crazy love

November 21, 2008 | 6 Comments

This fall, I’ve been reading through Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love (Kindle version) with my friend Dave. The book has a lot of good, and challenging, things to say, but I haven’t enjoyed it as much as I hoped I would. I have crazy respect for Francis Chan, both from the things I’ve heard him say here and there, and from what I know of the church he started. Somehow though, his personality hasn’t fully translated to the written word, and I think the book could have used that.

I did read a quote in one of the middle chapters that has given me lots to think about:

If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream.

My first reaction to this quote was not positive. It conjured up memories of a horrific Christian t-shirt from 15-20 years ago. You remember the one? It read Go Against the Flow, and had an image of an ichthus swimming in a different direction than a bunch of cartoon fish with fangs. (I tried to find an image of it to share with you…thankfully, Google failed me.)

Yet, I can get away from the simple truth of these words. I know I am created in the image of God, and I can catch small glimmers of God’s heart and character in me still. But I am broken, and I will not be put back together by my own efforts. To pursue Christ, to fully realize who God created me to be, requires an intentional way of living that allows the Spirit to be at work on me. What I want to do is often not who Christ created me to be.

So, no, I’m not going to hit up thrift stores in hopes of finding a cheesy old t-shirt to help me remember this. But I am going to be a little more intentional today to be moving with the Way of Jesus. And hopefully tomorrow, I will be able to say the same.

  • blake


    i have an image of the t-shirt on the way to you. ive had it since i was a freshman in high school. i cut the sleeves of and have probably played over a thousand pickup games of basketball in that shirt. i was going through some old shirts i play ball in to get rid of and i came across this one and could not throw it away. too many memories.

  • i had that shirt. it had big yellow arm pit stains. i should have cut them off before playing pickup basketball in it!

    great quote. very, very simple but also great.

  • I like you two…seriously. But I’m glad I’m able to say that I never had that shirt.

  • Angela Ralston

    Hi, I’ve noticed that you’ve blogged about Crazy Love, by Francis Chan. Just wanted you to know that the videos to accompany the book are now available to download at:

    Also, a Crazy Love small group dvd with never-before-seen content will be available in January. Because of your wonderful blog post about the book, I’d like to offer you a free pre-release copy of the dvd to review. Please email me your address, and I’d be happy to send it. Thanks!

  • Sherie

    John, I had the same response to Francis’ writing style, but love his spoken word and heart. Thanks for the quote and the thoughts on being active daily in our faith. It is a great and constantly needed reminder.

  • I haven’t finished the book yet, but there are a lot of very vivid images, like the one you mention here, that are so helpful in pointing us back to what is true and important.

    Thanks for bringing this up…