Thursday, August 8, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Chasing Francis by Ian Morgan Cron

Chase Falson, the pastor of a church in Thackeray, Connecticut he started and built into a mega-church, suffered a spiritual breakdown. He was especially shaken when the nine-year-old daughter of a recovered drug/alcoholic mother was tragically killed falling off a bicycle just as their lives had begun to improve.

After several unusual episodes at church, the elders asked Chase to take a leave of absence to decide what he wants to do. Chase reluctantly leaves and goes to visit Uncle Kenny, Chase's mother's first cousin, a Catholic priest living in Italy.

Uncle Kenny takes Chase on a pilgrimage following the path of St. Francis of Assisi. Chase, being a protestant, resisted but his uncle talks him into it. An interesting angle is that part of the book consists of journals kept by Chase during the pilgrimage.

Along the way, Chase meets other priests who help him in various ways. Also, Maggie, the mother of the child who was killed joins Chase and becomes an important part of the story.

We all have events in our lives for which we want to blame God. Some people even leave the church because of such events. I suspect it is especially tough when it happens to ministers, and that is what this story is all about.

This Zondervan book is fiction, but rings true with references to and excerpts from books about St. Francis. A bibliography is included in the back of the book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an advance review copy of this book free from the publisher. 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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