Saturday, August 3, 2013

Chasing Francis


What happens when the pastor of a mega church loses his faith? 

Pastor Chase Falson has lost his faith in God, the Bible, evangelical Christianity, and his super-sized megachurch. When he falls apart, the church elders tell him to go away: as far away as possible. Join Chase on his life-changing journey to Italy where, with a curious group of Franciscan friars, he struggles to resolve his crisis of faith by retracing the footsteps of Francis of Assisi, a saint whose simple way of loving Jesus changed the history of the world. Read this riveting story and then begin your own life-changing journey through the pilgrim's guide included in this powerful novel. 

Hidden in the past lies the future of the church When his elders tell him to take some time away from his church, broken pastor Chase Falson crosses the Atlantic to Italy to visit his uncle, a Franciscan priest. There he is introduced to the revolutionary teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi and finds an old, but new way of following Jesus that heals and inspires. Chase Falson's spiritual discontent mirrors the feelings of a growing number of Christians who walk out of church asking, Is this all there is? They are weary of celebrity pastors, empty calorie teaching, and worship services where the emphasis is more on Lights, Camera, Action than on Father, Son, and Holy Spirit while the deepest questions of life remain unaddressed in a meaningful way. 

Bestselling author Ian Morgan Cron masterfully weaves lessons from the life of Saint Francis into the story of Chase Falson to explore the life of a saint who 800 years ago breathed new life into disillusioned Christians and a Church on the brink of collapse. Chasing Francis is a hopeful and moving story with profound implications for those who yearn for a more vital relationship with God and the world. 

My Thoughts:

Many fictional books written by non-Catholics tend to trivialize the liturgy, rubrics and other aspects of the Catholic faith but that was not the case with Chasing Francis. The author did an amazing job of telling the story of a Protestant pastor of a mega-church with a faith crisis. Chase finds his way back to Christ with the assistance of his uncle, Father Kenny,  and a pilgrimage in Italy. The author blends a fictional story with historical information about St. Francis. He even includes a guide at the end which would make this an excellent choice for a Christian book study.

This book came at a time when I am having not so much a faith crisis but a bump in the road. I will be going back to reread the study guide to help me discern the course of action to take in regards to a church leadership decision that is possibly impacting my family.

One neat thing I kept thinking as I read was that I 'got it' as to why Pope Francis chose the name he did.

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy of  Chasing Francis available via NetGalley

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