Has anyone read the book Crazy Love or done the study? What do you think of it?
Has anyone read the book Crazy Love or done the study? What do you think of it?
Last edited by carolina_guy; February 11th, 2010 at 09:35 AM.
On another board I'm on, their chapel Bible study is starting that. She says it sounds interesting
A friend read an excerpt from the first chapter at our Bible study last week. It was great as it spoke of the magnificence of God in the creation. He's gonna let me borrow it when he's finished.
Here's a sample chapter and the Table of Contents:
http://www.crazylovebook.com/CrazyLove-TOC.pdf (Chapter 1 isn't what you think, and Chapter 7 is titled "Your Best Life....Later" )
http://www.crazylovebook.com/CrazyLo...pterSample.pdf (includes Foreword, Preface, and Chapter 1 - Stop Praying).
I haven't read it yet so don't hold me to the fire.
Sorry...I don't know much about Crazy Love.
Stay away from his stuff. Crazy stuff! Do a search on www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com Should have something on him.
Last edited by m2pinggggggg; January 12th, 2010 at 09:10 PM. Reason: add
I haven't been able to find anything on Chan at lighthouse or at apprising. I googled "francis chan emergent" and have come up with several sources, including the following book review. i haven't seen anything yet that convinces me he's an emergent. Not saying he's not (Brother Ping ), but I would like to see evidence of this.
There are many voices critiquing the North American church today. The voices come from both within and without; from those who love the church and those who hate it. We all know that there is something wrong. But what? In many cases the prescription is the same while the cure varies widely. In his new book Crazy Love, first-time author Francis Chan, pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California, regular speaker at Passion conferences and other events, and the guy who recorded that “Just Stop and Think” evangelistic video where he walks for miles holding a surfboard, takes his opportunity to challenge the church. “This book,” he says, “is written for those who want more Jesus. It is for those who are bored with what American Christianity offers. It is for those who don’t want to plateau, who would rather die before their convictions do.” It is a book that is meant to change the way Christians live their lives.
There are two ways of critiquing the church. We can critique out of love or out of disgust. Chan is committed to critiquing the church as an act of love. In a recent interview, when asked about the emergent church, he said this: “As a pastor I hear a lot of emergent leaders talk about what is wrong with the church. It comes across as someone who doesn’t love the church. I’m a pastor first and foremost, and I’m trying to offer a solution or a model of what church should look like. I’m going back to scripture and seeing what the church was in its simplest form and trying to recreate that in my own church. I’m not coming up with anything new. I’m calling people to go back to the way it was. I’m not bashing the church. I’m loving it.” And his love for the church is obvious throughout this book.
The format of Crazy Love is straightforward and effective. Chan dedicates three chapters to renewing our understanding of the character of God and seven chapters calling Christians to examine themselves. Within the book are two ongoing themes that are going to get people talking.
The first theme is that we must painstakingly examine ourselves. We cannot assume we are saved, or to use the biblical metaphor, we cannot assume that we are the good soil. Chan calls the reader to a serious self-inventory through a chapter that provides a profile of the lukewarm. He concludes, “a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there’s no such thing. To put it plainly, churchgoers who are ‘lukewarm’ are not Christians. We will not see them in heaven.” God wants all or nothing.
The second theme is deeply counter-cultural, going against the stream of both Christian and secular culture. It is this: live your best life later. Chan wants to see Christians living differently—living in a way that is markedly different from those around them. He wants to see Christians forgoing much of what we consider necessary, what we consider our due, in order to focus on treasures that are eternal. He wants us to get outside the realm of what is comfortable to us and focus instead on radical obedience. “God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.”
These two themes and a focus on the Scriptures serve to create a powerful and deeply challenging book. There is a very obvious commitment here to teach Scriptural principles from the Scriptures and to invite the reader to verify what he is writing from those same Scriptures. Not surprisingly, the book’s weakest chapter is the one that depends least on the Bible. It is a chapter providing examples of men and women who have made radical choices to live radically different. At least a couple of examples are of people who are probably not the best examples overall because as they’ve jettisoned their old lives, they’ve also jettisoned too much good theology.
That small critique aside, I found that this is a paradigm-shaking book with a message that Christians desperately need to hear. Too many of us are living too safely and too easily. But for the brief moments we spend at church each week, we are practically indistinguishable from the unbelievers around us. This is not the way it is meant to be. The church could use a loving exhortation and Chan delivers well.
Last edited by Buzzardhut; February 11th, 2010 at 05:17 PM.
Well he certainly seems to hang out with Emergent types. Here's a link to Catalyst, a seemingly emergent-friendly (at the least) website. This is a link to some of his writings:
Rob Bell is there: http://www.catalystspace.com/content...mary_rob_bell/
Here's "About" Catalyst:
more on Emergent and Catalyst: http://www.catalystspace.com/search/...e0fab9f2efaa7/About Us
The Genesis of Catalyst
Catalyst was conceived as a Next Generation Leaders Conference in 1999 by Andy Stanley, Reggie Joiner, John Maxwell, Lanny Donoho and several young leaders. Catalyst was created to meet the felt need that existed within the church leader space for a leadership event that was focused on a new generation of church leaders. Everything within this space seemed built around a forty to sixty year old mindset and medium. This team was convinced that this needed to change.
Catalyst was able to meet that demand by creating a conference specifically focused on leaders under the age of 40. In October of 2000 in Atlanta, GA, partnering with North Point Community Church, Catalyst convened 1500 church leaders for this inaugural experience. With a unique approach to programming and learning, defined by a fun, dynamic attendee experience, leaders were personally challenged to become "change agents" within their organizations, churches and communities.
Since inception, over 90,000 leaders have made the annual trek to Atlanta to participate in the Catalyst Conference experience, and this October, once again over 10,000 young leaders will gather to experience Catalyst up close. More recently, Catalyst launched the first ever West Coast experience in Orange County, CA with 3,000 leaders in attendance.
Leadership has been the topic of focus for the Catalyst brand since inception and will continue to be so. Catalyst and the annual Conferences provide a wide cover for addressing a variety of topics specific to Next Generation Leaders, including organizational leadership, personal leadership, integrity, character, relationships, and teamwork, among others. Over the last nine years, Catalyst has grown in influence and reach, now offering two annual events on the East and West coast, regional One Day events, multiple resources, a dedicated online magazine, online community, the Filter content program, a bi-weekly podcast, and many other tools for young leaders. Catalyst has only just begun to go deeper with the Catalyst Community in taking them beyond a conference experience and into a relationship that provides ongoing support for growth and continued learning.
Note: This doesn't mean Chan is a full-blooded Emergent like the leading apostates, but it's clear he's associated with them. Seems missional to me, but still preaches the Gospel?
his church: http://www.cornerstonesimi.com/
I'm gonna pick this book up myself and read it. While his associations may be questionable, it could be a matter of baby and bathwater. The Gospel is clearly defined above. Nothing emergent about it.The Bible is the inspired, inerrant and authoritative Word of God for the Christian faith
and living. (The Bible)
That there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
(God the Father)
In the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His vicarious and atoning death, His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of the Father and His personal return in power and glory. (God the Son)
In the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling every Christian is able to live a godly life. (God the Holy Spirit)
That all people are lost sinners and must turn to Christ in saving faith and repentance for
regeneration by the Holy Spirit. (Salvation)
In the resurrection of both those who believe in Jesus and those who do not believe: those believing to eternal life with Christ and those unbelieving to eternal punishment in hell.
Unless I missed something from the quick read, he's firm on the Gospel:
What is Community?
Please watch our Community Video.
“What is community?” This question keeps coming up as we discuss God’s calling for
his church. It makes sense that people are asking this question. When we talk about “church” we tend to use words related to buildings and programs rather than people and relationships. But if we are going to speak rightly about the church, we must begin by talking about people and about relationships—with God and with one another. The best way to understand the church is to view it in terms of community.
We interact with a number of different communities every day. Our kids go to an educational community called school. Many people are involved in commerce communities called work. We live in communities we call neighborhoods. These pockets of individuals are marked with characteristics and interests as diverse as the people that form them, but what makes each of these communities important are the people and the purpose for which they gather. Remove the purpose or the people and suddenly the community has no point or no substance. The community at Cornerstone is no different, and if those essential elements are removed, we might as well disband. Therefore, it is important to begin by stating that our goal as a church—as a distinct community of people—is to be about one thing: the gospel of Jesus Christ
(1 Cor. 15:1-11).What is the Gospel?
Watch Just Stop and Think.
In short, the Gospel is the mind-blowing news that Jesus Christ died for sins and rose again, forever victorious over each and every enemy that stood between God and His chief creation: man. Now, because
of this amazing work, there is nothing that separates those who believe from their Creator and all the joy that He promises.
In order to fully understand what the Gospel is, however, it is important to understand why the Gospel
God's Magnificent Design
God decided in eternity past to begin creating the world with the intent to reveal His glory (Ps. 19:1).
Every piece and part of creation was designed to unveil God's fame. God then designed mankind uniquely
to be His image bearers (Gen. 1:26-28), and gave them the special privilege of reflecting His attributes
(e.g. His love, kindness, gentleness, forgiveness, justice, etc.) in the world.
Mankind's Terrible Decision
Beginning with Adam, mankind quickly veered off of God's designed course (Gen. 3:1-24; Rom. 5:12)
and chose the path of rebellion, sin, and death. Later, God created the nation Israel to be His chosen and treasured people so that they would be a blessing to the nations (Gen. 12:1-3; Deut. 7:6-11), but they too chose to rebel against God. The judges, the kings, and the prophets all failed to steer Israel back to God's intended course of revealing His glory.
God’s Amazing Solution
Jesus Christ, God in flesh, came to do what people are completely unable to do. Only through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are the redemption of man and the restoration of creation made possible. Jesus is our SAVIOR (He saved us from God’s eternal wrath); Jesus is our LORD (He is the master whom we love and serve); Jesus is our KING (He is the victorious king that is establishing His kingdom and overthrowing the kingdom of darkness).
The Gospel Summarized
Christians look to Jesus Christ alone for their salvation (Acts 4:12). They recognize that their sinfulness and rebellion has separated them from a perfect and holy God (Rom. 3:23). They believe that Jesus Christ, who was fully God, came as a man (Phil. 2:6-8), lived a perfect life (1 Pet. 2:22-23), offered His body as an unblemished sacrifice for our sins (Rom. 5:8-10), bore the full weight of the Father's wrath (1 John 4:8-10)
and victoriously conquered death through His resurrection (1 Cor. 15:1-11).What is Gospel Community?
Referring to Cornerstone as a “gospel community” is an important distinction. We are not a gathering of people
in a general sense, but a community that is about knowing, loving, enjoying, and proclaiming Jesus Christ.
From the very first gathering of this group of people in Simi Valley, Cornerstone has believed this amazing message of Christ’s work on the cross and has sought to make it the fabric of the church.
Understanding the gospel involves more than affirming a set of propositional truths. The gospel radically transforms lives. It calls us to live lives that are empowered by the Holy Spirit—not as wandering mavericks,
but as members of a community that is transformed by the gospel and driven by God’s gospel purposes.
Our task in living together as a gospel community is to accurately portray the heart and the glory of God
(Matt. 5:16; Phil. 1:27; 1 Thess. 1:5; 1 Pet. 2:4ff).What is the Purpose?
We have come to understand that God didn’t primarily leave us on this planet to improve our understanding of God, huddle people into groups, create more effective worship services, etc. Those are merely means God uses towards a much greater end. God left His precious church in this world so that followers of Christ might be made through the vehicle and power of the gospel for the purpose of drawing near to and worshipping the one who matters most: God (Matt. 22:36; 28:18-20; Heb. 10:19ff).
Out of this nearness to and love for God will come a group of people who have developed a heart for
what He loves most. God’s heart is set on pursuing His glory, empowering His people, and reaching out to the broken and lost in this world. As the people of God, the church must be about reflecting God’s love in reaching out to the hurting world around us, calling them to become followers of Jesus (1 Pet. 2:4ff). The day you decided to follow Jesus—whether you understood it completely or not—you committed yourself to His mission. To say it another way, you became a missionary. God has saved you in order to make you a missionary to your neighbors, whom you are called to love as yourself (Matt. 22:39).Gospel in Neighborhoods
Jesus was clear that anyone we come in contact with is our neighbor. We must be looking for ways to love
and serve the people around us. So while “neighbor” is a broad term, the best place to begin is with your literal neighbors: the people who live in your neighborhood. This is the most effective place to love your neighbor as yourself—including both the believers and unbelievers who live near you. Within their neighborhoods, believers ought to gather to encourage one another to remain focused on the goal and mission of God. They are there to
call one another to a life in which the gospel can be accurately displayed through both word and deed. They are
to serve one another in such a way that unbelievers in that neighborhood will see and hear them reflecting God. By practically living as a gospel community in our neighborhoods, we allow the unbelievers around us to under-stand the truth and impact of the gospel and to respond in love and worship to God. It is in our neighborhoods that our love for God and for His purposes ought to become evident and increase as we live out the life-changing truths of the gospel.
Last edited by Buzzardhut; February 11th, 2010 at 05:19 PM.
I haven't read all of the book yet but they say they have gotten these ideas from Chan's book. I guess I'll have to just do a fast read and see what I can figure out. Thanks for all the input.
the church blog has some info on Way of the Master for what it's worth.
A Gathering Force by Francis Chan
January 14, 2009 by tsfgodguy
A Gathering Force
By Francis Chan
Is there any logic in believing that God started His Church as a Spirit-filled, loving body with the intention that it would evolve into entertaining, hour-long services? Was he hoping that one day people would be attracted to the Church not because they care for one another, not because they are devoted to Him, not because the supernatural occurs in their midst, but because of good music and entertainment?
Try to imagine what conclusions you would come to if you had no prior church experience. The things in church services might make sense to the American church-attendee, but they don’t make sense biblically.
Picture yourself on an island with only a Bible. You’ve never been to a church-you’ve never even heard of one. The only ideas you have about church are what you’ve read in your Bible. Then you enter a building labeled “church” for the first time. What would you expect to experience as you entered that building? Now compare that to what you actually experience when you attend church.
A while back, an ex-gang member got baptized at our church. He fell in love with Jesus and turned from his old lifestyle. But after several months at the church, he stopped attending. When we asked him why he stopped attending, he answered: “I had the wrong idea of what church was going to be like. When I joined the church, I thought it was going to be like joining a gang. You see, in the gangs we weren’t just nice to each other once a week-we were family.”
That killed me because I knew that what he expected is what the church was intended to be. It saddened me because I realized that the gangs paint a better picture of loyalty and family than the local church body does.
But what if the church looked like this?
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47)
That describes what the ex-gang member was looking for. It describes what the world is waiting for. I used to look at this passage as something that was wonderful but could never happen in the twenty-first century. There are just too many cultural obstacles for the Holy Spirit to overcome. He is powerful enough to raise the dead, but not powerful enough to form a sharing and loving body in our individualistic society. I doubted God’s ability to stir a body of believers to love tirelessly and give without restraint. I reasoned that this type of fellowship was probably not intended for our time. Besides, we don’t have time to love like this.
Looking back, I wonder if I came to those conclusions because there was a part of me that wasn’t sure I wanted it. It’s interesting how much our theology is driven by desire.
There came a point where the elders at our church concluded that there was no reason why God wouldn’t want the church to look like it did in the beginning. From there we reasoned that if God wants that, then we want it too. But the exciting part came when we resolved not to settle for anything less. We would pursue this for His Church regardless of how many would be turned off and move to other churches. If this is God’s standard, then we will one day give an account for how we led His people toward the biblical model.
But where do we go from here? The hard part is answering the question of how. There are probably many who want our churches to function like the early church, but how do we get there?
START WITH WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
In other words, start with yourself. It’s wrong to blame others for the condition of the Church. And it’s silly for leaders to blame followers. God wasn’t satisfied when Adam blamed Eve or when Eve blamed the serpent.
Our elders started with what we could control. We can’t control other people. We can’t make the congregation “break bread in their homes” or “sell their possessions.” We also can’t control God. We can’t make Him do “wonders and miraculous signs” through us. I can, however, sell my possessions as people have needs. I do have control over that, so that became the first logical step. As we do our part, we trust God to bring about the “awe” and “wonders” in His time.
It was a beautiful time of sharing as our elders laid “everything” at each others’ feet. We surrendered the keys to our cars, homes, and bank accounts. I actually believed the elders who looked me in the eyes and said, “What’s mine is yours. If anything ever happens to you, I will support and care for your kids as much as I would care for my own. I will be your life insurance.” And because they had a history of genuine sacrifice for the sake of the gospel, I trusted what they said. From there, we began going to some of our friends in the congregation and expressing our commitment to them (something anyone can do).
And now this mentality is spreading. New life is permeating the church as individuals are backing up their words with sacrifice. Cars and homes are being sold or given away. Expensive vacations are joyfully replaced with spending on others. People are being taken into homes-not only for meals, but to live. It’s still the beginning of the process, and most people probably still come for the teaching or the music, but there’s a growing number at our church who are coming to be with their church family and they don’t care about who’s teaching or leading music.
THERE MUST BE MORE
Something real was happing in the early Church. It was something of the Spirit, too powerful to be replicated by human effort. Imagine taking a friend to one of their church gatherings. Your friend might not experience a smoothly run, professional service. But one thing he would experience: God. Do we even need to ask which is better? So much of church growth today has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit. The right team of talented people can make any church grow. When people sit through creative services, is it really God they’re experiencing?
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that we shouldn’t give our best to God. If you’re a musician, work diligently at your music. If you’re a teacher, labor intensely over your messages. I’m just asking you to be willing to rethink what you’re doing and ask: How can we create a more biblical environment where people see and experience God?
I’m reminded of the story of Gideon in Judges 7. God tells Gideon, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’ So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.” (Judges 7:2-3)
If you remember the story, God then reduced the army to 300 soldiers. God did not just defeat the Midianites-He was careful to do it in a way that gave Him all the glory. He did not want to allow Israel to boast “that her own strength has saved her.”
May people see our churches and know that mere human beings could not have created what they experienced. May we seek the priorities of the early church and trust God to once again produce the fruit of the early Church.
“And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47)