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“Chasing Francis”

November 4, 2022
Photo courtesy of ARH Inspirations

“It’s to live dangerously open, revealing all that we genuinely are, and receiving all the pain and sorrow the world will give back in return. It’s to be real because we know the Real.”

~ Thomas in Chasing Francis

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While searching the shelves of an antiquated out-of-the-way bookstore in Nashville, I came across a gem. I was a fan of the author, but had not heard of this particular book, and was excited to come across a fiction story from a writer I typically only knew for motivational non-fiction works. What I did not expect what to find so much truth among the pages of fiction.

I fell in love with a story that has become timeless, beginning over 800 years ago and spanning to the modern day despite its original 2006 publication date and 2013 reprint. The validity of the message was as current today as it was so many years ago. Are you living what you really believe?

The reader dives into the life and heart of Chase Falson, a pastor that is struggling to see the relevance or impact of his ministry and feels the ground beneath his foundation of faith beginning to crumble. That statement alone snatched at my heartstrings, knowing there are so many in the world right now looking into a mirror that reflects core questions of faith. The brave exploration of this very real dilemma makes it a must-read for those who are asking why.

As Chase Falson is asked to take a break as lead pastor after a gut-wrenching and public revelation of his doubt, he chooses to spend the time off in pursuit of the answers to his questions of faith, and he starts at the doorstep of Saint Francis of Assisi. As Chase follows the life and story of Saint Francis by walking where he walked, Chase begins to rediscover why he believes what he believes and envisions a ministry that doesn’t just preach to others but also reaches them.

I, being a lover of history, thoroughly enjoyed the detailed research of truths that seem to span the test of time. Ian Morgan Cron asks the questions others ignore and takes the reader on a journey in which it is not only okay to ask the questions but encouraged. If we could all be so blessed as to speak with that kind of authenticity. This story is human and genuine, and despite its fiction label, it holds sincere truths we all should looking for. Why are we here and why do we do what we do? Are we just checking a box we were told to check or are we engaged in mission and ministry with our lives as well as our mouths.

I really do love a good true story. Even if it is fiction.

The opinions I have expressed in this review are my own. I am not receiving any financial compensation for the content provided. At times, I may participate in a review team that provides an Advanced Reader Copy of the book to me at no cost. If that is the case, that information is disclosed within my review. 

About the Book

Chasing Francis

By Ian Morgan Cron
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 0310336694, 978-0310336693
Pages: 256
Genre: Christian Fiction

Pastor Chase Falson lost his faith in God, the Bible, evangelical Christianity, and his super-sized megachurch. When he fell apart, the church elders told him to go away—as far away as possible. Broken, Chase crossed the Atlantic to Italy to visit his uncle, a Franciscan priest. There, he was introduced to the revolutionary teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi and found 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? This book is perfect for believers who are:

  • Weary of celebrity pastors and empty calorie teaching
  • Disappointed by worship services where the emphasis is more on Lights, Camera, Action than on Father, Son, and Holy Spirit 
  • Tired of the deepest questions of life remaining unaddressed and unanswered
  • Remain hopeful and seek to strengthen their faith

Hidden in the past lies the future of the church. 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.

Shannon Leach is a slice-of-life encouragement writer and the owner of A Repurposed Heart and ARH Inspirations. Her authentic stories and books about leadership, life, and loving people focus on encouraging others and reminding them they are not alone. Her work can also be found in Guideposts and multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is the co-founder of the nonprofit The Fostered Gift.
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