I received Crave: Wanting so much more of God (written by Chris Tomlinson and published by Harvest House Publishers) after Chris asked me to review it for him. I am desperately late with my review, but wanted to stay true to my agreement and promise that I would…
There are quite a few reviews for Crave (check out the Crave website here) out by now, so I don’t want to rehash details that have already been shared about the specifics of the book like chapter titles and what not. I’ll get right to my thoughts and impressions about the substance of Chris’ book.
First of all, I think it was written with a great deal of sensitivity to the audience he is targeting (even if this is a bit presumptuous for me to assume I know his audience). I read a few reviews that criticized the book for not being “deep” enough theologically. I think that is absurd. Many of the targeted (assumed) audience wouldn’t give a theologically “deep” book five seconds. Chris has written this book in a fashion that it can be engaged, put down, and engaged again…repeatedly, and without having to go back and read the back story over and over again. The book is comprised of “storylettes” which combine in a logical progression to share an overarching story of the Christian journey, and specifically, a Christian’s journey (Chris Tomlinson). I found the stories engaging; sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes humorous, sometimes inciting debate, and sometimes various mixtures of all of these. It is with this consideration that I believe the book was written well for a contemporary audience and people that have short attention spans (that is not meant in a pejorative sense). There are insightful points and truth seeded in most of these stories that can provide thought fodder without engaging the book for long periods of time. Personally, I think this is a good thing; especially if the intended reader is someone who might not be sure of their faith and seeking to understand it in a more intimate and tangible way.
Secondly, regardless of the form factor and flow of the book, I think I discovered very deep truth. There is nothing deeper about theology and an individual’s response to God’s call to relationship than for a person to make it personal, intimate, real, and contagious. I think Chris has done an admirable job of expressing that and inviting the reader to the same with a non-threatening and grace-filled message.
Finally, I appreciated the candor and “rawness” that Chris wrote with as he shared his story. It reminded me a little of Donald Miller’s work…and considering the success of Don’s books that might not be a bad thing.
Thanks Chris for the invitation to read and review Crave. I did enjoy it and will most certainly invite others to read it as well.