December 11, 2010

A Review of Chasing Francis by Ian Cron

I recently received the book Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale by Ian Cron to read and review.

It is the story of Chase Falson, the pastor of a large evangelical church, who comes to a crisis of faith. His crisis leads him to melt down in the pulpit, and he is asked to take a leave of absence to get things together. During his leave he visits his uncle, a Franciscan Monk, in Italy and rediscovers his passion for Christ and the ministry through St. Francis of Assisi.

I enjoyed the book, and took only 3 days to read it in its entirety. The prose is simple, and the story-telling is easy to keep pace with. While it is not over-loaded with history or information about St. Francis, it does offer insight into Francis' life and ministry. It challenges you to reconsider the foundations of what many modern expressions of church are based on (hint: the modern American evangelical model may have strayed in its expression of the faith).

This is another call to reevaluate our foundations as a church, and to consider some alternatives to modern American evangelical practice of the faith.

I do feel like I'm reading from a page taken from Brian McLaren's book A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey. It was a good book, but offered a style that is now reproduced here in Chasing Francis. I do find it interesting that Ian Cron places these words in Chase's mouth, "I'm beginning to see that there's a difference between art that trusts beauty's simple power to point people to God and Christian art that's consciously propagandistic." I definitely agree with the sentiment, but find it odd to see it in a book, written as a novel that is definitely trying to get us to believe in a certain way of doing church.

All in all this is a good book, and a good read.


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