works will get you to heaven. You made me realize that the Holy Spirit was talking to me and telling me to not pollute my mind any further with his crazy talk. I am so saddened that I continue to see Christians who become swept away by false gospels…they are not allowing the Spirit to guide them and are falling for heresy.

    May 11, 2013 at 3:30 AM Reply
  2. Christine #

    I've always been wary of Francis Chan…just could never put my finger on the reason why… So, thank you for this.

    May 11, 2013 at 4:51 AM Reply
  3. Zach #

    It has been a while since I read Francis Chan's "Crazy Love," and while I typically enjoy, if not agree with, what I read on this website (why else would I be here?), I disagree with much of this post.

    For starters, the thought that following Christ results ONLY in pain as suggested at the top of your post is ridiculous. Yes, Christians will surely suffer, but what of James 1:2-4, 2 Corinthians 12:10, Philippians 4:4, Romans 5:3, Romans 15:13, and countless other Bible verses that speak to the hope, joy, peace, and comfort that we have through Christ during our sufferings? Are hope, joy, peace, and comfort through Christ not pleasureful to the saved?

    You then proceed to criticize Chan for his belief that the church should be a "giving church." How do we show love if we are unwilling to serve? Yes, suffering is a result of sin, yes we ought to be concerned with sin, but like in the account of James 2 and his explanation of dead faith, will we be so self-righteous to preach the gospel to the desperate and needy without meeting their physical needs that God has given us the means to meet? Also, the work of God through Jesus is for the redemption of the whole world, so is it not reasonable to believe that the Spirit-led body of Christ will strive to alleviate suffering in the world? We must love God and also love our neighbor. Yes, preaching the Gospel is an exceedingly loving thing, but as you frequently address, what about being good stewards of what we have been given and blessed with? Rather than buying a nice house, nice car, and a big screen TV, we ought to give to the needy and trust God to continue comforting us whether or not we have these nice things. What if we trusted God to continually provide for us?

    I cannot speak to the proper exegesis of Scripture because I do not have the time to look through every reference to Scripture in his book, decide how he uses it, then cross-check it contextually.

    You then proceed to criticize him over his criticism of lukewarm Christians and misinterpret his words in the same manner you criticize him for muddling the Bible. You choose to point out the fault in his reasoning that none are godly enough to get themselves to heaven, but that seems to be the precise statement he is making. You're arguing against him for the sake of your post, but in reality you are making the same statement.

    I will skip ahead in your post to one more point you make. How dare Francis Chan quote a non-Christian? Well. Francis Chan supplements the quote with the infallible Word of God to give the reader further understanding. You fail to mention that.

    Bearing this in mind, what is your opinion of Paul? In Acts 17:28 he presumably quotes two well-known philosophers of the time that are historically not Christians (This information is provided by the ESV Bible published by Crossway in 2007).

    I could continue, but I must be getting on with my day. I have one final point to be made in regards to your logic. You say that "working in the local church, being a faithful steward of your money, sharing the gospel with others, raising godly children, loving your spouse, and honouring God in all you do is radical and crazy enough." Where is the suffering in that? You believe that the Christian is called to suffering, yet this seems to be a Christianized version of the American Dream; get ahead, be prosperous, and play your part without jeopardizing comfort.

    We must be vigilant and guard ourselves against the wolves that would lead us astray, but we also must be careful not to demonize and cut off our own members in the Body of Christ.

    May 11, 2013 at 6:48 AM Reply
    • Jenna Guerette #

      The pain I was referring to in my blog is one of rejection. That is to be rejected and persecuted for your faith. This will occur if you live out the life that God has placed you in. I have experienced this in my own life as I live out my ordinary life. Family members and friends will reject you for your faith.
      As for the quoting of non-christians – why? What do they have to offer? Is he endorsing their teachings? What do they clarify?
      His statement about – Are you content with being godly enough to get to heaven? This is weird. It goes along with his guilt laden balance beam video. He consistently lays guilt on born again Christians in this book. He tells us never to assume that you are on the narrow road.
      Any teacher, author, or speaker should be able to stand up to scrutiny. Francis Chan doesn't stand up to my scrutiny. His conference choices since he authored this book – leave me baffled.
      Lastly, who does support all these missionaries and charities. It is the faithful Christian living his life. I'm not talking about a Sunday Christian. I'm talking about one who is faithfully evangelizing, raising his/her family in the Lord,supporting their local church and working at a job. Living out the Christian life will bring pain – the pain of rejection.

      May 11, 2013 at 10:31 AM Reply
    • tjm #

      Thank you for this. I am reading the book right now and have found nothing that seems unbiblical to me. I feel that this review is incredibly overly critical. Stand up for the truth has been such a blessing and challenge for me and I feel that every time they take a stand they do it in love and truth. I fell this review was not out of love and truth but just looking to criticize and pick apart Francis Chan. I have no doubt that he is a believer and seeks God's truth. In this day and age we need to be incredibly discerning over what we listen to and read in the Christian culture but this is going overboard if you ask me.

      May 14, 2013 at 4:17 AM Reply
      • Rose #

        No one is saying Chan is not a true Christian, but even true Christians can be led away into heretical teachings and then lead others into them. We are to confront these teachers and call them back to the Biblical gospel.

        I just listened to a program Brannon Howse did yesterday with Mike Gendron. Mike is a former Catholic who now has a ministry to help Catholics get saved and come out of an apostate church system which teaches salvation by grace plus works. Mike was asked by Chan to speak at his church back in 2003. Mike always presents the truth in a very humble, loving way with a great deal of compassion for his audience. There were Catholics from the media who attended the conference. After Mike's presentation, he offered to take questions. Chan got up and said there would be no question and answer session and that he wanted all in attendance to know that he totally disagreed with everything Mike had just presented. That was very odd, since Mike presented the gospel of Christ very clearly, lovingly and was willing to take questions and engage the hearers. Chan cut him off and told the audience it was unloving to insinuate that Catholics are not Christians. Chan is a believer and promoter of ecumenicalism…at least as far as Catholics are concerned.

        Chan also recently spoke at Rick Warren's church and was overflowing with words of praise and admiration for him. Now, I am not saying that Warren is not a true believer either. But, his methods of appealing to people through their flesh to get them into church has weakened and watered down the gospel message so that we now have many attending churches who are not truly born again. The seeker sensitive, purpose driven movement has done much harm to the cause of Christ… to churches and to whole denominations who are now following after these unbiblical ‘method’s devised by men. Also, Warren has enthusiastically promoted ecumenicalism (bringing all faiths together) and contemplative spirituality which is nothing more than New Age mysticism repackaged to make it appear ‘Christian’.

        The program with Brannon Howse and Mike Gendron discussing the problems with Chan can be listened to at worldviewweekend.com/weekend-radio.

        May 14, 2013 at 8:46 AM Reply
        • I did refer to the Gendron incident in my post from Friday – also read what I had to say about the Eucharistic event he spoke at in Dublin. Catholic? Of course, it was Ireland. I don't think there are too few red flags on Chan. Everyone do your homework and quit following humans – follow Jesus, the only Perfect One.

          May 14, 2013 at 8:50 AM Reply
          • Rose #

            Sorry, Mary. I did not read your post until after I posted mine. It was so shameful how Chan treated Gendron that day.

            I wasn't aware of the Eucharistic event Chan participated in. As a former Catholic, I am appalled when I see Evangelical Christians wanting to take part in Catholic rituals, especially the Eurcharist which I now consider blasphemous. How I could I have believed the host is the actual body and blood of Christ? I even bowed down to it. It is totally contrary to what the Scripture teaches. I came out of that false system of legalistic bondage and I cannot for the life of me understand born again Christians wanting to embrace any part of it. I am so glad to be free of it all. What troubles me most is that, while these Evangelicals embrace Catholic as believers, the true gospel is never preached to them. If they don't hear the truth, they will continue in darkness. Chan is so concerned about feeding the poor and allievating suffering in this world. What about millions of unsaved Catholics who will spend eternity in hell? It is a huge neglected mission field. Mike Gendron is one of few who has a heart for Catholics, caring enough about them to risk offending them with the truth of the gospel. They need to hear it!!!

            May 14, 2013 at 4:16 PM
          • excellent, superb points.

            May 15, 2013 at 4:01 AM
    • Rose #

      Challenging Christians to give more, to put feet to their faith by helping others is fine. The problem is when a line is crossed into legalism…loading people down with guilt, making them feel they are not good Christians if they do not sell all they own to give to the poor and do tons of sacrifical good works to change the world. We should all do more. Of course! But doing more will not make us more acceptable to God nor will it wipe out poverty and suffering. We each need to examine our own consciences, pray and seek the Lord on what He would have us do….maybe more, maybe, in some cases, less if our good works to the community (and world) are causing us to neglect our primary responsbilities to our families and especially the rearing of our children

      I am very troubled by Chan's reference to contemplatives such as Nouwen and Claiborne and by his lack of discernment regarding the apostacy of the Roman Catholic Church…which coincidentally teaches works righteousness and promotes the social gospel.

      May 14, 2013 at 3:55 PM Reply
    • D #

      Zach- I tend to agree with you on several points here. I fear there may have been some "throwing-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater" here in this post, unfortunately.

      Most of all, I'm very disturbed to see an author on this website who appears to quarrels with the call to live Godly and continually apply rigorous self-examination to ourselves. We're told that the "Grace of God appeared, teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age" (Titus 2:12), just as we're commanded to examine ourselves to see if we're in the faith (2nd Cor. 13:5); above all, we're called to sanctification and holiness, of which, if anyone rejects these, he rejects God (1st Thessalonians 4:1-8).

      Perhaps it is likely that this isn't the authors intention, but in trying to find something wrong with Francis Chan, I think she has caught some sound Biblical doctrines in the cross fire.

      I'd like to exhort my brethren to always remember the things that we were taught from the beginning (1st John 1:5-2:2) and not to forget out call to be Holy, as He is holy (1st Peter 1:15). We must speak and write clearly in such a way that we do not diminish or destroy any doctrines in the way we combat those we believe to be false teachers. I believe that most in the emergent movements are, indeed, false teachers, but over the last 3 years I've been praying for Francis Chan specifically because I've seen something in him that is unique from the others, and for a while, he had begun "coming out", though it appears that he is settling back in among them now.

      As to the book, this author knows more than I because I have not read the book, although, her criticisms of the book, such as Francis Chan not citing enough "works of men" appear to be poor criticisms.

      May 15, 2013 at 2:37 PM Reply
    • Kimm #

      wow. i cannot believe what I am reading. Francis speaks truth and is OUTRAGEOUSLY biblical. The problem I see with the critics of his writing is this. You take what you want and leave the rest. Francis lives Christ, not just preaches him. Would you be willing, if you wrote a multi million dollar best selling book to give the rights to that away so that you don't become tempted by greed? I doubt it. Have you sat and listened to this man? I doubt it. He is as real of a God fearing man as thy come and I pray to be able to have the fruit in my own life that this man reveals in his own.

      April 15, 2014 at 10:51 AM Reply
  4. It is a good review. Yes, Chan is a social justice Christian and their gospel is works plus guilt. Chan is slippery for sure, but he is also a Catholic apologist for sure. When Mike Gendron spoke at his church about Catholicism, Chan got up afterward and apologized for what Mike taught, which was the errors of the Catholic gospel. Chan had invited him! Why, I ask myself.

    Chan also spoke at the Dublin Int'l Eucharistic Congress last Summer. He speaks at all the big emergent/seeker/church planting conferences. Chan is yet another in a long line of evangelical posers. The church has to stop believing that everyone who calls themselves an evangelical born again believer actually IS one.

    May 11, 2013 at 1:10 PM Reply
  5. L C #

    I agree 100% with the Author of this page. Chan is a False Teacher and is leading many away from the truth of scripture…..He twists it and doesnt understand it at all. If people can't discern his ways, then they should ask God for some wisdom and discerment.

    September 25, 2013 at 10:13 PM Reply
  6. lynn #

    Finally! Thank you! This review is spot on. I belive Chan is saved and has many good things to offer overall but this book has caused many people that I know and love to do foolish things in order to prove their christianity, love for others, love for God. Jesus already set the bar so high we can not reach it. And that is the point. He reached it for us. Should Christians be examples of sacrificial giving and intentional love? Of course, but are we still sinners? Yes, and frankly there are non Christians who live better moral lives than some who are saved. That's just the way it is. All people have the imprint of God in them allowing them to do good, be moral etc. And we live in a sinful world where saved people sin like the non saved. The DIFFERENCE is that we are forgiven, saved by GRACE. His righteousness is now ours. We don't have to do anything but say yes to Jesus. Chan's is a dangerous slippery slope where we can never do enough or be enough.

    November 22, 2013 at 8:40 AM Reply
  7. Hannah #

    Firstly, thankyou Jenna for the wholehearted and genuine way you have gone about researching this book, but more importantly comparing it to what the Bible says, which is really what matters.

    However, I don't think that the aim of Chan's writing was to guilt people into a legalistic and religious way of Christian living, or threaten salvation by works alone. Rather, I think he was trying to challenge people's way of thinking that salvation and spending eternity with God is the sole focus, and that as long as we scrape into heaven, then that's the most important thing. If someone wants to truly read the Scriptures and be guided by the Holy Spirit and genuinely follow Jesus, I believe there are two main things that are made clear:
    1. Salvation can only be achieved by God's grace and the sacrifice of Jesus. (Isaiah 64:6, John 3:16 etc!)
    2. HOWEVER the focus of Jesus' teaching alot of the time was not on our salvation or eternal destiny but HOW we live out our life (John 8:1-11, Mark 12:41-44, James 1:27, Matthew 13:44-46, Luke 14:12-14)-I would challenge you to read the book of James and consider its focus on the value of faith AND works . Undoubtedly in the scriptures our salvation is secured not by our works, but by faith alone, (and thank goodness that Jesus has won the victory!) however James states that faith without works is dead. Therefore, could it be questioned that if your faith does not overflow into works, your faith is not genuine in the first place and has not in fact secured your salvation? I do not know the answer to that myself, but it is a good thing to ponder! I believe that you cannot in fact have faith in Jesus and truly be a follower of Him without works-Jesus himself promised that His followers would in fact do greater things than Him!

    In closing, while reading your article I was really challenged about this thought: although I think it is very important, in fact vital, to call to attention false teachings occuring within the body of Christ (which I assume you have done here…) what would happen if instead of spending time on all the things we thought were wrong, we poured our passion, time, energy, prayer, fasting, and heart into what was right?? Too often I feel we are quick to drag someone else down, while not standing up ourselves and taking action for the true evils in this life-instead of debating a book, taking action for the millions of people who have not even HEARD the name of Jesus, the countless children being hurt physically and emotionally, sexual abuse victims, families who are hurting, cold and hungry; this life is too short and there is too much evil in this world to not live radically-Jesus said to FOLLOW HIM.

    Regardless of what this book says or doesn't say, what is paramount is that we all read what God's word says, and what Jesus did, and follow that. I would argue that the life of Jesus and his disciples was more radical, more sacrificial, more demanding, more painful and more passionate than anything Chan described in his book! To be honest, I think your last comment about "being radical enough" was a little spiteful, and I think our focus should more be on how radical Jesus was and how being His follower means to follow Him wholeheartedly and at any cost.

    December 22, 2013 at 10:31 PM Reply
  8. Angela #

    Many imposters have come and are among us pretending to be christians but are only deceivers. Chan, WARREN ARE JUST SOME OF THEM. Beware and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance please. Be strong and lets be on our guard Always in season and out of season.

    March 28, 2014 at 4:18 PM Reply

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