Ted Haggard Starts A New Church

I just commented on a post from @POTSC about Ted Haggard starting a new church. Check it: http://ow.ly/1TNhG

Crazy Love

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

I first saw Francis Chan speak a couple years back at a conference in Northern California.  I was completely taken by his ability to be honest, transparent and vulnerable while presenting a message with depth and substance.  Since then I’ve seen a few video blogs, heard a podcast and read a few articles of his online and really enjoyed his consistent authenticity.

This book definitely had it’s engaging and sleepy moments for me, but I really feel the overall message is brought home with a challenge to leave the safe and expected for the risky and crazy journey of faith and love we should be on as followers of Jesus.  His writing style feels consistent with the conversational and relational way he speaks and conveys his message in a live setting.  One fun thing he did with this book was to have video chapter introductions on the book website.  Definitely a cool way to connect with who the author is and get a more personal sense of his heart.

One thing I appreciate here was Chan’s willingness to embrace a bit of controversy in some bold statements throughout the book.  There may be people who will fully dismiss his message because of one or two sentences in this book, but I believe that would shortchange the reader from some great challenges and insights throughout this read.

Crazy Love ultimately prods the reader to evaluate if we’ve chosen the safe and comfortable American dream in place of the radical call to actually love people the way Jesus did.  Are we willing to sell what we have, give away our stuff, love the poor, serve with our time, let go of our money and hang out with our enemies?  To live and love like Jesus…it will radically change us and wreck the security we’ve been told is what’s important.  It’s not a condemning message…convicting, yes…but kind of a reality check to look inside and see where our personal treasure is.

Well done Francis.

::: Have You Read This Book?  Post Your Thoughts? :::

Publisher’s Info:

God is love. Crazy, relentless, all-powerful love. 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 somethings wrong. Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo? Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions?

God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn’t working harder at a list of do’s and don’ts—it’s falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love, as Francis describes it, you will never be the same. Because when you’re wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.

It’s A New Day…It’s A New Doubt…

I read through something the other day that has gone and got itself stuck in my head.  The essence of what I read was this: when you have absolute certainty, you don’t need faith because you have knowledge.  Faith is only necessary when the outcome is in question…when doubt is present.  Doubt seems to be an essential element of faith and the two kind of work hand-in-hand.

I am just kind of chewing on this right now.  It seems like through my Christian life I’ve been taught that we need to have every answer to every question and can’t ever NOT know the answer.   As I mature and live I’m learning that God is mysterious and we CAN’T know everything about Him or even pretend to understand most things about who He is.   I think it’s powerful to be honest enough to say “I don’t know.”   There’s an appealing authenticity in saying “I don’t know” and maybe even “I’m not sure I believe,” or “I’m not sure why I believe that.”

Clarity is still outside of my complete grasp on this issue, but I’m really enjoying the process of thinking it through.

Your Thoughts???