Monday, April 20, 2009

Crazy Love: Francis Chan

Some of you know that I was asked to write book/CD/DVD reviews for THEOOZE (, a web-based community that encourages the Church to engage our emerging culture by developing relationships and resources. I gladly accepted the invitation...

This is my first installment: Crazy Love: An Interactive DVD, by Francis Chan..

I must admit I was a bit skeptical when I started reviewing this interactive DVD. A huge fan and owner of all of Rob Bell’s NOOMA series, I immediately found myself comparing the two. I was pleasantly surprised as I made my way through the DVD to find that Chan’s presentation was unique and thought provoking in its own way….

Style and Format
First off, the DVD coincides with a book, and I believe in order to get thorough insight into his DVD, I strongly feel one must read the book with it. The DVD also has a very thoughtful flow from beginning to end, namely that Chapter 1 is set in the early morning and Chapter 10 concludes at night time as the lights go out. This is a distinct difference from Bell’s work, and I found myself drawn to the continuity (this isn’t a criticism of Bell). I still think Chan’s communication style is a lot like Bell, yet he lacked the ability to tug at my heart strings as much (this is not a criticism because in my mind Bell is one of the most effective communicators around).


I noticed at the beginning Chan seems to be dealing with our own one-on-one, personal relationship and walk with God. This laid a great foundation for the DVD as a whole. What I was especially impressed with was his ability to ask tough questions, forcing one to critically think about the answers. However, the brilliance wasn’t just the in questions, but that the questions were supposed to be addressed and answered in a communal context, thus enhancing vulnerability, transparency, and accountability. Brilliant and inspiring move by Chan.

Chan then seemed to move from our own personal, intimate walk with God and how that looks, to the out flowing of that walk into a missional lifestyle. This is where he really drew me in. He continued to ask tough questions, but this time to challenge the status quo of how Christians think and act. He really left me asking: am I really in love with Jesus; am I really obsessed with Him and His Kingdom; how does this look/not look right now in my life? He was very blunt that this was a focal point of the DVD. Again, the fact that these questions and challenges are supposed to be contemplated and answered in a communal setting adds to the immense value of the DVD.

I would recommend this DVD for a discipleship group, youth group, community group, etc. that is looking to be challenged and stretched on what their walk with God looks like and how they live out that walk in the world around them. If done properly, with the Holy Spirit working in individuals/community group willing to rethink their walk and apply the DVD in their practical lives, it could yield amazing results!

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