Chasing Francis by Ian Morgan Cron, book provided by Navpress
Chase Falcon has lost his faith and did it right in front of the congregation at his mega church. Now the elders want him to take some time away: far away. So Chase crosses the Atlantic to visit his uncle, a Franciscan priest, where he encounters the teachings of Francis of Assisi and rediscovers his ancient faith. (publishers summary)
The writing style of Ian Cron pulls you into the story of Chase Falcon, a pastor of a mega church who loses his faith in God. Chase’s uncle, a Franciscan priest, takes him on a pilgrimage to the very places where Francis of Assisi had lived a life of poverty, selflessness and devotion to Christ.
“Francis was everything medieval preachers weren’t, … For starters, he was authentic. He spoke about the only thing he knew, his own life. He’d say, ‘Here’s how Jesus met me in my sinfulness and how he can meet you in yours.’ It was an autobiography, not a lecture.”
“In the Middle Ages, most preaching was pretty manipulative. It was all about the treat of damnation, hell, and judgement. That’s how the church kept people in line and protected its power base. Clerics wanted people to believe the church held the keys to heaven, and that there was no hope of being saved without the church’s help. Francis wanted no part of that. He was always courteous and respectful and spoke endlessly about the mercy and kindness of God, a God who was willing to enter human history and rescue us, a God who was intimate, not distant and aloof. His message really was ‘good news’ to people who were taught there were six degrees of separation between God and their wretched live.” (pg 148)
While some things in this book were a bit foreign to me because I don’t know a lot about the Catholic faith, I found this book easy and enjoyable to read. The book itself is not about the Catholic faith, per say, but about the life of Francis, who gave all he had to give to those around him. Chasing Francis gives you insight into a historical figure of the Middle Ages while weaving a modern day story of the modern church and its struggles throughout its entirety. You follow along Chase as he rediscovers his love for Christ and reclaims his desire to lead a church that gives their all to the Lord.
A few of the stories about Francis did seem a bit far fetched and I am not able to say I agree with all that was within this book, but overall, I would say it is a fascinating book. If you enjoy reading and learning about historical figures, I would definitely recommend this as a book to give you insight into the life and teachings of St. Francis of Assisi.
Disclosure of Material Connection: 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 Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."