Monday, February 15, 2010

Book Review: Crave - Wanting So Much More of God

I first "met" Chris Tomlinson via email a couple of months ago. I noticed an email in my inbox that mentioned a book review. So I opened it up thinking it was just another form letter email pitching a book. Well, the email did kinda pitch a book but it was really a personal note from the book's author. He had obviously spent the time to read through my blog and write a personal note asking if I would be interested in reviewing his forthcoming book. I agreed.

Now that I've finished reading the book, I know a lot more about Chris. But, most importantly, I know a lot more about myself. That's because Chris digs deep as he compares what God wants of us and what we want, and don't want, of God.

First, let's take a look at the book's structure. Crave is pretty easy to read. The author's style is very conversational and he easily and smoothly includes Scripture and literary references into the flow. There are copious notes at the end that provide the references and sometimes extra context about some topic or quote. There are 15 chapters split up by topic. Each chapter has a small icon associated with it. The icons appear on the cover, in the table of contents, and in the heading of each chapter beginning. I nice touch for recalling where you were in the book after you set it down, for checking your progress through the book, and for also providing a little extra chuckle as you compare it to the chapter title and topic.

On to the content. Chris' aim with this book is to help the reader understand a couple of things: there is so much more of God that we were made to desire and satisfying the cravings for God can't happen without God.

Chris mostly covers his adult life as a Christian and his more recent frustrations at the "comfortable" nature of his faith. As he says in the book's intro:
I realize I am a comfortable Christian, one who believes in God and wants to do His will but isn't ready to truly become a fully committed disciple of Jesus. And I hate being a comfortable Christian. Because of this hatred - or my fear of staying comfortable in my faith, or simply God's mercy ...[a] furrow in my path is centering my steps and revealing my cravings for Jesus.

I have found myself in this state of mind a lot lately. How quickly does the flame of enthusiasm about God flicker and die because I'm either chasing something else or what God is calling me to do is too far out of my comfort zone? Too often it seems...

All in all, I really enjoyed Crave and some of the resources the publisher and author have made available online. For example, Chris has a website call Crave Something More where he continues to blog about topics from the book as well as other things that come up. You can also connect with him on facebook or twitter. He's usually pretty responsive.

And if you're not sure about the book, go ahead and grab a sample of it online here or over here.

The book publisher, Harvest House, was nice to supply me with a copy of the book to review here on the blog. Thanks!