A Book for Your Wishlist: "Chasing Francis" by Ian Morgan Cron

All I knew about St. Francis of Assisi was limited to a statue with his nameplate that stood on the edge of a San Diego garden that I visited a couple years ago. I even took a snapshot of the statue, as it stood strikingly against a breathtaking California backdrop. (At least, I think it was his statue...)

Then, I read Chasing Francis by debut author Ian Morgan Cron. It's in these pages that the author brings this 800-year-old Christian and his revolutionary insights and actions to life for the modern-day reader.

This is one of the best books I've read in quite a long time--especially because it's a fiction title. Oftentimes I feel that fiction titles can be a bit of a waste of time. Here, though the plot of this book is fictional, it is steeped in the historical and authentic--a genre called "wisdom literature." So while you get to read a beautifully, cleverly written and poignant plot, you actually end up learning a great deal about Francis.

Not only is it filled with rich storytelling that will teach you a thing or two about history, but this book will also make you think about what's next. The story is told through the eyes of a megachurch-pastor who is starting to wonder about the depth of the faith that he's grown up on--is there more to loving God and following Jesus than he's been fed?

As the pastor learns more about Francis (while visiting Assisi and living alongside Franciscan monks), Cron begins to unravel what we as modern-day Christians can learn from Francis, a man who cast off his riches, preached to crows, directed the first Christmas play and who revolutionized the floundering faith of his day. What might it look like if we loved God, loved people, like this man did?

Seriously. Read it. (It struck me as a fictional complement to Shane Claiborne's Irresistible Revolution if you found that compelling.) Whether you like fiction or not, it is an incredible story that you can't help but find inspiring.

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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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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