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Archive for the ‘Francis Chan’ Category

crazy love

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

A good book that challenges the American church that’s deep in the American Dream (well, at least the Christian suburban version). Perhaps its due to the negative reviews I’ve read, but the book turned out better than I expected. It’s true–it might not be a theologically driven or as “deep” exegetically as some might want it–but it presents simple Biblical truths for the goal of application and this I appreciated. I appreciate Francis Chan’s call for Christians not to live lukewarm lives and the work did challenge me spiritually to evaluate my life and also why I do what I do. His chapter on the characteristic of the lukewarm Christian is a good list for a believer’s spiritual inventory. What I appreciate the most about Francis Chan, something I as a preacher want to work on, is his ability to illustrate Christian truths. These are always helpful to get the preacher’s mind churning to keep an eye out for one’s own original illustrations. The author hammers home that the Christian life is about God and not us by comparing us to a movie extra for a film waiting for that two-fifths of a second you can see the back of your head and getting so excited about it when no one else care–or really notice. He compares our love for God’s blessing over our love for God as a child who only wants what his or her parents can give–but not loving the parents. He even talks about wanting to join the Marines and saying how it would be irrational to join and not say you want to run when they own you–yet for us as Christians, we don’t understand the Lordship of Christ when we are saved. I do recommend this book as a devotional.

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Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

In reviewing this book, I have to first begin by noting that quality books on the Holy Spirit are few and far between. Of course, a quick search on the internet might lead one to think otherwise with the vast amount of literature listed but often these books are more about spiritual gifts, the issue of speaking in tongues and Spirit filled lives rather than on the person, work and Divinity of the Holy Spirit per se. In light of this landscape, Francis Chan’s work on the Holy Spirit would be a welcome addition on the Holy Spirit proper (if I can use that term). Chan writes this book for a popular audience and his style is helpful to that purpose: Short, simple, and to the point, while providing personal reflection of the implication of what the Bible reveals about the Holy Spirit. I believe the strength of this book is the personal implication that Francis Chan brings out for our lives. Certainly, this has blessed my own spiritual life. I’ve also find the first chapter very helpful for Christians wondering why the Holy Spirit is important even though we have Jesus, and also the lists in the book of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in our lives. Of course, no work discussing about the Holy Spirit can avoid the discussion of the state of spiritual gifts for the church today–and I’m sure that cessationists, Charistmatics and Pentecostal will not like his position. Francis Chan shares autobiographically here of his cessationist background (what he describe as being in the camp that’s afraid of the Holy Spirit) while at the writing of the book he’s more open to the supernatural today. He does not go into any defense of his view. Furthermore, I did have some lingering question as I read the book as to the author’s understanding of how the Holy Spirit lead believers. Overall, I did find this work helpful for the popular Christian audience.

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Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

This is my first time reading anything by Francis Chan, a popular preacher and much sought after speaker. I admit, I was not sure how the book was going to turn out when I first started reading it, since I am cautious with many books defending controversial issues written for the general Christian popular audience. But it turns out to be a pretty good book. I thought it was a good example of a work engaging in doctrinal apologetics for the general readers. The author made it a good point that what’s at hand is not just another study on doctrines for the academic satisfaction of the mind, but much more is at stake since people’s eternal fate is on the line. It’s important to press people to live out and apply to our lives the implications of biblical doctrines, which in this case compels believers to view the world evangelically. According to the preface, Francis Chan teamed with another co-writer Preston Sprinkle, who has a doctorate in New Testament studies from Aberdeen University. I thought Chan’s decision to have another co-writer with an academic orientation was a great plus to the book. One of the best chapter in the book that I’ve enjoyed was the exploration of the primary sources of Second Temple Judaism and their understanding of the afterlife. This is an important background for understanding the religious and doctrinal climate that Jesus was surrounded with. This survey shows the readers that Jesus picked up the same terms and idioms to describe the afterlife of the loss, rather than break away from it. The following chapter dealt with Jesus’ own teaching on Hell as it is recorded in the Gospels. Having recently read a classmate’s thesis that explored Jesus’ teaching on hell as echoing things taught in the Old Testament, I was much encouraged to see that this book also noted that! The work also interacted with those who disagree with the Orthodox understanding of Hell, including Rob Bell (you can read my attempt at a critique of Rob Bell’s theological method here). Overall, great work, would highly recommend it. I would love to see Chan and Preston team up again to address other doctrinal controversy in our age.

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For download onto Kindle.

This offer good from 12:01 AM, April 6th until 11:59 PM, April 7th 2012, Pacific Time.

1.) Crazy Love

Click HERE.

2.) Forgotten God

Click HERE.

3.) Erasing Hell

Click HERE.

[HT]

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Speaks for itself.  Well done illustration.

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