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Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  104,191 Ratings  ·  2,937 Reviews

Have you ever wondered if we're missing it?

It's crazy, if you think about it. The God of the universe—the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-minor—loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss.

Whether you've verbalized it yet or not, we all know something

Kindle Edition, 205 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by David C. Cook (first published 2008)
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Mark Blackard This book helped me to see past the religious mundane and lukewarm attitude and want to get to the next level. After I read this, I wanted to quit…moreThis book helped me to see past the religious mundane and lukewarm attitude and want to get to the next level. After I read this, I wanted to quit church and actually serve God as it is intended, with moving hands and feet instead of just a head nodding in agreement to some sermon quote. The Christian life is so much more than Sunday service. We would do better to serve six days a week and stay home on Sunday than the other way around.(less)
Baker Kendrick I agree with this. ^ @Mark Blackard. This book pulls me away from normal habits during my everyday life and brings me closer to things that I should…moreI agree with this. ^ @Mark Blackard. This book pulls me away from normal habits during my everyday life and brings me closer to things that I should be doing.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Gavin Breeden
Apr 27, 2012 Gavin Breeden rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
Mark this one under the Good Premise, Terrible Execution category. Chan seeks to combate the "lukewarmness" of the American Church by calling us to live a radical "obsessed" life for Jesus. Lots of good ideas here. The American Church certainly is lukewarm and quickly going the way of the increasingly churchless countries in Europe. Chan argues that our call to live radically is rooted in God's crazy love for us, and that's certainly true. I have no doubt that Francis Chan is a solid follower of ...more
Feb 13, 2009 Kevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those WOW! books that cause you to read something and then quietly close the book, lay it on your lap and meditate on what you have just read. So many times while reading this I had to stop and wrap my mind around what I just read. Francis Chan has taken the very things that I need to focus on and concisely and passionately expressed them in this book in a way that I totally get. How to live my life in a way that I am showing a God who loves me that I love Him back. Francis writes ...more
Kate Davis
I've had a serious theological problem on literally *every* page of this so far. Here are some highlights:

Chan is dismissive of life, even it's highest joys and lowest sorrows, because the story is about God, not people. So that's all that matters. In addition, a person's life boils down to how many people they've "saved" (which seems to mean "have gotten to say a prayer"). Not sure where this leaves, say, Mother Teresa, who focused more on taking care of people than convincing them to say praye
Jan 14, 2009 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Totally whooped my tail. Probably THE most convicting spiritual book I've ever read. Challenges you out of any luke-warm tendencies. Challenges you especially in the realm of giving financially and sacrificially. Really, really good - prepare to be challenged out of your mind.
Jul 09, 2012 Maureen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5 stars
What an incredibly powerful and convicting read. This book really challenged me a lot - I'm gonna have to change some things after reading it!
I really like Francis Chan's style of writing and how personable his narration seems.
Really really great!
Matt Rundio
Mar 12, 2010 Matt Rundio rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My initial reaction to Francis Chan’s Crazy Love

First of all, “Crazy Love” is a terrible and misleading title for this book. It is not about love (until, maybe, chapter 10, but by that point it is too late; too much damage has already been done). It is certainly NOT about God’s love for us mortals.

When a friend asked me about the book, this was my initial response:

I was hoping for a good read, but all I’ve seen so far (a bit more than halfway through) is an angry God. It’s as if the title [Crazy
Oct 15, 2012 Bradley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just flip through the ratings on this book. It looks like that there are about two possible reactions for a devout Christian to this book. It seems like about 60%-80% swear by this book, and the rest dismiss it on theological grounds.

For me, all through high school, theology was my god. God's love, God's grace, and God's compassion didn't register for me. I "saved myself" by knowing how to refute consubstantiation and by knowing what year the Council of Chalcedon was. I could argue with the abs
Tim Yearneau
Jul 22, 2011 Tim Yearneau rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have to be honest, I disliked this book. I respect what Chan tries to accomplish and for the choices he has personally made, but I disagree with him wholesale on many levels. The theme is very Catholic in nature; I deserve nothing, I am not worthy, I must constantly suffer, accomplishing personal goals and dreams are only a manifestation of greed and selfishness. Guilt, guilt, guilt. Ok, fine, I admit it; I am a former Catholic.

I applaud him for walking the talk; downsizing his house, taking
Jul 05, 2008 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Matt by: Cornerstone Simi Valley Podcast
This book is incredible. One of my all time favorites. Chan takes simple truths we have heard our whole lives, but actually challenges and dares us to change our lives.
Hansen Wendlandt
Jul 26, 2011 Hansen Wendlandt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If you like the idea of a cool surfing Jesus, who sends most surfers to hell for not being deeply committed Christians, this is a book for you! If you need your regular boost of weak theology, flat Bible interpretation, and smiling preachers talking about a distinctly depressing God, this is a book for you! To be fair, Crazy Love does in fact add a touch of narrative creativity and useful morality to the basic, useless evangelical message: that God loves everyone, but if you don’t believe just r ...more
Apr 23, 2012 Tom rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'll admit up front that I went into this book with a bias. I've seen Chan give talks and read one of his other books. Something has itched at me about him. This book helps me understand why I have been bugged, but I don't think it's fair for me to speculate too much in public. I'll just say that I understand now why he chose to leave his church, seemingly sell his family's possessions and "follow the Spirit" wherever. I don't think he could have published this book with a straight face unless h ...more
Jul 25, 2008 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a very good Christian these days - heck, I'm not even sure if I qualify as Christian, since I'm not big on evangelism - but I do believe that the way Christ lived is the way we should live - loving, giving, sacrificing, and with minimal possessions.

So I find myself wondering how there can be so many wealthy Christians in the world; doesn't hoarding and having so much when others have so little go against Christ's teachings?

I'm glad to know now - after Chan's call to live "to the median
Mason Wren
This used to be a 5-star book for me. I've read it multiple times. I started a devotional study around this book before the group material and videos were ever released. It was extremely important and helpful for me during that time in my life. But as I have grown in my faith and understanding of God, I have seen many flaws in its theology and perspective and I don't believe it accurately portrays the heart of God, the father of the prodigal.
In my opinion, this book called crazy love falls shor
Kamsin Kaneko
I guess this book is pretty challenging, but something about Chan's style or his theology or just his general intensity didn't quite sit right with me. Maybe I used to think that God was calling me to "give up everything" and live only for him and give away everything to the poor, the way this book says. But now I think that I don't need to be "crazy" to love God. Maybe quiet, day to day acts of faithfulness, in a fairly ordinary kind of a life are just as important as the big, "wow, you're so a ...more
Because reading this book was a rather personal experience, I want this review to be personal. I’d like for this to sound familiar and homey.

My Dear Friend,

I think you and I should make time to sit down in the parlor with two steaming cups of tea (or coffee) and a plate of your favorite scones, or cake, or cookies—or some of each—I’ll make whatever you want to eat as long as you’ll sit with me for a while and have a nice little chat about life. Life is a lovely thing, isn’t it? But it’s terrib
Ben De Bono
Apr 12, 2012 Ben De Bono rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
I honestly don't like being the person who winds up disparaging books that everyone else seems to adore. I enjoy excellent work and do my best to avoid a cynical perspective that looks for reasons to be critical. Nevertheless I seem to often find myself as one of the lone dissenting voices amid a cacophony of fawning praise. And so it is with Crazy Love.

My friend, Dave, mentioned in his review that Francis Chan seems to be one of the most genuine people out there. I'd have to agree. This book i
Mar 26, 2016 Richie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everybody should read this book. It's an eye-opener!
Le Chuck
Sep 12, 2010 Le Chuck rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is like the literary equivalent of boot camp. I don't need to read one more "Christian" book that reminds me what a failure I am and how far I fall from the mark. I just don't think God had this type of " evangelism" in mind, call me crazy. No pun intended. I also love how the author calls for us all to practically quit our jobs and follow God to the ends of the earth. So... Who would be around then to heal the sick? Grow the food? Police the streets? Teach our children? I don't need o ...more
I struggled on whether or not to give this book 2 or 3 stars. While I liked the book, certain ideas about Christianity bothered me. The more I investigated the things with which I disagreed, I realized that it wasn't as much the actual theological ideas as much as his wording. Therefore, since Chan's book was an articulate communication of the love of God, I went with 3. The book is pretty good, save a few things that I personally took issue with. These are just MY opinions, I'm not saying that ...more
Dec 21, 2010 Simon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Like some here and on other websites, I'm one of those who was done with this book by chapter 4. Having recently read The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning, this book couldn't stand in higher contrast. Chan's tone seems faintly aggravated and impatient from the very beginning, but he makes his agenda abundantly clear once he's reached the section on "Lukewarm Christians". No argument can convince me that this isn't, for all intents and purposes, a works gospel, and I just don't have time for ...more
Adriane Devries
Jul 25, 2011 Adriane Devries rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
When asked if Crazy Love’s author Francis Chan believes God calls us to live a radical, crazy life, Chan responded, “It should be the only thing that makes sense,” and in these pages he gives compelling evidence pointing to a church that is not living Biblically. He compares modern American Christians to a boy asking a girl on a date, but not wanting to drive her to the restaurant or to pay for her meal. Likewise, for many Christians the cost of truly obeying Christ is too high, calling into que ...more
Nov 07, 2013 Nick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-living
This book has a huge fan base in the evangelical world. So many of my personal friends have gone gaga over this book that I feel a little guilty busting it down to two stars. However, I have several reasons that I must do so. Is it because I'm a calloused Christian that isn't willing to be "overwhelmed by a relentless God"? No. It's that I'm not overwhelmed by this book...let me count the ways.

1. I am really hard pressed to find any new material in this book. Recently there has been a wave of si
Jul 02, 2012 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm always skeptical when approaching a book like this. Why? Because I've taken classes on rhetoric and argument, and these books tend to use a lot of emotional manipulation to support the argument presented in the book. Emotional manipulation can take the form of a bizarre, crazy story that is meant to move you...and, of course, it's a true story as well. At church, it usually ends in an altar call.

These kinds of stories inhibit real emotion, I believe, and a story like what I just described a
Feb 28, 2013 Travis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was quite surprised at some of the reviews here. Personally, I approach books that deal with God looking to listen and learn from others experiences and take what I can incorporate myself from those things I feel I can improve on - in other words, pretty much everything. Some people seem to struggle with his views on loving God. We are all different so, of course, it makes sense that everyone experiences their walk differently so I can understand the statements from both sides on how they rela ...more
Adam T Calvert
Aug 22, 2010 Adam T Calvert rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-living
This book is one of the most confusing I've ever read about the Christian life. Chan offers a mixed view of saying the Christian life is lived out of love and not out of fear-and-guilt, but then mainly tries through fear-and-guilt to persuade his readers to live the Christian life. Throughout the book Chan seems very confused and inconsistent in his approach to either stir up the idle Christian or convert the non-Christian. And you’re never sure which of those actions he’s trying to do. Frankly, ...more
Andrew Mcneill
It was a good book. It's short, simple and easy to read. It talked about God's love and how our response should be enthusiastic and selfless living.

I have some criticisms though. I think he could have spent more time on who God is and what he has done in order to ground our response to God. He spent most of the time focusing on our response to God and that left the book slightly lop-sided.

The chapter on lukewarm Christians was an important warning shot to people who live careless lives without t
Nov 20, 2012 Loretta rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While the intent and premise of the book are good, the writing style just really didn't resonate with me. Chan supposedly spends the first 3 chapters setting up WHY we are supposed to be so overwhelmed with love for God that we WANT to live the life he spends the rest of the book talking about. It falls flat. His picture of God in at least the first two chapters is not one that woos, it is the harsh 'love me or else' God and somehow we are supposed to be ok with that because he's God. He somewha ...more
Nov 18, 2015 Marklessgirl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is challenging and interesting! And I really think more people should read it! Some thing where like reminders because I already knew them but needed to hear them again. This book talks about a lot of things and I am not going to go in to all of them but like the title is it's about crazy love! And who does not want to love and be loved like that. There are so many things each individual person can get from the book and you may get different things from where you are and in where you a ...more
Feb 27, 2017 Linda rated it really liked it
Shelves: spiritual, 2017
2 Timothy 4:7-8
Mark Lee
Mar 14, 2011 Mark Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am one of those people who does not respond well to phrases like "You've GOT to read this book!" or "You HAVE to see this movie!". I have to? Really? What are you going to do if I don't? These kinds of comments, while well intentioned, bring out the rebel in me. For example, I still haven't read The Shack. Sorry. I'm sure it's awesome. But it crossed the line from piquing my interest to mildly annoying me with every passing mention.

Enter Francis Chan's much discussed Crazy Love. It has been t
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  • Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
  • The Explicit Gospel
  • Death by Love: Letters from the Cross
  • The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
  • Weird: Because Normal Isn't Working
  • Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God
  • I Am Not But I Know I Am
  • The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World
  • Walking with God: Talk to Him. Hear from Him. Really.
  • unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity... and Why It Matters
  • Twelve Ordinary Men
  • What Is the Gospel?
  • Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn't Show Up the Way You Thought He Would?
  • Humility: True Greatness
  • Transforming Grace: Living Confidently in God's Unfailing Love
Francis Chan is an American pastor and teacher, who lives in California with his wife, Lisa, and their four children. He is the former pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, CA, which he and his wife started in 1994.
More about Francis Chan...

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“But 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.” 878 likes
“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.” 759 likes
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