"Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale" by Ian Morgan Cron is a contemporary fictional novel following Pastor Chase Falson and his search for a renewed faith. Falson planted a large seeker-friendly church in Connecticut, but publicly declared questions regarding his faith in a Sunday sermon. The elders request he take some time off and he ends up in Italy at the request of his uncle, a Franciscan friar. Uncle Kenny urges him to explore the life and faith of Saint Francis.
Written in the first person, this novel reads like a memoir. Many times, I had to remind myself that I was reading fiction and not a biography. Cron did a decent job of creating a fictional account that weaves in details of Francis' life and faith, as well as his theology. I did find it a bit preachy at times, but it did make me a bit more interested in learning more about Saint Francis. For those that are inspired in that direction, there is an extensive bibliography and study guide at the back of the book.
Overall, the book was just okay. He raises some good points about looking to church history and learning from it in order for the church today to move forward. But the sermon that Falson gives in chapter 11 had a more "emergent church" than I am comfortable with. It was a decent read but will not become a re-read for me.
(I’ve received this complimentary book through the BookLook program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)
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