Thursday, May 17, 2012

Book Review - Chasing Francis by Ian Morgan Cron

Last month I saw this tweet:
1st 20 bloggers to promise they'll review Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale get free signed copy!  
Now I don't have a lot of followers and I really don't consider myself a blogger even though I have a blog but I had seen such great things recommendations that I thought why not say yes. So I replied: 
 @FindingFruit @iancron I have very few followers at my blog but love to read and think and hear new ideas so if you still need reviewers I'm happy to help
I didn't think much about it but then a few days later I got a request for my address and then a few more days after that the book showed up in the mail. So I started reading it. I took it with me to swim lessons. I opened it while my boys were playing video games. I sat out on our new patio furniture in the evenings and savored it. 

Here's the thing about "Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale," it is a spiritual pilgrimage for the reader dressed up in the fictional story of Chase Falson, a pastor amidst a crisis of faith, and I liked that. I enjoyed having a story to enter into while learning so much about Francis of Assisi; his life, his teachings, and his impact on the Christianity. I kept wishing I had a highlighter or pencil with me so I could take notes in the margins but I was too caught up in the story of Chase Falson and the merry band of priests and players he meets on his journey to stop and go get one. 

I love a book that tells a story of an individual traveling through life while also teaching me something new about the world, about belief and God and my role in it all. This book does that. It doesn't matter if you are Catholic or Protestant. Believer or not. This book will take you along on Chase Falson's pilgrimage through Italy and let you peer through his experience. 

I walked away from this book wondering what would happen if I lived like St. Francis, who lived as Jesus lived? What would happen if I looked at my life through the lens of Jesus' life. Not the church. Not religion. Not even getting all caught up in the theology of the Epistles or the politics of religion. But instead tried to walk through life the way Jesus did. 

And that is the power of books, and this book - getting the reader to think about life, faith, God. 

So while I did receive the book for free in exchange for a review, which I am now writing here, the best review I can give it is to say that this is a book that I want to pass along to so many different people in my life. I want to give it to the pastors I know who are not struggling with what church means in this post modern age. I want to give it to my friends who are so caught up in proving their worth to God and to those around them that I worry they may some day experience a crisis of faith like Chase Falson does. I want to give it to my friends who are thinking about faith and doubt and church and God. I want to keep it for myself to read again when I start to get caught up and need a pilgrimage but cannot fly off to Italy because I have school pick up at 2:20. 

You can find the book at Ian Morgan Cron's website 

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