Thursday, January 13

Chasing Francis

Out of all the books I have ever reviewed, this one, Chasing Francis, by Ian Morgan Cron, is my favorite. I like a challenge and this story challenged me to examine my own faith.

Chasing Francis is a brilliantly done fictional book that explores modern Christianity in an eye-opening, sometimes politely painful way. As the main character of this story, a pastor of a large influential church, takes a forced pilgrimage learning about the faith of St. Francis of Assisi, I was drawn into my own pilgrimage of examining my faith. This is not a Catholic book and its not a Protestant book. Its a book for examining the heart of Christianity.

Cron dwells more on the how-to's of true Christianity more than the gospel message but I believe this is because he wrote the book for folks, like myself, who already identify themselves as Christians.

The book is loaded with stunning quotes to mull over and I'll share a few of my favorites with you:
  • "I shop, therefore I am"
  • "You'll never be able to speak into their souls unless you speak the truth about your own wounds. You need to tell them what our Lord has come to mean to you in the midst of your disappointments and losses. All ministry begins at the ragged edges of our own pain..."
  • " we want "worship centers" where homeyness is more important than holiness"
  • " (the) usual approach is to read the Bible, try to understand what it's saying, then apply it. Your (St. Francis's) formula was the reverse. You applied the Bible and then came to a fresh understanding of what it actually meant. What a concept"
  • "there is a law in physics that applies to the soul. No two objects can occupy the same space at the same time; one thing must displace the other. If your hearts crammed full of material things and a thirst for wealth, there's no space left for God."

and, finally, one last quote:
  • "We (the USA) represent only 6% of the world's population, yet we consume 40% of its resources. We're demonically possessed by materialism and hyper consumption. Unfortunately, Christians are as caught up in the system as everyone else... We say we don't believe it, but our lives betray us... Our next door neighbors must look at us and think, You Christians say you're citizens of a different kingdom, yet you're just as consumed by malls, money, cars, clothes, vacations and homes as we are. What's the deal? Why should anyone take our gospel seriously as long as we continue to serve two masters? A faith that doesn't speak out against the sick assumptions of its culture is really no faith at all - its just religion..."

I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


Momma Bug said...

Just the quotes you posted blessed me today.
I am consumed by the question
"How to worship Him today - right NOW, because now is all I have to give Him."
It sheds a whole different light on
dirty dishes, potty training, and every other average chore.
Today I was chatting with my children about the life of King David, kind of looking at his life as a whole - not just his fight with Goliath, or his kingship, but the fact that he started out with the chore none of his brothers wanted, yet in his daily life of doing the "chores", he cultivated skills that served him later in life and he came to KNOW God in praise and worship - so many beautiful Psalms written when he was a shepherd boy.
Jesus is more than when we feel holy. When we feel like worship.
When we feel inspired.
He is all.
All the time.

Fueled by Love said...

This book sounds great. I am reading some other books about commercialism and the "Americanized Jesus" and this is kind of similar. I enjoyed all of the quotes. I loved what Momma Bug said about David starting with a chore no one else wanted! That is good.

Unknown said...

Very compelling. I will definitely be adding this to my reading list!